Remember the Kia Soulster we saw earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show? If you don't, it's a concept version of the Kia Soul that's had some major work done. The car has been relieved of two doors, its roof, and rear windows, creating an open-air, truck-like vehicle. The design team, proud of its work, is pushing Kia to move forward and make the Soulster a production model.
The Soulster concept, like many others, was introduced as a feeler vehicle for Kia executives to gauge public reaction. With compact pickup sales at a six-year low, the Soulster could easily slide into the segment as consumers move toward smaller vehicles. Kia says with the Soulster, it may be trying to reinvent the compact pickup truck segment that was tremendously popular in the '80s and '90s.
With half-ton pickups priced near that of compact trucks, shoppers often find themselves moving up to a larger truck at a minimal price increase. For Kia to detract consumers from buying full-size pickups, it might need a price in the $10,000 - $15,000 range, according to an executive from another (non-Kia) company.
Will the Kia Soulster see production? We sure hope so.