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Kia unveils Trail’ster concept

18 February 2015

Kia has finally taken the wraps off the Trail’ster e-AWD concept at the Chicago Motor Show.

It’s based on the well-known Soul, but it boasts a number of style upgrades to make it look more aggressive and utilitarian.

Kia says the Trail’ster is look at how the Soul would logically evolve into an all-wheel drive version that would be more suited to those who seek adventure over the weekends.

The Trail’ster is powered by a 1,6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It also has an electric all-wheel drive system that has been designed to improve traction in bad weather or off-road situations.

It’s a smart system that would be a first in the segment if it makes it into production. The Trail’ster is hybrid, but the electric motor isn’t coupled to the engine in any way. It’s situated in the rear of the vehicle and only kicks in once it detects that extra traction is needed.

The Trail’ster sits around 6,5cm higher off the ground than the standard Soul and it has uprated shock absorbers to cope with off-road conditions.

It’s quite clear that Kia intends to put an all-wheel drive Soul into production, but whether it will use this hybrid system remains to be seen.