Kia Trail'ster Concept: First Look

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Looks like: A Kia Soul ready for off-road trails

Defining characteristics: Lifted ride height, meaty winter tires

Ridiculous features: Blinding array of front LED illumination

Chance of being mass-produced: You never know

An off-road Kia Soul seems like a stretch of the imagination, but the automaker put together a fun, if not convincing, concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show called the Kia Trail'ster. Featuring a turbocharged engine, electric all-wheel drive, lifted ride height and various trail-focused features, Kia says the Trail'ster is intended for those looking to escape the urban environment in favor of snow, mud, streams and trails.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News

"The Trail'ster concept is a near-future look at how the production Kia Soul would logically evolve into an AWD-capable version that's built to escape the city streets and roam into the mountain wilderness," said Tom Kearns, Kia Design Center of America's chief designer, in a statement.

Though the concept shows off numerous trail-focused bits and pieces, Kia also teases that the Trail'ster's electric all-wheel-drive system could be a fuel-economy booster if used in a production application. We're listening, Kia.

By Joe Bruzek | February 12, 2015 | Comments (0)

Mazda Teases MX-5 Miata Concept

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Mazda redesigned its iconic roadster for 2016 and a concept version of it will be unveiled at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show later this week. Mazda says the MX-5 Miata accessories design concept previews what may be in store for those looking to personalize their cars.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News

The MX-5 Miata has a long history with the Chicago Auto Show; the car was originally announced at the show in 1989. Stay tuned for more from the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Press days start Thursday.

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By Jennifer Geiger | February 10, 2015 | Comments (0)

Is This the Next Kia Optima?

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Kia's midsize sedan has been one of the more stylish cars in the class, and if a new concept version is any indication, the Optima will keep that status.

Related: More Concept Cars

The brand's new concept, which is unnamed, will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show on March 3. Kia released the above teaser image but few details, saying only that it's a D-segment model, which is code for midsize car in Europe.

Stay tuned for more.

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By Jennifer Geiger | February 10, 2015 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Cars That Stayed True to Their Concept

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During the past decade, the once fanciful concept car — never meant to see the light of day — has morphed into more of a design study for future products. Taking that notion to the next level, our editors have rated the 10 production cars that did the best job of incorporating their concept when made into reality during the past decade.

Related: 2015 Detroit Auto Show Winners and Losers 

Note: We didn't take into account certain "concepts" often considered prototypes that some automakers roll out at auto shows. Those show cars are barely discernible from the real thing and are introduced much closer to when the actual cars go on sale.

By David Thomas | February 9, 2015 | Comments (0)

Kia Teases Concept Ahead of the Chicago Auto Show

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It sure is cold and blustery here in Chicago; it looks like Kia's getting ready for next month's Chicago Auto Show with a snow-capable new concept. The automaker released a teaser image of the "advanced and capable" electric all-wheel-drive (e-AWD) concept.

Related: Chicago Auto Show News

Details are slim, but Kia says the new concept is aimed at active urbanites and "intended to enable a wide array of outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding, to camping, hiking and mountain biking." That tall order suggests it's an SUV, but the concept's front end looks very Soul-like. Could an all-wheel-drive Soul be coming to the automaker's lineup? We'll know more when the e-AWD concept debuts at the show on Feb. 12.

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By Jennifer Geiger | January 29, 2015 | Comments (0)

Infiniti Cancels Electric Car Plans

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The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is buzzing with big electric car news from Chevrolet with the Volt and the Bolt, but Infiniti quietly announced it no longer has plans to produce its electric car, the LE.

Related: Infiniti LE Concept at the 2012 New York Auto Show

When the LE concept debuted at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, Infiniti called it a "production intent" concept and said it would hit the market in the next two years. Three years later, plans to build a luxury electric sedan based on Nissan's Leaf are off due to a renewed focus on higher volume segments, an Infiniti executive told USA Today.

Click here for the full story.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 19, 2015 | Comments (5)

2015 Detroit Auto Show Winners and Losers

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Detroit's Cobo Hall hosted some of the most spectacular new-car debuts in some time even if most weren't for the average car buyer. The North American International Auto Show opens to the public Saturday and offers a wide array of cars for just about every fan. Sports-car fanatics will be well-served with the all-new Ford GT and Acura's NSX while green drivers can check out the redesigned Chevrolet Volt and Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Cars.com editors Aaron Bragman, Mike Hanley, Joe Bruzek and Joe Wiesenfelder checked out each debut and judged them on how successful they were under the auto show lights.

By David Thomas | January 15, 2015 | Comments (12)

2015 Detroit Auto Show What You Missed: Day Two

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Day two of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit started with some flash thanks to Infiniti's curvy new concept, the Q60. Lexus and Cadillac followed with some visual drama of their own in the GS F and CTS-V, respectively.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Cars.com is back on the floor with all the news, videos and photos from the show. Continue below for a list of what you missed today and click here for Monday's debuts.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 13, 2015 | Comments (0)

Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept Photo Gallery (16 Photos)

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The 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is brimming with new trucks, and Hyundai might just have the most interesting looking one. The Santa Cruz concept is the automaker's attempt at combining the comforts of a family crossover with the practicality of a pickup truck — adding a dose of flashy style for good measure.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 13, 2015 | Comments (0)

2015 Detroit Auto Show What You Missed: Day One

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The scene in Detroit is full of dream cars like the Acura NSX and Ford GT, electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Bolt EV concept, and trucks, trucks, trucks. New production entries from Toyota, Ford, Ram and Nissan were met by a Hyundai truck concept.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Cars.com is on the floor with all the news, videos and photos from the show. Check back with us for ongoing coverage Tuesday; in the meantime, here's what you missed today:

By Jennifer Geiger | January 12, 2015 | Comments (0)

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