The “tall-boy” conceptualisation is nothing new and it is clear that the idea of it has gained popularity over the years. Kia Motors has introduced the Trackster Concept at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show (08-09 Feb 2012) and it is basically a performance orientated car based on the Kia Soul. If you are wondering what a “tall-boy” car is, just take a look at the Toyota bB, Nissan Cube and Kia Soul.
The Kia Soul has a unique design but its power and handling is pretty basic and to dream of a track-inspired one is a rather audacious idea. And bold is what Kia have done to their Trackster Concept.
First of all, performance is the key priority to this concept and the Trackster comes with a conceptual powertrain. It features a 2.0 litre, four cylinder turbocharged engine that generates 250bhp. A sixty-six percent increase over the Kia Soul. Power from the engine are transmitted to all four wheels via an electronically controlled four-wheel drive system. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and the car gets a lowered sports suspension.
If you take a look at the eye-catching white and orange paint work; it is a rather bold colour scheme. While, the white panels offers a dramatic and contrasting effect, the orange ones are pretty much suited for racing. Looking from the front, an air intake slit is included at the company’s signature front grille. Trapezoidal-shaped headlights are smoothly integrated onto the body and accentuated with LEDs. Both headlights and the front grille are trimmed in carbon fibre.
Kia has lowered the front air intake portion which is flanked by LED fog lights. The purpose for lowering that portion is to let the car breathe more amounts of air for the turbocharged engine. Carbon fibre parts surrounds the lower part of the car and parts of it are painted in orange to follow the same colour scheme. Flared wheel arches and a lowered stance gives the car a more aggressive look. By now, you would have already noticed that Kia has removed the rear doors.
Custom made 19 inch HRE-K1 monoblock billet performance wheels are tucked nicely under those huge wheel arches. These wheels are made possible by a joint effort between Kia and HRE. To handle the extra power form the turbocharged engine, Kia has included 14 inch Brembo vented and cross-drilled rotors with six piston callipers for the front and 13.6 inches rotors with four piston callipers at the rear.
Much of the interior follows the car’s exterior colour scheme. The car gets reclining sport seats which are wrapped in grey leather and orange suede. The steering wheel and parts of the door panel are covered in grey suede. Fixed at the top centre part of the dashboard lies a row of gauges for oil temperature and battery voltage. Navigation, entertainment and climate control buttons can be accessed through the large touch screen panel.
The rear seats have been removed and replaced with track-dedicated equipment storage compartments and a spare tire storage area. Equipment like tools, racing helmet, suits and gloves can be stored in the white coloured compartments, while the orange coloured compartments are for emergency supplies. The orange and black coloured custom rear strut bar has a quick release handle for fast wheel changes.
The company has mentioned that there are no current plans to produce the Trackster. But if there is a substantial amount of consumer interest, they might just build it.
Kia has taken one of its distinct looking cars and transformed it into a track-inspired ride. It may not offer huge horsepower like other track-inspired cars but at least Kia is in the right direction of making a youth-orientated car more powerful. This bold concept might change people’s perception about the Korean company. I just hope that this will inspire Kia to make a proper sports car in the future.
Photo credit: Net Car Show
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