Illustration for article titled Kia Trackster Concept: A 250-hp AWD Kimchi-Flavored Hatch

It's uncommon for a concept to transcend its sketches, but the Kia Track'ster Concept is that rare vehicle. Based on the Kia Soul, this hot hatch ticks all our boxes with all-wheel-drive, a six-speed transmission, and a 250-hp turbocharged four-banger underhood. If you build it, we will come.


Aesthetically, Kia manages to do outdo expectations with a sleeker interpretation of the Soul's tall-box design in three-door form. The nose borrows a lot from the current Soul with a dash of the Kia Rio hatch, but adds a pair of massive LED driving lights to the lower grille for a distinguished presence.


The two-tone roof/rocker panel treatment is reminiscent of the obviously comparable Mini Cooper, but with a sloping roofline and now typically Kia verve that sets it apart. The scoop aft of the detail is a bit much, but does make the fender flare appear more prominent.

Inside, the sporty theme carries over with racing-style seats and a removed back seat. Who needs a backseat anyways? Instead, there's a bin for holding spare tires and other racing gear. The rear strut brace even has a quick release handle for aid with quick wheel canoes.

Our favorite feature is the drivetrain, which eschews the shitty futuro-hyrbid crap for a plausible 250-hp version of the Kia 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with a short-throw six-speed manual. That's a 66% increase over the real Soul. And rather than put all that power down only through the front, an electronically-controlled all-wheel-drive system does the work.

Don't get too excited. We've been through this with Kia's apostrophized concepts before and we still don't have the topless trucklet we so desire. There's no production-intent for this vehicle, but what you see here is certainly a preview of a future Soul and possibly a three-door version.


If it does happen we'll almost certainly love it. How could you not?

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