International motor shows aren't just to salivate over luxury cars or check out new vehicles that will be on our roads soon, they're also a place to see what the designers are dreaming up.
Kia will use this week's Australian international motor show in Sydney to reveal its US-designed three-door Track'ster concept coupe that hints at where the next generation Soul is heading.
Most striking up front is the Track'ster's lower intake grille. Flanked by immense LED driving lights with billet aluminium surrounds, the Track'ster is capable of swallowing prodigious amounts of air to keep the engine running cool even under the most gruelling conditions. The lower valance, trimmed in carbon fibre and accented with Inferno Orange, rides just inches off the ground and adds to the car's menacing stance.
The Track'ster has sculpted surfaces that are accented with defined wheel enclosures.
Tucked beneath the Track'ster's hips are custom HRE-K1 monobloc 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 tyres.
The wheelbase on the concept is stretched to 2.570 metres, almost 25.4mm longer than the production Soul.
As expected on a car with the Track'ster's performance intentions, large 356mm Brembo vented and cross-drilled disc brakes are embraced by six-piston calipers in front and 340mm discs are paired with four-piston calipers at the rear.
The Track'ster rolls into Sydney with a 2-litre turbocharged inline-4 engine that pumps 186kW to the pavement, a 66 per cent 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.
While there are no firm plans to produce the Track'ster, Kia's head of designer Peter Schreyer said he harboured strong hopes that the striking concept model could have a production future.