By Mike Torpey & Brian White
Kia Design Center America
Hello and Happy New Year, Kia-Buzz’ers!
Mike Torpey and Brian White from Kia Design Center America here with you, giving you an exclusive “inside scoop” on the design process behind the exciting Kia Soul’ster concept revealed at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show in January. Just for Kia Buzz’ers! ;)
Retaining all of the confident aggressiveness of the all-new Soul, and built on the same fuel-efficient yet capable platform, the Soul’ster hits the road with its own all-new brand of youthful “let’s get some dirt on the tires!” character.
Most people know that Designers draw the sketches that create the cars that they end up being able to buy. But with some projects, like the Soul’ster, Designers don’t just think about what would make a hot-LOOKING vehicle — we also set out to re-think the way drivers picture a car, and what drivers and customers expect to be able to do with it.
So…as we sat down to design the Kia concept for this year’s Detroit auto show, a few key ideas were quickly generated by the group — and became the guiding arrows that led us to create the Soul’ster:
1) “back-to-basics” – “many of today’s activity vehicles are getting too complicated, and too expensive. Yet they aren’t any more capable or exciting — so let’s create something simple, low-tech, and FUN!”
2) “This vehicle must be extremely fuel efficient, yet also extremely functionally capable – like no other vehicle out there.“
3) “This vehicle must put a grin on your face – every time you see it or drive it!”
Right away, with the enthusiastically-received and “category smashing” Kia Soul already creating its own exciting market category, it made perfect sense to build upon that potential — and so we set out to literally build “another brother” to the Soul’s blend of function, sportiness, and style.
By combining the simple, tough ruggedness and cargo-carrying capability of a pick-up truck, the multi-passenger functionality of an SUV, the open-air excitement of a roadster…………all with the fuel-efficiency of a compact urban car —- the Soul’ster was born!
Reception to the Soul’ster has been very strong and positive and the question comes up, again and again, “is Kia building this?”
At Kia, believe me, we think the very best answer to that question is this: Just like with the original Soul concept, which is now on sale as a real production car — it’s up to you out there! :)
How the Soul’ster was born..