Kia Teases New Image of Electric All-Wheel Drive Hybrid Concept, Calls it the Trail’Ster

Following a frustratingly unhelpful teaser image earlier this week of what it said was a concept car it would unveil in a few weeks at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, Kia Motors has announced its name: the Kia Trail’Ster.

Announced alongside the release of a second image, Kia says the Trail’Ster concept car takes inspiration from the round-town Kia Soul, offering customers a go-anywhere, rugged ragtop that’s at home both in the city and off the beaten track.


As we and other outlets suspected this week, the Kia Trail’Ster concept isn’t an all-electric vehicle, but does feature electric all-wheel drive capabilities alongside an unspecified, turbocharged engine.

Aimed at those who live in the city but like to head to the country for fun and adventure at the weekend, we’re guessing the Kia Trail’Ster will offer some form of plug-in hybrid functionality or at least a brand-new gasoline-hybrid drivetrain. Given the heavy emphasis on its electric all-wheel drive capability however, we’re hoping for something with at least 20 miles of all-electric range before gasoline is needed.

At the moment however, we’re no wiser than anyone else because Kia is keeping final specifications close to its corporate chest.

What we can tell you however, is that the Kia Trail’Ster e-AWD concept does feature a fully retractable canvas roof and rear electric all-wheel drive system. On paper this would make the car a through-the-road hybrid, where an electric motor takes over the task of providing motive power to the rear wheels without the need for a heavy, complicated prop shaft or transfer box from the engine up front.

As always, we’ll bring you more information as we have it, but with the unveil set to take place next week we won’t have long to wait.


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