There are high expectations for the new Jeep Renegade, especially as the mini 4×4 market continues to grow into a high-profit juggernaut. That’s why companies across the board are thinking about tossing their hat in the off-road ring and taking a dive into Jeep territory.
Set to debut at this week’s Chicago Auto Show, Kia is now the latest to invest in the surging trend with their brand new Kia Trail’ster. That’s right; Kia is going off-road!
Based on the brand’s wildly popular Soul passenger vehicle, the new Trail’ster features a rear electric all-wheel drive system that helps to provide extra traction, speed, and energy recovery to the vehicle’s inherent 185-hp four-cylinder Kia Soul engine.
Also featured on the all-new Trail’ster is a roll-top canvas roof and armored aluminum skid plates, both of which are specifically aimed at enhancing its off-road appeal.
“The Trail’ster concept is a near-future look at how the production Kia Soul would logically evolve into an AWD-capable version that’s built to escape the city streets and roam into the mountain wilderness,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center of America (KDCA). “It takes the go-anywhere capability of an SUV and re-imagines it within a compact and sporty package with an expressive design to match.”
So far, there is no official word on a release date or if this vehicle will even enter production. But based on the changing tide of the automotive industry, it pretty much seems like a given that it will.