The long-anticipated and talked-about Kia Soul'ster, a top-down concept based on the Soul, has made its appearance at the NAIAS in Detroit. The Soul'ster is an economical front-drive concept, a version of the Soul production model which was introduced last year at the LA Auto Show. The Kia Soul'ster is a two-door concept with a roadster foundation that comes with a lowered windshield for a more sporty and hunkered down appearance.
A two-piece roof gives the passengers the option of exposing either the front or the rear seating sections individually or both. The roll bars serve both as a slider for the detachable roof and for protection (which is absent from most standard convertibles).
The front end of the Soul'ster is unique with its refined but tough features which comes from details such as its anodized skid-pad insert which goes with the design scheme of the wheels, fender vents, and roll bar header. Headlights provide an amber glow while the side vents and signal lights in the side-mirrors, LED headlights, fog and taillights include blue shades.
The uniquely dynamic overall appearance is carried from the front bumper to the dual chrome exhaust and polished aluminum exhaust tips that comes with carbon-fiber inside sleeves. The Soul'ster's appearance is completed by the big 19-inch five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels making the Soul'ster a nice-looking vehicle from any angle!
The interior of the Soul'ster features improvements from the Soul which consist of the latest 4-passenger seating arrangement, providing more space for luggage for extended weekend vacations.
Other key features include passenger and rear seats that can be folded flat, cranked up windows plus audio speakers that are built into the dash. The cornered design format is boosted by the non-floor-mounted cantilevered seats giving the illusion of being suspended in space which actually offers more legroom for rear passengers while the fold-flat rear seats give more cargo space beneath it.
More cargo space could be found at the rear and under the cargo hold section. The Soul'ster comes with different engine configurations for a variety of needs. Available are a 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder powerplant joined to a 5-speed manual gearbox, that generates about 120hp; a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder powerplant with either 5-speed manual or a 4-speed auto transmission, generating about 140hp. Both engines are rated 30mpg plus; and also a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder powerplant with 124hp or a 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine.