By on February 12, 2015


Appearing ready for the showroom than previous concepts, the Kia Trail’ster Concept hit the stage at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

The Soul-based Trail’ster is raised 2.5 inches higher than the original hamstermobile for better ground clearance, with aluminum skid plates protecting the underbody and its AWD system, and Pirelli Winter Carving tires to carve winter snow and mud like an Easter ham.

Power for the concept comes from a 1.6-liter turbo-four pushing 185 horsepower/lb-ft of torque to the front, while an electric motor moves the back under acceleration, and can push the Trail’ster up to three miles if necessary. The two independent systems deliver 220 horsepower and 285 lb-ft of torque to the trail or the street.

The concept’s independent systems are designed to garner better fuel economy per Kia. The automaker didn’t offer any specifics, but it believes the concept will perform 25 to 30 percent better in the city and 10 to 15 percent better on the highway than the Soul and its 2-liter engine.

Like Hyundai’s Santa Cruz Concept from last month’s Detroit Auto Show, the Kia Trail’ster Concept is meant to appeal to consumers who call the city their home, yet adore the outdoors. No word on whether or not this one will enter showrooms just yet, however.

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