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Show buzz over concept may bring life to Kia Soul mate

'Automotive News' reports on Kia's plans to produce a truck version of its new Soul model.

Automotive News

The Kia Soul'ster, considered as purely a concept vehicle for last month's Detroit auto show, is now a candidate for production.

The reason, Kia says, is the strong response at the show to the small, stylish, two-door mixture of convertible and pickup. The Soul'ster is based on the tall, boxy 2010 Kia Soul, a front-drive, five-door hatchback aimed at the Scion xB and xD.

"The response was so overwhelming" that Kia decided it needs to take a closer look, said Alex Fedorak, a Kia Motors America spokesman. "It is clearly a vehicle that was built as a concept in a fashion that was production-capable. We have been doing that more and more lately."

The Soul'ster is aimed at young buyers on a limited budget. It was designed by Kia Design Center America, of Irvine, Calif. Tom Kearns was the lead designer, and Mike Torpey drew the initial rendering.

The Soul goes on sale around March 1, with a base price of $13,995, including shipping. The Rio subcompact is the only Kia priced lower.

The Soul'ster's roof covers just the front seats. Rear-seat passengers are covered only by a roll bar. The two rear bucket seats fold flat, providing some of the cargo capacity of a pickup.

(Source: Automotive News)