Kia

Kia Trail’ster Production, Release, Canada

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Kia Trail’ster review

As one of the world’s biggest carmakers, Kia follows the latest trends in the automotive industry. Therefore, we can see a hybrid version of the popular small crossover, known as Kia Soul. The Soul is one of the company’s most popular crossovers in North America. It offers lots of goodies, starting at a very affordable price. You can also count on punchy optional engines, upscale interior, and quite a spacious cabin. We can’t call it a drawback, but it would be great if there is an AWD version in the offer. Fortunately for us, Kia has presented a new concept car, called the Trail’ster. It is a four-wheel-drive version of the popular crossover. Moreover, it features an interesting hybrid setup.

Kia Trail’ster front view

Kia Trail’ster Design

Although a concept car, the Kia Trail’ster is not a hybrid vehicle designed on purpose. It is heavily based on the production version of the popular Kia Soul and you can easily notice lots of same design characteristics, including an almost identical styling. Of course, there is a couple of distinctive details. this primarily refers to a little bit different body kit, which comes with more under body protections, which seems logical. After all, this is a 4×4 vehicle.  Most car enthusiasts would usually be disappointed to see a concept vehicle with a familiar shape, but the Kia Trail’ster actually comes with lots of interesting details. First of all, it comes with a nice Pearl White finish, as well as with large 19-inch wheels. Also, there are various kinds of accessories, such as a very practical roofrack, on which you can put all kinds of adventure gear and similar things.

Kia Trail’ster side view

Kia Trail’ster Interior

Kia officials made everything perfectly clear. The point of this concept is primarily to present a new hybrid technology. The styling definitely isn’t on focus. So, we are not surprised to see the Kia Trail’ster with the almost identical cabin as the Soul. Two models feature pretty much the same dashboard layout, while some small difference can be noticed on the center console. The reason for such “laziness” is quite simple. The current generation of the Soul is at the end of its production cycle. We are about seeing a completely new model next year, with a completely new design, but it looks like the company didn’t want to show any kind of preview with the new concept. A probable reason is that the new Soul is still in a stage of development where we cant get more details about aesthetics and cabin design.

Kia Trail’ster interior

Kia Trail’ster Powertrain

Finally, a few words about the most important aspect of the Kia Trail’ster. This concept comes with a new hybrid powertrain. The system is based on a familiar 1.6-liter gasoline engine, which is good for 188 horsepower. It comes paired with an electric motor which doesn’t feature some spectacular power (36 hp). On the other side, it provides an additional 100 pound-feet of torque. In practice, this means that you can a max power is available in a much wider RPM range. Also, this means much better mpg ratings, especially in the city and at low speeds, where you can get 25-30 percent better fuel economy compared to gasoline engines. The electro motor gets its power from a small 1.2-kWh battery pack, which will even alloy to drive a couple of miles in all-electric mode as well.

Kia Trail’ster rear view

If one thing is clear about the Kia Trail’ster, that would be its serial production. We have no doubt that this hybrid setup will be available on the market pretty soon. Most likely, we will have to wait to see a new generation of the Soul first, which is coming next year. Also, it is still unknown will the new hybrid model keep the Kia Trail’ster name, or will it be just one of Soul’s versions.

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