With some help from rocker Leona X and some hot DJs, Kia set out to prove it has plenty of Soul as it unveiled a quintet of new concept cars at the annual aftermarket extravaganza known as the SEMA Show.
The event has traditionally focused on performance but there’s a growing emphasis on customization, makers like Kia showing off hot products aimed at a new generation buyers – and showing them just how much products like the Soul can be customized to reflect their individual personalities and lifestyles.
Calling them the “Souls of SEMA,” Kia spokesman Scott McKee noted that, “The music connection to Soul has been well established since the beginning,” especially through the use of the hip-hop animated hamsters that have become the spokes-, er, -rodents for the quirky box-shaped crossover.
But there were no hamsters on hand for SEMA. Instead, Leona X, a popular hard rocker turned up the wah-wah and let it wail over the Amped Soul, a “boom box on wheels” that was designed for Kia by Popular Mechanics magazine. The modified Soul featured four 12-inch woofers mounted into the blacked-out windows of the Kia crossover, a formula bound to get everyone’s attention at a stoplight.
The eye-catching purple DJ Soul opted for the other end of popular music and featured a riser platform from which a DJ and his gear can pop out of the open top to grab any crowd’s attention.
“It promises an exciting experience for even the most seasoned club-goers,” explained McKee, noting such details as the Pioneer sound mixer built into the DJ edition.
(Kia planning production version of GT concept. For more, Click Here.)
Kia has been rapidly expanding its marketing efforts in recent years, tying up with NBA star Blake Griffin, for example, and signing on as a partner with the wildly popular TV show, the Voice. So, no surprise, the maker had a special red concept dubbed the Voice Soul to show off.
It featured the show’s tagline, “I want you,” in the grille and “To prepare you for your big break,” said McKee, there’s a 40-inch LCD TV – obviously playing reruns of The Voice. The Voice Soul also features four comfortable coaches chairs rather than its regular seating.
(Click Here for TDB’s first look at the K900 premium sedan.)
The Vans Warped Tour Soul, sponsored by Bride’s magazine, also had a TV built in, this one a 50-inch LCD mounted on the roof to share images at outdoor parties – with eight speakers built into the vehicle’s body, and a barbeque that could pull out of the rear.
The Music Memorabilia Soul wrapped up the quintet, this one produced by Rides magazine and featuring such accoutrements as a guitar signed by rock star Slash, a sneaker signed by rapper 50 Cent, a John Legend microphone and a Jimi Hendrix gold album displayed in one of the windows. To complete the package, the wheels were designed to look like gold albums.
Think of it as a rolling “music museum,” suggested McKee, “as badass as any rocker who might drive it.”