KIA Track'ster Concept

"The idea was to make the Track'ster tough-looking, like a bulldog," said Tom Kearns, chief designer for KMA. "But the car had to be approachable as well. We wanted to base the car in reality so people instantly knew it was a Soul, but with a lot of attitude. It had to be a bold interpretation that would change people's conceptions of what a sporty Kia could be."

Then, amid the driving rhythm of heavy-metal music, smoke and blinding lights, Kia Motors America took the wraps off a performance-oriented three-door Soul coupe concept that hints at what could be the future of Kia's successful Soul.

In a replication of its Super Bowl, er, "Big Game" TV spot, Kia sprinkled "dream dust" over its news conference at the Chicago Auto Show and depicted a man wearing footie pajamas waking to an alarm clock.

And what happens when a dream becomes reality? In the case of the Kia Track'ster concept unveiled in Chicago, the answer -according to media and show-goers alike-was "a very cool car!"  The bold attitude to which Kearns referred starts with the eye-catching whiteout and Inferno Orange paint scheme. While the white portrays complex layers and shades that contributed to dramatic depth, the orange seemed perfectly suited for racing. Kia's signature grille featured an air intake slit trimmed in lightweight carbon fiber. Smoothly integrated headlights sweep back suggestively over the sculpted front-wheel arches. The deeply recessed lenses echo the trapezoid themes found throughout the Track'ster and are accented with compelling LEDs.

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