"Soul redefines the concept of freedom. It's a brand new urban car packed full of liberating ideas – a car that challenges every consumer to 'free your mind' and to rethink everything they know about Kia," enthuses Mr. Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President and COO, International Business Division, Kia Motors Corporation.
Kia Motors Corporation Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, who has overseen the evolution of Kia Soul from 2006 concept fantasy to its 2008 production reality, comments, "Conceived in the USA, developed in Korea and fine-tuned in Europe, I strongly believe that the production Kia Soul has successfully achieved its own distinctive style and will generate an irresistible customer appeal for the young-at-heart."
The segment-busting Soul defies classification and traditional appeal providing a stylish yet flexible alternative for urban motorists who want the opportunity to go against traditional trends at a time when global economic doom-mongers are urging consolidation and conservatism.
Soul customers in Europe will be offered a choice of 126 ps diesel or 126 ps gasoline engine, based closely on the 1.6-liter units produced for the successful Kia cee'd model made in Slovakia. For the USA, Canada and some non-European general markets, the Kia Soul will also be available with a 2-liter, 142 ps gasoline engine.
Soul acceleration times (to 100 kph) range from 10.4 to 11.3 seconds and fuel consumption spreads over a 5.1 to 6.6 liters/100 km span, while CO2 figures vary between 137 and 159 g/km for European models.
Kia Soul cars supplied to the majority of countries in Western Europe and all of North America will be fitted with six airbags, four disc brakes and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) as standard.
Kia also displayed four new models in a special 'Green Zone' at Paris – the Kia cee'd ISG, Soul Hybrid, cee'd Hybrid and Sportage FCEV. Kia's new ISG (Idle Stop&Go) system, made its world premiere at Paris, and will be available on Kia cee'd petrol-engined models from early 2009. The innovative ISG system cuts fuel consumption and emissions in heavy traffic by up to 15%.
Also making their world premieres at Paris were the Kia cee'd Hybrid and the Kia Soul Hybrid concept cars. Both cars feature a 1.6-liter petrol engine, mated to a 15 kW, 105 Nm electric motor and automatic transmission. Fuel consumption is greatly reduced and CO2 emissions are cut to as low as 114 g/km for the cee'd Hybrid.
As part of Kia Motors Corporation's continuing fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) test program, the zero-emissions Kia Sportage FCEV is undergoing constant evolution. Now, Kia has transported this hard working prototype to Europe for the first time to display the car's higher output 100kW (136 ps) fuel cell, lively performance and greatly extended 300 km driving range.