(from Kia Press
Release) Kia Motors America (KMA) will add another vehicle
to its line-up in 2008, the Soul crossover utility vehicle (CUV).
Announced at this yearís North American International Auto Show in
Detroit that it will become a production vehicle, the Soul was
originally unveiled as a concept car during the 2006 Detroit show. A
collaborative effort between Kiaís design studio in California and
design studio in Korea, it will go on sale at the end of 2008.
ďThe Soulís aggressive and youthful styling is raising the bar for
vehicles in its segment, and we are excited that it will be joining
the ever-expanding Kia line-up in 2008,Ē said Len Hunt, executive
vice president and COO of KMA. ďThe flexibility, function and
utility this vehicle provides, as well as its dynamic appearance,
further demonstrate Kiaís commitment to producing vehicles that
create passion with consumers.Ē
The architecture of the Soulís stance is reflective of its sporting
and confident character. A wrap-around windshield, muscular wheel
flares, stylish front headlamps and a sloped roofline help convey
Soulís athletic appearance, which is geared toward satisfying
customers with an active lifestyle. The Soulís exterior exudes an
athletic presence, while several design cues lend a svelte, edgy
look indicative of urban attitude.
Atop the sloped roofline is an automatic panoramic sun/moon roof.
The front section of the panoramic roof slides backward and fits
over of the rear section allowing for open-air driving with
unobstructed views for both front and rear passengers. Also up top
are roof racks integrated into the Soulís design with rails for
sliding objects forward and backward.
A symmetrical combination headlight design incorporates the
headlamps and grille opening in a functional layout, while the front
brush guard with integrated fog lamps is functional and helps convey
the Soulís SUV toughness. Side vents add some character while
helping to cool the engine compartment.
The Soulís side panel construction was designed with safety in mind
and is strong enough to allow ďfreestyleĒ passenger doors
(rear-hinged in back) that, when opened, reveal the lack of a B
pillar, which makes for easier ingress and egress. High taillight
placement lends to a contemporary look but also to better visibility
and safety for occupants.
A rear brush guard smoothly envelopes the license plate underneath a
power lift gate activated by the key fob. And the rear lift gate
includes a unique backpack compartment that can be configured to
accommodate an individualís active lifestyle needs; it folds out
like a mail slot for wet or muddy items such as a wetsuit and hiking
shoes, or even a skateboard depending on its configuration.
The Soulís interior was inspired by high-quality audio equipment,
with the front dash designed around the front audio speakers rather
than the other way around. Soulís premium audio system will please
music lovers and the speakers are strategically located at the best
positions to maximize audio performance and sound quality.
Furthering the multimedia entertainment system is a notebook
computer with a multi-purpose video game monitor housed in the glove
compartment area. The notebook sits on a tray that swings outward
when the vehicle is stationary and becomes accessible to either the
passenger or driver seating positions. The multimedia system
includes Blue-tooth and MP3 technology as well as multiple USB
ports, Wi-Fi and telematics. Video monitors that fold up and out
airline style from the center console, which runs the length of the
cabin, are available for rear seat passengersí entertainment.
Cabin ambiance is accentuated by upscale interior lighting. Instead
of a typical dome light there is a lighting element surrounding each
panoramic sun/moon roof. The same lighting technique is used in the
door trim and is reminiscent of limousine interior lighting, adding
to the Soulís urban, social feel.
The Soulís shape promises lots of interior space relative to its
footprint; though small on the outside, the Soul is big inside with
practical interior room and a reconfigurable cargo space. Two
semi-bucket seats in front comfort the driver and front passenger,
while flat-folding rear seats create even more storage space when
The front-drive Soul is powered by a 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder
gasoline engine. The powerplant is mated to a five-speed automatic
transmission with manual shift capability and adaptive cruise
control for active driver control and convenience.
Kia Motors America Ė the sales, marketing and distribution arm of
Kia Motors Corp. in Seoul, South Korea Ė offers a complete line of
vehicles through more than 630 dealers throughout the United States.