Kia brightens up Detroit show with Soul’ster concept

Kia brightens up Detroit show with Soul’ster concept

Kia Soulster fq

Kia brought a ray of sunshine to the depressed Detroit Motor Show when it unveiled its new concept car called the Soul’ster. Based on the all-new urban crossover Kia Soul, which will be launched in New Zealand this year, the concept is a fusion of sporty convertible roadster and practical pick-up truck styling.

“It’s brilliant,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand. “The Soul’ster sums up the new Soul range in two words ‘fun’ and ‘funky’. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, coming just ahead of the New Zealand launch of the Soul.”

The Soul’ster provided a bright spot to lighten the serious atmosphere at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show with parts of the industry suffering heavily from the downturn. It’s a prime example of Kia thinking outside the square by taking a simple idea and creating a new statement. Soul’ster contains various elements and styling cues that may be integrated into the company’s future products.

Using the 5-door Soul production vehicle as its base, the Soul’ster has been re-engineered with two doors and the rear passengers appear to be sitting in the pick-up tray. Two large side struts stiffen the body and reinforce the mini-truck look. But unlike any other pick-up, the Soul’ster provides fresh-air motoring with its two-piece top enabling passengers to expose front and back seating areas independently.

The windshield is shortened for a sportier and hunkered down appearance and Soul’ster’s lighting features an amber glow under the headlamps that give it a ‘devilish’ look at night. The side vents, side-mirror turn signals, unique LED headlamps, fog and tail lamps incorporate blue shades.

Inside, the layout echoes some of the fun themes that will be seen in the production Soul, such as the LED lighting around the sound system. Adding to the edgy design scheme, the non-floor-mounted cantilevered seats project the illusion of being suspended in space when viewed from the side allowing for increased rear legroom. Storage compartments below each of the fold-flat rear seats, offer room for cargo. When the rear seats are folded the cargo space resembles that of a pick-up.

According to Tom Kearns, Kia Motors America chief designer: “Soul’ster delivers something new, intriguing and relevant to today’s buyers — a fun, affordable convertible for active people who like to share good times with friends.”

The Soul’ster concept could be powered by any of the three engine options that will be available in the Soul production model — a choice of 1.6-litre and 2.0 petrol engines and a 1.6-litre common rail diesel, mated to either a manual or automatic transmission.

Kia Soulster fq

Kia brought a ray of sunshine to the depressed Detroit Motor Show when it unveiled its new concept car called the Soul’ster. Based on the all-new urban crossover Kia Soul, which will be launched in New Zealand this year, the concept is a fusion of sporty convertible roadster and practical pick-up truck styling.

“It’s brilliant,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand. “The Soul’ster sums up the new Soul range in two words ‘fun’ and ‘funky’. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, coming just ahead of the New Zealand launch of the Soul.”

The Soul’ster provided a bright spot to lighten the serious atmosphere at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show with parts of the industry suffering heavily from the downturn. It’s a prime example of Kia thinking outside the square by taking a simple idea and creating a new statement. Soul’ster contains various elements and styling cues that may be integrated into the company’s future products.

Using the 5-door Soul production vehicle as its base, the Soul’ster has been re-engineered with two doors and the rear passengers appear to be sitting in the pick-up tray. Two large side struts stiffen the body and reinforce the mini-truck look. But unlike any other pick-up, the Soul’ster provides fresh-air motoring with its two-piece top enabling passengers to expose front and back seating areas independently.

The windshield is shortened for a sportier and hunkered down appearance and Soul’ster’s lighting features an amber glow under the headlamps that give it a ‘devilish’ look at night. The side vents, side-mirror turn signals, unique LED headlamps, fog and tail lamps incorporate blue shades.

Inside, the layout echoes some of the fun themes that will be seen in the production Soul, such as the LED lighting around the sound system. Adding to the edgy design scheme, the non-floor-mounted cantilevered seats project the illusion of being suspended in space when viewed from the side allowing for increased rear legroom. Storage compartments below each of the fold-flat rear seats, offer room for cargo. When the rear seats are folded the cargo space resembles that of a pick-up.

According to Tom Kearns, Kia Motors America chief designer: “Soul’ster delivers something new, intriguing and relevant to today’s buyers — a fun, affordable convertible for active people who like to share good times with friends.”

The Soul’ster concept could be powered by any of the three engine options that will be available in the Soul production model — a choice of 1.6-litre and 2.0 petrol engines and a 1.6-litre common rail diesel, mated to either a manual or automatic transmission.

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