SEMA Kia Hamstar

Kia's popular rapping hamsters (called the Hamstars) are getting their own vehicle – the special edition 2011 Hamstar Soul. It makes perfect sense. Kia's award-winning Hamstar ads have received more than seven million views online. They have their own clothing line (hamstarclothing.com) with the Hamstars featured on everything from an adult t-shirt to a toddler hoodie. So why not a set of wheels?

This is the sixth special edition of the Soul. Other editions have included the White Tiger Soul, Denim Soul, Ignition Soul, Dragon Soul and Ghost Soul. The Hamstar edition first appeared at the 2010 SEMA show.

You may be happy to know that the Hamstar Soul does not have pictures of the rapping rodents plastered all over it. The Molten Red Hamstar is fashioned with charcoal gray matte finish stripes on the sides that were inspired by vintage warm-up pants. The hood and back also feature a black star with "Hamstar" written in script.

Other features to make the Hamstar special include body colored bumpers, power sunroof, fog lights, rear spoiler, black 18-inch alloy wheels, black fender vents with a turn signal indicator and a matte black alloy fuel door.

The inside has been dressed up with Hamstar floor mats, black leather trimmed seats with stars on the head rests, heated front seats, push button start with smart key, automatic climate control and leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The Hamstar also includes the Audio Upgrade Package with a center speaker, subwoofer, 315-watt external amplifier and speaker "mood" lights that pulse to the beat of the music.

"As the first vehicle launched under Kia's design-led transformation, the Soul has been a game changer for Kia, and the ongoing popularity of our out-of-the-box ad campaigns have led to record sales and dramatic increases in consumer awareness, perception and consideration of the Kia brand," said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing & communications, Kia Motors America.

"The Soul was designed to stand out in a sea of sameness and we are committed to keeping it fresh, fun and relevant in the marketplace and the special edition Hamstar Soul is the latest embodiment of that philosophy."

The Hamstar Soul is arriving at Kia dealerships with a starting MSRP of $20,295 with the 4-speed automatic transmission.

author photo

Holly Reich writes about cars, travel, lifestyle and more. Her work has been featured in publications that include: Elite Traveler, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Boston Herald. She contributes monthly to Motor Matters syndicate and her blog, "Riffs on Rides," appears on uptownlife.net.

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