Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days

by Tim Beissmann

Kia will gauge Australia’s enthusiasm for a hot version of its quirky Kia Soul hatchback when it showcases the Kia Track’ster concept at this week’s 2012 Sydney motor show.

First unveiled at February’s Chicago auto show, Kia says the three-door, high-performance Track’ster concept gives the world a hint at where the next-generation Soul – due in 2014 – is heading.

The Kia Track’ster concept is 127mm wider than the standard Soul and features a 254mm-longer wheelbase. The new dimensions combine with the concept’s aggressive body kit and lowered sports suspension to give the traditionally tall, boxy hatchback a chunky, curvaceous, ground-hugging appearance.

Power from the Track’ster’s 186kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine is sent to all four wheels via a short-throw six-speed manual transmission.

The spacious cabin features bolstered Inferno Orange suede racing seats and Granite Grey leather/suede upholstery across the door panels, seats and steering wheel.

Oil temperature, battery voltage and other vehicle status information is displayed at the top of the dashboard, while navigation, entertainment and heating and cooling is controlled via the central touchscreen, positioned just above the engine start button.

In place of the rear seats, the Kia Track’ster concept features an equipment tray, spare tyre, and three storage bins: one for racing gear like helmets, suits and gloves; another for tools; and the third for emergency supplies.

While there are no firm plans to produce the Track’ster, Kia head of design Peter Schreyer insisted at last month’s Paris motor show he held strong hopes for a production future for the hardcore Soul-based coupe.