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Commercial To Concept: Kia Soul Hamstar

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On: Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 9:18AM | By: Chris Weiss

Commercial To Concept: Kia Soul Hamstar

Usually a new car begets a commercial, not the other way around. But in the case of a new Kia SEMA concept, the Korean automaker pulls inspiration from its commercials for a modified Soul. The Hamstar debuted this week in Las Vegas.

At this point everyone's seen at least one version of Kia's hamsters. Those cute little urbanized rodents that drive around in their Kia pumping bass like white suburban teenagers with a chip on their shoulder. Kia seems to have the right idea with those commercials: regardless of our views on the Soul, we certainly love hamsters more than the annoying Sienna family or "earnest" GM executives that appear in other automaker commercials.

And Kia knows it's got the right idea, because it's created a special edition Soul Hamstar concept for the SEMA show. Unfortunately not a furry, animalized vehicle that you might expect on Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory, the Hamstar is a more subtle nod to Kia's furry mascots. The Soul gets prominent Hamstar star badging on the front end and includes black gloss and polished aluminum sport wheels. The exterior is Molten Red with matte black stripes running along the sides. Inside, Kia continues the color scheme with red-and-black cloth seats and Hamstar-badged floormats and headrests.

Call me crazy, but the Soul grille conveys a little bit of buck-toothed rodent, too.

If hamsters happen to be a little too cute and cuddly to serve as the inspiration for your vehicle, Kia has something a little more powerful: the Soul White Tiger Concept, another SEMA debut. This one is designed to preview the Soul White Tiger, which Kia will introduce in the coming weeks. Inspired by the Asian lunar animal of the year, the White Tiger gets some tiger stripe/claw graphics on its all-white exterior and a black leather interior. The White Tiger also gets white-accented 18-inch wheels and a sport spoiler. Inside, drivers are treated to a push-button start, heated front leather seats, leather steering wheel, floor mats with contrasting stitching and illuminated scuff plates.

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