Friday 10 February 2012

Road - Kia on track?

Better known for its range of staid, unexciting, practical family saloons and runabouts and its 7 year warranty, than for its film star pin-up good looks, Kia has dropped its sensible pants and revealed its turbocharged knickers.

For the Chicago Auto Show, Kia charged its Calfornia Design Studio to come up with this take on the chunky Kia Soul, the Kia Track’ster, and doesn’t it look good?

Fortunately, it’s more than styling exercise. Under the hood, or should that be the bonnet, is a 2 litre, four cylinder turbo motor with 250 bhp, with a 6 speed ‘box and four wheel drive. At each front corner of the slightly stretched wheelbase (by one inch!) is a 245/40-19-inch wheel, while at the rear a pair of massive 285/35-19-inch wheels, all fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s have been tucked under the wildly flared arches. This makes the car five inches wider than the standard machine!

Inside the wheel rims are a set of 14-inch Brembo vented and cross-drilled discs up front with six-pot callipers and 13.6-inch discs with four-piston callipers at the rear, and it all sits hunkered down on lower suspension.

Naturally, the interior has benefitted from a bit of Californian over-exuberance with suede, leather, plastic and neon.

There are no rear seats, just a toolbox and spare-wheel as befits a car designed for track day use. 

The bad news is, there are no current plans to produce the Track’ster, but if the enthusiastic American public feedback is any indication, then KMA’s design team has whispered - whether that dream becomes a reality or not is a separate question!

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