Concept: KIA Track’ster Aims To Toughen-Up The Brand

Kia has officially released their latest apostrophe-based vehicular concept at the Chicago Motor Show and aside from the questionable name given, one begs to understand the marketing ‘attempt’ with this new Soul-based Track’ster that looks as if its been to the gym and ingested a few too many power pellets…

Obviously, this is another one of Kia’s grand marketing gestures to connect with the more youthful and ‘street-savvy’ end of the market – y’know, bein’ hip with the aim “to make the Track’ster tough looking, like a bulldog”, according to Kia’s American design boss, Tom Kearns. Generous amounts of Apple iPod/Touch, new-age linking and general ‘nowness’ being applied to this hunkered down, brutish looking creation as well… Dare I say it looks kinda cool though…?

Where the slight confusion lies is within the concept’s boasts of being a Trackday car, further implemented by Kia’s claim that the Inferno Orange highlights of the paint are ‘perfectly suited for racing’… riiiiight they are – thank you, grabbing-at-straws American marketing department. Yet, to add to the confusion, the Track’ster (enough with the apostrophe’s..!!) comes with storage bins for helmets and a quick-release strut-brace to access the spare-wheel. It definitely leads one to wonder what sort of racetracks Kia believes actually exist out in the real world…

On the mechanical front, power comes from a 2.0L turbocharged engine churning out 250 bhp – quite a step-up from their usual game, but then that’s the whole point of this car. It’s an eye-candy spectacle aimed at stirring-up the youthful  imagination and awareness of the Kia brand in the United States, hence the ‘pumped-up and tough’ look and lines…

Like the Toyota-bred Scion brand in the US, Kia hopes to attract the modifying/tuning crowd with its concept creations and subsequent road cars. If the Track’ster concept is anything to go on, methinks they’re onto something that just might click with their targeted audience.

-Blake J.

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