How to build a concept car?

How to build a concept car? The video reveals how Kia built its eye-catching Track’ster concept vehicle.

One of the biggest draws at any car show is the concept vehicles that automakers put together for the event. They are the equivalent of the runway fashion show in that these styles will probably never see the light of day, and the average consumer will never get to actually try one out.

That doesn’t detract from the fun though, and one of the concept cars that drew the biggest rave reviews at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show was the Kia Track’ster.

The stunning design of the 3-door, 250 horsepower hatchback was a major part of its allure, but what excited many of the Kia fans on hand was that they could easily envision many of those design elements being incorporated into future generations of the Soul crossover.

While those car buyer’s think about the products of the future, very few look to the past, which includes how the Track’ster concept came about in the first place.

The finished product may very well be everything, but it’s still fun to take a look at the 9 month process that took the vehicle from the imagination of the designers onto the floor of the Chicago Auto Show.

The process begins at Kia’s design headquarters in Irvine, California, where the entire team is encouraged to come up with an idea for a new concept car. Each team member sketches out their idea and then presents the final drawing in the form of a glitzy movie poster.

The Track’ster was the one that stood out in the most recent design contest, with the team drawing inspiration from sports cars, and even the detailing of ski boots. Once the final decision is made, the team then goes back to the sketching board where they tweak the initial design until they all agree it is perfect.

The next step is to build a 1/4 scale model of the final design, which allows the team to see how their creation will appear in a 3-D model. The surface data of that model is then placed into a 5-axis milling machine which creates a full sized clay model of the Track’ster.

The clay is laid over a steel skeleton and is then detailed by hand in order to add all the more intricate details that the machine can’t handle. The final clay mold is then scanned, with all the details sent to the Aria Group who have been chosen to build the concept model.

The Track’ster is loosely based on the design of the Soul, so the Aria Group is also supplied with a Soul, which they strip and prep for the final Track’ster design. Each individual component is then fabricated and laid out for the design team to inspect. Once they have passed the inspection, the frame of the Soul is then modified so that the new concept car pieces will fit.

The final steps of the process are the painting and assembly, and once those are done the car is transported back to Irvine where the design team gives it a final look over. From there it’s on to Chicago, and the unveiling which, judging by the rave reviews, made the 9 months of hard work well worth it.

How to build a concept car – Kia Track’ster video:

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