Kia brought all the glitz and glam of an 80’s hair band concert (including an actual 80’s cover band) to the stage to unveil 2 new products today. With 9 new vehicles introduced in the last 3 years, the major releases have already occured. First up was the Optima “SX Limited” that goes on sale in March. Changes include 18″ chrome wheels, red brake calipers, 274 hp engine that achieves leading mileage (22/34) for under $35,000 (destination and fees included).
The big unveil came when they brought out the “Trackster” edition of the Soul.
Designed to be used as a track day car it has a 250 hp all-wheel drive turbo charged engine. Starting with the standard Soul, they lowered it, took off 2 of the doors (leaving 3 for those not near a calculator), added some muscular looking rear arches, 19″ billet wheels, vented Brembo brakes, racing seats, and specifically designed track day storage bins. Unfortunately… this heavy metal version of the soul is not going to be built at this point.
In addition to the 2 vehicles, Kia had a few other small announcements:
-A new phone app, “UVO”, which ties in to the Kia UVO in-car entertainment system. It helps you find your car, sets up geo fencing (I’ll be getting that for my kids someday), and has the ability to schedule service.
-After winning a driver’s and manufacturer’s championship in the Grand Am series last year, they will add 2 Optimas to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge in 2012.
-Mentioned, but not unveiled is Kinetic B-Spec edition of the 5-door Rio coming out, to tie in with the racecar.
Seems like a lot of fuss to go through for a vehicle that is barely different than what they already sell and one that will never be sold. Though, I am instead in the getting a ‘mix-tape’ from the band that performing the Motley Crue…