2012 Kia Optima SX Limited and Soul TRACKster

Matt Fink
by Matt Fink
2012 kia optima sx limited and soul trackster

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…

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  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.
  • Wjtinfwb I've seen worse on the highways around Atlanta, usually with a refrigerator or washer wedged into the trunk and secured with recycled twine...
  • Wjtinfwb Surprising EB Flex hasn't weighed in yet on it being the subject of a recall...