Expect the next Soul to look something like the Track'ster, with Kia deploying more than one variant.

Kia's Track'ster Concept is one of the big hits of the Chicago Auto Show, one of the rare concepts that just screams, "Build me!" But after a thorough interrogation of Kia's PR team and an interview with design chief Peter Schreyer, we realize that's just wishful thinking. We do, however, expect the next Soul to look something like the Track'ster, with Kia deploying more than one variant when the second generation appears in a few years.

"If the Soul were to evolve into a family, it would be nice," Schreyer told us.

Kia spokesman Scott McKee repeatedly said the Track'ster was just a concept and not intended to be production feasible, all the while issuing the standard auto company disclaimer, "Every concept car we do is about gathering information from consumers and media."

One of the big pieces of information Kia is likely looking for is whether performance cars from Kia would play with the notoriously cliquish enthusiast community. Even more importantly, however, Kia will be gauging interest in additional body styles for the Soul. Schreyer said he thinks the Soul would be "more substantial" if it were also offered in a two-door version, or in a more performance-oriented flavor. All-wheel drive is a feature Schreyer also specifically mentioned as being on his wish list.

"In a positive way, the Soul is like the black sheep of the family."

The Track'ster concept uses a production Soul body, but the vehicle's all-wheel-drive system is a one-off unit built just for the show car, rather than sourced from another Kia product. That and the ambiguous response we got when asking about what was done to make the turbo 2.0-liter produce 250-horsepower (read: there's not really a 250-horsepower engine under that shiny white hood) point towards the Track'ster being more of a design study than anything else.

Shreyer commented on a few aspects of the Track'ster that he said he'd like to see in the next-generation Soul. These included the blacked-out A-pillar (just like in the current production car); the "softer," more raked roofline; the Track'ster's uphill C-pillar; and the taillights, which he described as being a more modern interpretation of the first-generation Soul.

What we should not expect of the next Soul, however, is for it to resemble the rest of the rapidly evolving Kia lineup. Schreyer was definite in his stance that the Soul will remain an outlier. "In a positive way, the Soul is like the black sheep of the family," he said.


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  • 27 Comments
      Fonin
      • 2 Years Ago
      looks like we could get a 2 door soul out of it though. hello mini fighter?
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 2 Years Ago
      "One of the big pieces of information Kia is likely looking for is whether performance cars from Kia would play with the notoriously cliquish enthusiast community" Not every sporty looking car has to be good on the track or appeal to enthusiasts. You could make some of the econoboxes look cool, without making them any faster or better handling, and some people would complain, but screw them.
        Nick Allain
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ernie Mccracken
        Scion tC.
        stimuls
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ernie Mccracken
        if you can't back up such killer looks with performance....forget it. You would just be another poser.
      ishmaelcrowley
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's a reincarnated Gremlin. A very good looking one though.
      SCOTTM
      • 2 Years Ago
      BUILD IT!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      David S.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Kia, if you want to make us a Suzuki Swift clone, then that is all right by me.
      Siraco
      • 2 Years Ago
      Soul'ster please! I can't be the only person in the world who wants the utility and open-air fun-ness of the Wrangler, doesn't need the off-road capability, $24,000 entry tag, or abysmal gas milage. Build it, and I will buy it!
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love KIA they are still in touch with us youth making desirable vehicles we want even if they are just concepts, not to worried about growing up to fast and start building bland vehicles.
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      BOOOO!...I would totally buy this...
      AnalogJesse
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great looking car. The American market has gotten tons of love from the small car segment in the last few years, and it's only getting better.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      Too bad, would make a nice Golf R competitor.
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