hp per liter
(from Kia Press
Release) KIA DREAMS BIG WITH TRACK'STER CONCEPT CAR UNVEIL AT
2012 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
Concept Kick Starts Driving Enthusiasts' Hearts
• World debut of high-performance Soul-based concept
• Aggressive design, all-wheel drive and 250 horsepower make for
a driver's dream
CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2012 -
What happens when a dream becomes reality? In the case of the Kia
Track'ster concept unveiled at today's Chicago Auto Show, car
enthusiasts begin to salivate. Amid the driving rhythm of
heavy-metal music, smoke and blinding lights, Kia Motors America (KMA)
took the wraps off a performance-oriented three-door Soul coupe
concept that hints at what could possibly be the future of Kia's
wildly successful Soul.
"The idea was to make the Track'ster tough looking, like a bulldog,"
said Tom Kearns, chief designer for KMA. "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 could be."
The bold attitude Kearns
refers to starts with the eye-catching Whiteout and Inferno Orange
paint scheme. While the white portrays complex layers and shades
that contribute to dramatic depth, the orange is perfectly suited
for racing. Kia's signature grille features an air intake slit and
is trimmed in lightweight carbon fiber. Smoothly integrated head
lights sweep back suggestively over the sculpted front-wheel arches.
The deeply recessed lenses echo the trapezoid themes found
throughout the Track'ster and are accented with compelling LEDs.
Most striking up front is the Track'ster's lower intake grille.
Flanked by immense LED driving lights with billet aluminum
surrounds, the Track'ster is capable of swallowing prodigious
amounts of air to keep the engine running cool even under the most
grueling conditions. The lower valance, trimmed in carbon fiber and
accented with Inferno Orange, rides just inches off the ground and
lends to the car's menacing stance.
The Track'ster is not just another pretty face; it has a body to
match. Sculpted surfaces seem to flow into each other naturally. The
flanks are smooth but accented with well-defined wheel enclosures.
Tucked beneath the Track'ster's hips are custom HRE-K1 monoblock
billet performance wheels that were a joint effort of Kia's
California design team and HRE. 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 101.2 inches, almost an inch longer than the production
Soul. As expected on a car with the Track'ster's performance
intentions, large 14-inch Brembo vented and cross-drilled disc
brakes are embraced by six-piston calipers in front and 13.6-inch
discs are paired with four-piston calipers at the rear.
Soul fans will instantly recognize the Track'ster's angled roof,
accented with Inferno Orange. Closer inspection reveals this
concept, while Soul inspired, is missing the production car's rear
doors. The front doors have been lengthened and adorned with smooth
billet push-style handles which echo the racing-inspired billet fuel
filler door. Carbon fiber lower side valances are also accented in
Inferno Orange and incorporate functional rear-brake cooling ducts.
The back hatch incorporates a horizontal Inferno Orange "backpack"
panel that accentuates the Track'ster's 75.5-inch width, which is
more than 5-inches wider than a production Soul.
With performance as the top priority, the Track'ster rolls into
Chicago with a concept drivetrain sure to kick start any driving
enthusiast's heart. KMA's design team dreamed big, but also kept
their vision firmly rooted in reality. A 2.0-liter turbocharged
inline-4 engine pumps 250 horsepower to the pavement, a 66 percent
increase over that of the production Soul. Power is routed to all
four wheels via an electronically controlled four-wheel-drive
system. The short-throw six-speed manual transmission is capped with
a stubby spherical shift lever. The Track'ster rides on a lowered
sport suspension tuned for track performance.
Opening the driver's door reveals a light and airy interior
highlighted with deeply bolstered Inferno Orange suede-covered
racing seats. Granite Gray leather envelopes the interior landscape
and imparts a feeling of strength and stability. Granite Gray suede
wraps the sport steering wheel and door panels. Located deep within
red-glowing nacelles, the primary instruments are large and easily
readable. Auxiliary vehicle information such as oil temperature and
battery voltage is found atop the dash panel while navigation,
entertainment and HVAC controls are accessed through a large
touch-screen panel located just above the engine Start/Stop
Behind the front seats is where Track'ster takes a significant step
away from its Soul stable mate. The rear seats have been removed and
replaced with a fully integrated equipment tray and spare-tire well.
"We saw the Track'ster as a performance-inspired concept that could
spend time on the road and racetrack," said Kearns. "The idea was to
make the tools and equipment necessary to keep the car performing in
top condition easily accessible." 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.
While there are no current plans to produce the Track'ster, Kia's
California design center team enthusiastically took on the project.
"Concept cars are icing on the cake," said Kearns. "They allow KMA's
design team to dream about what could be. Whether that dream becomes
a reality or not is a separate question."
Kia's Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is the one of
the world's fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011
Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker,
and under the guidance of chief design officer, Peter Schreyer,
earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia
Motors America's full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars
and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased
consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In
2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth,
thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in
perceived quality1 and the industry's highest brand loyalty
ranking2. Kia's U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point,
Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000
plant and supplier jobs and builds the company's two best-selling
vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan3.
Kia's value and technology-laden 2012 model year lineup also
includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle,
Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback,
Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio5-door sub-compacts
and Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is
the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based
in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles
through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and
serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2011, KMA
recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the
fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue
its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design
innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new
Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is
available at its website – www.kia.com. For media information,
including photography, visit
1 Source: Automotive
Lease Guide Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study
2 Source: Experian Automotive Q2 2011 market analysis
3 Optima Hybrid is not built at KMMG