Kia Motors America details its open-air, outdoor-oriented Soul‚Äôster concept car ahead of its debut Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The concept, based on the ‚Äô10 Soul production cross/utility vehicle going on sale in the U.S. this spring, features design details such as bright ‚ÄúSoul‚Äôr‚ÄĚ yellow paint and screw borders similar to rivets on fighter jets.
The concept also sports a 2-piece roof, which allows the front and back seating areas to be opened independent of one another, ‚Äúusing elbow-grease technology,‚ÄĚ KMA says in a statement.
‚Äú(The) Soul‚Äôster delivers something new, intriguing and relevant to today‚Äôs buyers ‚Äď a fun, affordable convertible for active people who like to share good times with friends,‚ÄĚ says Tom Kearns, KMA‚Äôs chief designer.
While the production Soul will have four doors, the Soul‚Äôster is designed with two. It also has 19-in. wheels, compared with the Soul‚Äôs 16-in. standard issue.
Particular attention has been paid to the Soul‚Äôster‚Äôs exterior lighting, with blue-hued light-emitting diode headlamps accented with an amber glow. The side vents, side-mirror turn signals and fog and taillamps also are blue in color.
From the front, Kia describes the Soul‚Äôster as having ‚Äútough‚ÄĚ features, such as an anodized skid-pad insert that coordinates with the fender vents, roll-bar header and wheels.
Dual chrome exhaust pipes with polished aluminum tips and carbon-fiber interior sleeves are featured in the rear of the Soul‚Äôster.
Inside, there is seating for four vs. the production Soul‚Äôs 5-passenger layout. The loss of the fifth seat lends ‚Äúspacious versatility for long summer weekends,‚ÄĚ KMA says.
The front passenger and rear seats fold flat for cargo hauling. They are not mounted to the floor but cantilevered, providing the illusion of being suspended in space when viewed from the vehicle‚Äôs side.
Kia envisions the Soul‚Äôster offering a variety of engine options, from a 1.6L 4-cyl. making 120 hp to the Soul‚Äôs 2.0L 4-cyl. that kicks out 140 hp.
Overseas, a second 1.6L engine producing 124 hp or a 1.6L turbodiesel may be the more likely powertrain choices for the Soul‚Äôster, KMA says.
The Soul‚Äôster is the latest in a series of Soul concepts, following the Soul Burner, Soul Diva and Soul Searcher, all of which debuted at last year‚Äôs Geneva auto show. The Soul Hybrid was unveiled at last October‚Äôs Paris show.
Meanwhile, KMA announces the production Soul will be priced just below $14,000, including $695 destination and handling charges. A fully loaded Soul should top out at less than $20,000.