Saturday, January 24, 2009

Detroit Show: Kia's Fun Soulster Pickup Concept

Detroit Show: Kia's Fun Soulster Pickup Concept

One of the most interesting and realistic concept studies at this year's Detroit Show is the Kia Soulster, or as the Korean automaker calls it, the Soul'ster. Derived from the just introduced Soul crossover, the two-door concept blends elements of a mini-pickup and a roadster, in a rather convincing and funky way.

The front-wheel drive four seater features a shortened windshield for a more low-slung appearance as well as a two-piece top that enables passengers to expose the front and back seating areas independently.

Kia Soulster Concept  The tops slide on a black roll bar that extends to the back of the vehicle providing extra protection. Other unique features include the restyled fascia, new LED headlamps and 19-inch, five-spoke aluminum alloys.

Inside, Kia's designers went for a more distinct and rugged look leaving the bare essentials - even the windows are rolled down manually. The non-floor-mounted cantilevered seats can be folded flat if needed while Kia also added storage compartments below each of the rear seats. Furthermore, in addition to the cargo area, dual storage compartments also can be found in the rear and underneath the cargo hold area.

Kia Soulster Concept  If it were to produced -and we can't find a reason why it shouldn't- the Soulster would be available the same powertrain options as its conventional 5-door sibling: a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which produces approximately 120 HP and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine available with either the five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission, producing approximately 140 HP.

 Kia Soulster Concept  Kia Soulster Concept  Kia Soulster Concept  Kia Soulster Concept

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