Kia rolled out an oddly styled pickup concept based on its new Soul compact car
at last month’s Detroit Auto Show as way to drum up excitement for the regular hatch model which is set to go sale in March. The concept, called the Soul’ster
, was never intended to be produced but strong positive responses from attendees at the Detroit event has got Kia’s management now thinking about production.
Speaking with Automotive News
, Kia spokesman Alex Fedorak said the “response was so overwhelming” that the company has decided that it needs to take a closer look. "It is clearly a vehicle that was built as a concept in a fashion that was production-capable. We have been doing that more and more lately."
With young-at-heart buyers’ budgets in mind, the Soul'ster is an economic FWD vehicle that shows the flexibility of the new Soul platform. Along with a brightly colored “Soul’r yellow” paint finish, and a shortened windshield, the concept has a tough but refined character and could easily be marketed as an open-air urban crossover.
Under its bright yellow hood sits a 120hp 1.6L four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Other possibly engine options include a 140hp 2.0L four-cylinder engine or a 124hp 1.6L turbodiesel.
As for the standard Soul hatch, sales will start on March 1 with pricing starting from $13,995 (including a $695 destination charge).
Kia Soul in U.S. production guise
2009 Kia Soulster Concept