Kia Track'ster previews hot hatch

A glimpse of what a Kia hot hatch could look like courtesy of the wildly styled 250bhp Track'ster

Kia has hinted at what a Soul hot hatchback could look like via this strikingly styled Track’ster concept car. ‘Aimed at road and track use’, it made its debut at this week’s 2012 Chicago motor show. And it’s a pretty serious piece of kit, possessing nearly twice the power of the most powerful Soul you can buy in the UK. Its turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder engine boasts a 247bhp output, with an electronic four-wheel-drive system replacing the standard car’s front-drive setup. It’s linked to a short-throw six-speed manual gearbox. There are further changes to harness the significant power climb; the wheelbase is an inch longer than normal while the Track’ster is over five inches wider than a Soul. Larger 19in alloy wheels gain Michelin Pilot Sport rubber (wider at the back than the front!) while there’s uprated brakes, with Brembo vented and cross-drilled discs (355mm diameter/six-piston calipers front, 345mm/four-piston rear). The Track’ster also rides significantly lower than a Soul. It looks suitably potent, too. The back doors have gone and there’s an eye-catching white and orange paint scheme. Aggressive new grilles and those bigger alloys – up three inches on standard – pump the exterior up further while the Soul’s practicality goes out of the window. The rear seats are replaced by a strut brace plus tools and spares for track use. It’s typical concept car fare inside, with lots of garish colours and exciting shapes that would no doubt be diluted for production. There are no plans to put the Track’ster into production, though don’t rule it out. A Kia insider we spoke to would love to see it reach showrooms, while the Track’ster’s press release ends rather cryptically. ‘Concept cars are icing on the cake,’ says Kia America’s design chief Tom 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.’ Fingers firmly crossed, then…

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