Kia Soul'ster concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you've been crossing your fingers for a production version of the Kia Soul'ster concept from the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, prepare to be disappointed. According to a report from Ward's Auto, Kia says that expanding the Soul lineup beyond the current five-door hatch would prove to be more difficult than you might think. Earlier reports stated that Kia was keen to the idea of building an open-top Soul, but changing economic times seem to have crushed those plans.

The Soul has done extremely well for itself since going on sale in early 2009, but since this is a niche vehicle that would only appeal to a very narrow segment of the market, the business case for building new variants doesn't make sense at this time. Kia's director of product planning, Orth Hendrick, tells Ward's that the Soul'ster, specifically, would have to be developed as an all-new model, due to its vast structural differences from the standard Soul.

Come 2012, the Soul will undergo its mid-cycle refresh, and we're expected to see more upscale content, as well as slight changes to both the front and rear fascias. In the meantime, those of you who are super hot for a Soul'ster will just have to scan the local used car lot for a soft-top Isuzu Amigo, instead.

[Source: Ward's Auto]

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