Kia Soulster - Soul on the beach

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For everyone who believes that the Kia Soul was getting to the end of its development stage to go into series production, Kia now let the Soulster take its bow in Detroit.

As a derivative of the Soul, this convertible SUV roadster is a bit reminiscent of the Suzuki Jimny convertible and thus not quite as new as its trendy name would lead you to think.

Still recognisable as a Soul from the front, the driving compartment roof opens back from the centre post, letting the rear passengers bask in the sun. In order to still provide safety and stability, there are two rollover bars that also serve as tracks for the retractable roof behind the driver's cabin.

Whoever takes to the Kia Soul will be able to find a playful version of the Korean SUV in the shape of the Soulster and should be equally enthusiastic. Either way, the Soulster can certainly be seen as a likely complement to the Soul in Europe.

The engines could be taken from the vehicle's big series brother and chassis mods would be feasible, even in small numbers. All that is required is that the roof be made waterproof (unlike that of the Suzuki Jimny) and the Soul would be a more fashionable alternative to the dusty Japanese car. But please, could we have slightly more civilised colours? After all, summer does not last all year round.