Kia rolled out an oddly styled pickup concept based on its new 2010 Soul compact car back at January’s Detroit Auto Show as way to drum up excitement for the standard hatchback model that went on sale in March. The concept, dubbed the Soul’ster, was never intended to be produced but strong positive responses from attendees at the Detroit event reportedly has Kia’s management now thinking about production.
With young-at-heart buyers’ budgets in mind, the Soul'ster is an economic FWD vehicle that shows the flexibility of the new Soul platform. Along with a brightly colored “Soul’r yellow” paint finish, and a shortened windshield, the concept has a tough but refined character and could easily be marketed as an open-air urban crossover.
U.S. versions of the Soul offer a 140-hp 2.0-liter four, while engine options in other markets include a 124-hp turbodiesel and a smaller four-cylinder engine.
Kia spokesman Alex Fedorak has previously revealed that the response to the concept was so overwhelming that the company decided to reconsider building a production version. Now, reports coming out of South Korea, suggest that the vehicle could be on sale in the U.S. by the first half of next year if given the green light, though there remains no official confirmation from Kia.