Kia is bringing the beach to the 2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on a cold Detroit winter day. Introducing the Kia Soul'ster open-air concept, a pick-up style variation of the imminent Kia Soul urban crossover.
Soul'ster is a two-door concept with roadster roots. Along with a brightly colored "Sour yellow" finish, the Soul'ster projects a hip industrial look, reminiscent of a rivet design found on a fighter jet. The windshield is shortened for a sportier and hunkered down appearance, while a two-piece top enables passengers to expose the front and back seating areas independently.
"Soul'ster delivers something new, intriguing and relevant to today's buyers - a fun, affordable convertible for active people who like to share good times with friends," said Tom Kearns, Kia Motors America chief designer.
Lighting is an important theme - there's an amber glow under the headlamps, and the side vents, side-mirror indicators, unique LED headlamps and tail lamps incorporate blue shades.
Once inside, the Soul'ster features a variation on the Soul's seating arrangement, adding even more space and versatility. It can accomodate four adult plus luggage with ease.
A number of engine options can be used with the Soul'ster, including 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol units with 120bhp and 140bhp respectively, but the 1.6-litre turbodiesel is bound to be the biggest hit with UK buyers.
However, the Soul'ster remains just a design for the time being - designed to drum up interest in the Soul, which goes on sale later in 2009.