Kia Canada surprises Montreal Auto Show with Track’ster Concept Vehicle
- - Canadian debut of high-performance Soul-based concept
- - Aggressive design, all-wheel drive and 250 horsepower make for a weekend driver’s dream
MONTREAL, Jan. 17, 2013 – Today Kia Canada Inc. took the wraps off of the track-inspired Track’ster concept vehicle for its Canadian premier at the Montreal Auto Show – a region which has a strong automotive enthusiast following. The performance-oriented three-door Soul coupe concept hints at what could possibly be the future design language of Kia’s popular Soul Urban Utility Vehicle, a redesign to be launched later this year.
“The idea was to make the Track’ster tough looking, like a bulldog,” explained Tom Kearns, chief designer for Kia Motors America, leading the charge for the concept’s development. “But the car had to be approachable as well. We wanted to base the car in reality so people instantly knew it was a Soul, but with a lot of attitude. It had to be a bold interpretation that would change people’s conceptions of what a sporty Kia Soul could be.”
Striking Exterior Design:
The Track’ster displays an energized attitude, beginning with its eye-catching Whiteout and Inferno Orange exterior paint. The orange paint acts as a contrast on the white, accentuating the sportiness of the Track’ster as the shadows of the white paint draw out the aggressive nature of the concept. Lightweight carbon fibre surrounds Kia’s signature grille, incorporating yet another aspect directly related to racing into the exterior appeal. Integrated headlights, featuring compelling LEDs pronounce the race presence strongly from the front, as do the billet aluminum surrounded LED round fog lights, which play off the trapezoidal features found throughout the concept. Embraced between the fog lights is an oversized lower intake grille, capable of cooling the engine bay even under the most grueling driving conditions. The menacing front end is completed with a lower valance, trimmed in carbon fibre and Inferno Orange paint, riding just inches off the ground.
Aggressive front fender flares with custom HRE-K1 monoblock billet performance wheels tucked beneath each corner. The wheels are wrapped in 245/40-19-inch front and massive 285/35-19-inch rear Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 high-performance tires. The wheelbase on the concept is stretched to 2,570 mm, 20 mm more than the production Soul. As expected on a vehicle with the Track'ster's performance intentions, large 355 mm Brembo vented and cross-drilled disc brakes are embraced by six-piston calipers in the front and 345 mm discs are paired with four-piston calipers at the rear.
The Soul’s iconic angled roof carries forward on the Track’ster, however, on closer inspection Soul fans will notice that the concept has gone way with the rear doors. The front doors have been extended and decked with billet push-style handles, echoing the other billet aluminum finishes on the exterior. Similar in style to the lower front valance with Inferno Orange accenting, carbon fibre lower side valances incorporate functional rear-brake cooling ducts.
Spirited Powertrain: With a look and name such as Track’ster, it is clear that performance is the concept vehicles top priority. A 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-4 engine pumps out 250 horsepower to the pavement, a 66 per cent increase over a production Soul. An electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system connects the power to the road, while a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission, fitted with a racing inspired spherical shift lever gives the driver ultimate control. The Track’ster is lowered on sport suspension tuned specifically for track performance.
Opening the driver’s door reveals details that continue from the exterior into the light and airy interior. The Inferno Orange colour finds itself on the deeply bolstered suede-covered racing seats. Granite Gray leather surrounds the entire interior landscape, providing a feeling of strength and stability. Granite Gray suede wraps the sport steering wheel and door panels as well. The instrument cluster glows in a deep red, housing the primary information in a large and easily readable manner. Auxiliary vehicle information is found atop the centre dash panel, while navigation, entertainment and HVAC controls are accessed through a large touch-screen located above the push-button Start/Stop.
Behind the front seats is where the Track'ster takes a leap away from Soul similarities. The rear seats have been removed and replaced with a fully integrated equipment tray and spare-tire well. Large paneled bins stow racing gear such as helmets, suits, gloves and tools while emergency supplies are housed within a separate and highly visible Inferno Orange container. A custom rear strut brace incorporates a quick-release handle to allow for fast wheel changes.
The Kia Track’ster will be on display at Kia Canada’s Montreal International Auto Show pavilion from January 18 – 27, 2013, at the Palais des congrès de Montrèal, level 7.
Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca – www.facebook.com/kiacanada) a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) which was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality, class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 180 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 161 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada, with an all-new state-of-the-art facility to open in Montreal shortly. Kia’s brand slogan "The Power to Surprise" represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.