Kia’s Track’ster Stealing the Show at Chicago

Kia Trackster concept

Now this is one smart and smart-looking concept. It’s based on the Kia Soul, but with 250 hp instead of the standard 164. There are two big problems, however:

1. The company says there are no plans to put it into production. (Then why was it shown at Chicago if not to assess this?) 2. Kia’s marketing people should stop fooling with apostrophes. It is confusing and stupid.

An apostrophe indicates either a possessive (see my title) or that something has been left out. But in fact, what’s been added to the Soul is style and much more power.

The Track’ster brings many welcome changes to the Soul, which I always thought supremely ugly, like a giant stepped on the rear roof. This car looks better, largely because of the rear-end hatch treatment. The Trackster (no apostrophe) is longer and wider with big fender flares, and it’s a coupe, with tools and racing gear behind the seats.

Kia Track'ster concept, rearKia Track'ster concept, interiorThe car was designed at Kia’s California design center and features all-wheel drive, a turbo and a 6-speed manual. Sport suspension, of course, Brembo brakes, all that.

Tom Kearns, the car’s chief designer, noted:

The idea was to make the Track’ster tough looking, like a bulldog. 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 could be.

The interior is very sharp, using grey and orange suede. AutoExpress predicts 0-60 mph times of under 6 seconds and a top speed of 145 mph.

If the company does produce it, which I have no doubt it will, the Track’ster will compete with cars like MINI’s John Cooper Works Hardtop, the Volkswagen Golf R, maybe the FIAT 500 Abarth, or maybe the Subaru WRX STi.

It could be better than any/all of these—if only they would remove that apostrophe.

Would you be interested in a two-seater, pseudo track car like this?

—jgoods

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6 Comments

  1. I would love to get my hand on one of these if they ever came out. With the right aftermarket parts that would be released or a bigger turbo plus tune. This car would do some serious damage on the track,

  2. Probaby by the time it could hit the market it would be dumbed down and priced up. Glimmer fades as prices get into the 30’s. You can get so much more than the latest fad hamstermobile, cheap car tricked up with bolt ons. Wouldn’t you really rather have a nice used XK8?

  3. @jgoods
    If I were to buy a track car, it would be more along the lines of a sports car. A traditional 2-seater built for that purpose, rather than a re-purposed small crossover. The Track’ster simple doesn’t make sense, as a daily driver or as a track car.

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