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Old 02-08-2012, 02:58 PM   #1
KC
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Default Kia Track'ster concept is a self-contained 250-hp AWD track star

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/02/08/k...-chicago-2012/

Quote:
It's not like we needed any more reason to like the Soul, but Kia went ahead and debuted the Track'ster concept at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show anyway. The Track'ster is a three-door, all-wheel-drive, 250-hp version of the cute and quirky urban Soul that we hope gets green lights all along its road to production. That's wishful thinking, but follow along to find out why we want the Track'ster made so badly.

The Track'ster eschews a back seat in favor of a "fully integrated equipment tray and spare-tire well."
To date, the Soul has been anything but a performance machine. The Track'ster changes that in a big way by eschewing not only a pair of doors, but also the back seat in favor of what Kia describes as a "fully integrated equipment tray and spare-tire well." This tray is designed to house helmets, race suits, gloves, tools and all the accoutrement that goes with being a serious track rat.

The idea for the Track'ster is to run what your brung, so while the car itself carries everything you need to race, it also needs to move with enough hustle that you're not embarrassed behind the wheel. To that end, Kia has fitted the concept with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 250 horsepower that gets dissected by a six-speed short throw manual transmission and further divided among all four 19-inch wheels by an all-wheel-drive system.

Despite the lack of rear doors, the Track'ster sports a wheelbase nearly an inch longer than the Soul and a 75.5-inch rear track that stretches nearly five inches wider. Likewise, its braking system is also extra strength with 14-inch Brembos clamped by six-piston calipers up front and 13.6-inch discs with four-piston calipers in back. Of course, the interior has also been done up for concept duty, but not so much that it's outside the realm of possibility.

The Track'ster is one of those concepts that occupies a space just near enough reality that we believe it, or something like it, could be be produced if the proletariat buying regular old Souls screamed loudly enough. Let us just say, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Related GalleryKia Track'ster Concept: Chicago 2012Show full PR text
KIA DREAMS BIG WITH TRACK'STER CONCEPT CAR UNVEIL AT 2012 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW

Performance Concept Kick Starts Driving Enthusiasts' Hearts

World debut of high-performance Soul-based concept

Aggressive design, all-wheel drive and 250 horsepower make for a driver's dream


CHICAGO, February 8, 2012 What happens when a dream becomes reality? In the case of the Kia Track'ster concept unveiled at today's Chicago Auto Show, car enthusiasts begin to salivate. Amid the driving rhythm of heavy-metal music, smoke and blinding lights, Kia Motors America (KMA) took the wraps off a performance-oriented three-door Soul coupe concept that hints at what could possibly be the future of Kia's wildly successful Soul.

"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."

Mission accomplished.

The bold attitude Kearns refers to starts with the eye-catching Whiteout and Inferno Orange paint scheme. While the white portrays complex layers and shades that contribute to dramatic depth, the orange is perfectly suited for racing. Kia's signature grille features an air intake slit and is trimmed in lightweight carbon fiber. Smoothly integrated head lights 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.

Most striking up front is the Track'ster's lower intake grille. Flanked by immense LED driving lights with billet aluminum surrounds, the Track'ster is capable of swallowing prodigious amounts of air to keep the engine running cool even under the most grueling conditions. The lower valance, trimmed in carbon fiber and accented with Inferno Orange, rides just inches off the ground and lends to the car's menacing stance.

The Track'ster is not just another pretty face; it has a body to match. Sculpted surfaces seem to flow into each other naturally. The flanks are smooth but accented with well-defined wheel enclosures. Tucked beneath the Track'ster's hips are custom HRE-K1 monoblock billet performance wheels that were a joint effort of Kia's California design team and HRE. The wheels are wrapped in 245/40-19-inch front and massive 285/35-19-inch rear Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 high-performance tires. The wheelbase on the concept is stretched to 101.2 inches, almost an inch longer than the production Soul. As expected on a car with the Track'ster's performance intentions, large 14-inch Brembo vented and cross-drilled disc brakes are embraced by six-piston calipers in front and 13.6-inch discs are paired with four-piston calipers at the rear.

Soul fans will instantly recognize the Track'ster's angled roof, accented with Inferno Orange. Closer inspection reveals this concept, while Soul inspired, is missing the production car's rear doors. The front doors have been lengthened and adorned with smooth billet push-style handles which echo the racing-inspired billet fuel filler door. Carbon fiber lower side valances also are accented in Inferno Orange and incorporate functional rear-brake cooling ducts. The back hatch incorporates a horizontal Inferno Orange "backpack" panel that accentuates the Track'ster's 75.5-inch width, which is more than five inches wider than a production Soul.

With performance as the top priority, the Track'ster rolls into Chicago with a concept drivetrain sure to kick start any driving enthusiast's heart. KMA's design team dreamed big, but also kept their vision firmly rooted in reality. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumps 250 horsepower to the pavement, a 66 percent increase over that of the production Soul. Power is routed to all four wheels via an electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system. The short-throw six-speed manual transmission is capped with a stubby spherical shift lever. The Track'ster rides on a lowered sport suspension tuned for track performance.

Opening the driver's door reveals a light and airy interior highlighted with deeply bolstered Inferno Orange suede-covered racing seats. Granite Gray leather envelopes the interior landscape and imparts a feeling of strength and stability. Granite Gray suede wraps the sport steering wheel and door panels. Located deep within red-glowing nacelles, the primary instruments are large and easily readable. Auxiliary vehicle information such as oil temperature and battery voltage is found atop the dash panel while navigation, entertainment and HVAC controls are accessed through a large touch-screen panel located just above the engine Start/Stop push-button.

Behind the front seats is where Track'ster takes a significant step away from its Soul stable mate. The rear seats have been removed and replaced with a fully integrated equipment tray and spare-tire well. "We saw the Track'ster as a performance-inspired concept that could spend time on the road and racetrack," said Kearns. "The idea was to make the tools and equipment necessary to keep the car performing in top condition easily accessible." Large paneled bins stow racing gear such as helmets, suits, gloves and tools while emergency supplies are housed within a separate and highly visible Inferno Orange container. A custom rear strut brace incorporates a quick-release handle to allow for fast wheel changes.

While there are no current plans to produce the Track'ster, Kia's California design center team enthusiastically took on the project. "Concept cars are icing on the cake," said Kearns. "They allow KMA's design team to dream about what could be. Whether that dream becomes a reality or not is a separate question."

Kia's Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is the one of the world's fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America's full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality and the industry's highest brand loyalty ranking. Kia's U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia KMMG is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds the company's two best-selling vehicles in the U.S. the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan. Kia's value and technology-laden 2012 model year lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.

About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.

Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.


Ohhh Sooo cool. I see the hampsters have been busy!

I like it. A lot.

--kC
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:45 PM   #2
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No car, no care. We have enough mini wanna-be's.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:42 PM   #3
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This drivetrain is nice... but it should be in a Forte Koup, as a good AWD street car.

And if they want the Koup to be more utility friendly, it should have been a 3-door fastback.

I have no idea why someone would choose that body style as a race car, especially when the flip side of the company has a Genesis 2.0T R-Spec, that has more horsepower this year out of that same engine, and drives the rear wheels through a manual gearbox... like an affordable race car should, short of being mid-engined.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #4
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Light weight AWD turbo subcompact. Sounds like a good combination.

This is different from the Koup and Genesis coupe. Perfect for rally and cup car racing.

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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
This drivetrain is nice... but it should be in a Forte Koup, as a good AWD street car.

And if they want the Koup to be more utility friendly, it should have been a 3-door fastback.

I have no idea why someone would choose that body style as a race car, especially when the flip side of the company has a Genesis 2.0T R-Spec, that has more horsepower this year out of that same engine, and drives the rear wheels through a manual gearbox... like an affordable race car should, short of being mid-engined.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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Sound pretty darn cool. Don't even mind the looks. Bring it Kia!
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:20 PM   #6
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Light weight AWD turbo subcompact. Sounds like a good combination.

This is different from the Koup and Genesis coupe. Perfect for rally and cup car racing.
A: not that different from the Koup, chassis-wise, and how is a bulkier, less aerodynamic body "perfect"? It is an aesthetic choice, not a performance-oriented choice. Sleeker is better, both for frontal and trailing aerodynamic drag, as well as lowering center of gravity, and minimizing the amount of material to make the bodywork.

Not even sure why rally racing needs bulky cars. Lancia Stratos and Ford RS200 were not bulky, boxy body styles.

B: Of course Genesis is different, it is properly better for most forms of tarmac racing, as it is rear-drive, which is complimentary with weight transfer, as well as the chassis being better balanced.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:24 PM   #7
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I think it looks great. Aggressive yet poised.


And awd with that power is very intriguing.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:12 AM   #8
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Its different and I sure as hell dig it!
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
A: not that different from the Koup, chassis-wise, and how is a bulkier, less aerodynamic body "perfect"? It is an aesthetic choice, not a performance-oriented choice. Sleeker is better, both for frontal and trailing aerodynamic drag, as well as lowering center of gravity, and minimizing the amount of material to make the bodywork.

Not even sure why rally racing needs bulky cars. Lancia Stratos and Ford RS200 were not bulky, boxy body styles.

B: Of course Genesis is different, it is properly better for most forms of tarmac racing, as it is rear-drive, which is complimentary with weight transfer, as well as the chassis being better balanced.
Can you fit 4 tires, a helmet,a jack an tools in a genesis coupe. This car is FAR more realistic for a daily driver AND track rat. It is FAR lighter, and most likely, FAR cheaper than a Gen coupe.

Hip, buddy, you really just need to go find yourself a winning lottery ticket, because outside of an Audi RS5, or an older RS200 Ford, you are going to have a hell of a time finding quality styling, AWD, coupe combination. This car provides 90% of what you have been asking for for the past 17 skillion posts. BE HAPPY
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:06 AM   #10
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Please stop quoting Hip in any thread. I think he may be the most ignored for NASIOC users.

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Old 02-09-2012, 10:14 AM   #11
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Hey, Hip is okay by me, I do not always agree with him, but I do not always agree with a lot of people. He certainly has his unique style. He uses mostly good punctuation, and he is consistent. There are far worse crimes.

I will refrain from quoting entire posts though, I admit that is lazy on my part.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:19 AM   #12
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I hope they bring this, I great a great employee discount.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:27 AM   #13
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We need more AWD turbo platforms, especially in the sub 30k range... BRING IT!

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Old 02-09-2012, 11:03 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
B: Of course Genesis is different, it is properly better for most forms of tarmac racing, as it is rear-drive, which is complimentary with weight transfer, as well as the chassis being better balanced.
Good grief, now you're arguing *for* a rwd coupe over awd? There is nothing obtainable that will please you.

Genesis Coupe weighs around 3300# for the four cylinder, Soul appears to be 2600#. Even with awd and a bigger engine the Trackster would be hard pressed to weigh more than 3000#, probably much less.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:06 PM   #15
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Please stop quoting Hip in any thread. I think he may be the most ignored for NASIOC users.

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Old 02-09-2012, 12:44 PM   #16
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Me rikey. Lose the fancy storage bin (make it an option) & drop in a backseat. Swap the show-car brembos with ones from the Genesis Track model, 17/18 inch wheels, conventional HVAC controls, base price it under $25k, and you've got a winner.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:02 PM   #17
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Too bad their probably not gonna make it.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:11 PM   #18
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Does anybody else here think this is just a concept to introduce a new drivetrain option for the Soul?

Does anybody else here think HTBS needs to find himself an Ur-Quattro?

I'm guessing the Soul is in need of an injection of something. Like the Scion xB I think it may be hitting an unforeseen older demographic. My sample size is very small however, as one of my oldest uncles (age 75) just bought one to serve basically as an around-town car. I'll be interested to hear what he thinks of it.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:24 PM   #19
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1) that's ugly
2)if you are going to name something "track star" it'd better
look like a sports car not a wagon.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:12 PM   #20
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I dig it. It's like the Juke, but with a more usable cargo area.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowphun View Post
Good grief, now you're arguing *for* a rwd coupe over awd? There is nothing obtainable that will please you.

Genesis Coupe weighs around 3300# for the four cylinder, Soul appears to be 2600#. Even with awd and a bigger engine the Trackster would be hard pressed to weigh more than 3000#, probably much less.
Don't read completely, do you?

I said that this drivetrain makes for a better street car, even though I would prefer this drivetrain in a Koup.

for a ****RACE CAR****

Did you get that? a RACE CAR?, which this is being touted as...

Then RWD makes more sense, and a body other than a square crate.

Evidently to qualify to comment around here, people have to completely and absolutely ignore context, and take people's comments completely out of context.

I know that I am purported to hate the BRZ, when I continually repeat that I do NOT hate it...

But get this, this will throw you for a loop...

*** BRZ, GT 86, and FRS ARE INHERENTLY MUCH BETTER TRACK CARS THAN THIS THING COULD EVER HOPE TO BE.

And this Trackster thing, with proper snow-rated tires, would be better on a public road, in the snow, with it's AWD, even FWD-based AWD.

Reconcile that. If you've read my comments for what they are, you would see that as completely consistent.

Last edited by HipToBeSquare; 02-09-2012 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:01 PM   #22
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Does anybody else here think this is just a concept to introduce a new drivetrain option for the Soul?
It is already mostly the drivetrain from a Sportage, I think there might be a 6MT+AWD drivetrain option on the Sportage SX Turbo, if you want a mini CUV body style. There was an article on Autoblog about it just before the SX Turbo Sportage version came online, but I am not clear if the 6MT part made the cut. It is at least available combining 260hp Turbo, with AWD, which is more power than Forester offers.

Quote:
Does anybody else here think HTBS needs to find himself an Ur-Quattro?
I already have a 20 year old japanese AWD coupe to support, I am not sure I want the expense of supporting a 30 year old german AWD coupe.

I am looking for the *next* effort to build that sort of car, new, and with a warranty. Obviously it hasn't been built recently, that I could buy one barely used, and still in production for spare parts.

But I have been clamoring for Audi to build the Quattro Sport Concept as a 3-door coupe companion to the A4 2.0t, with similar specification, and VW -R model 260+ horsepower tune on the engine.

Quote:
I'm guessing the Soul is in need of an injection of something. Like the Scion xB I think it may be hitting an unforeseen older demographic. My sample size is very small however, as one of my oldest uncles (age 75) just bought one to serve basically as an around-town car. I'll be interested to hear what he thinks of it.
Perhaps, but Mini is bringing out a Paceman version of the Countryman, and Land Rover Evoque has a 3 and 5 door body choice.

Chances are, this is previewing a 3-door version of the boxy Soul, to further go against Scion's boxes, and others like Paceman, and far less expensive than Evoque.

Who knows whether or not a 3 door Soul version would be similarly drivetrain-equipped with turbo, manual, and AWD.

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Old 02-09-2012, 03:31 PM   #23
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+1

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+1 These threads just got much easier to read.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:10 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
It is already mostly the drivetrain from a Sportage, I think there might be a 6MT+AWD drivetrain option on the Sportage SX Turbo, if you want a mini CUV body style. There was an article on Autoblog about it just before the SX Turbo Sportage version came online, but I am not clear if the 6MT part made the cut. It is at least available combining 260hp Turbo, with AWD, which is more power than Forester offers.
I forget who here made the move to the Sportage SX; they seem to like it and it does seem to trump FXT on almost all levels. Subjectively it looks to have less cargo room behind the rear seats; can anyone confirm?


Quote:
I already have a 20 year old japanese AWD coupe to support, I am not sure I want the expense of supporting a 30 year old german AWD coupe.
Did not realize that; your posts made me think you might enjoy an Ur-Quattro.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:53 PM   #25
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GodWhomisMike is the one who went from Legacy GT -> Forester -> Sportage SX.

I don't know the numbers, but Forester does look like a bigger vehicle, with a longer rear overhang, I would agree with your impression.

I have an SVX LS-L.

I would really enjoy an Audi S2...


...but I am getting a little tired of dealing with cars that are so absolutely rare, and so far out of production, while trying to keep it as a main-use car, especially in the cold of winter, when the AWD earns it's keep. If something bad were to happen, it would be an automatic total loss, as they are more expensive to significantly repair than they are worth in resale value.

As a pristine classic car, maybe worth a bit more... but why not have a dedicated RWD, gorgeous sports car as a pampered sunny day classic? I might as well have an FD RX7, or a british roadster... etc, for a garage queen.
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