At the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, Kia unveiled its Soul to the world, or at least its Soul concept (photo above). Now the Korean automaker says it's ready to put its Soul up for sale in the U.S.

In show car form, the Soul was a four-door crossover powered by a 2-liter 4-cylinder with dimensions very near both Honda's Fit and Scion's xB. Not coincidentally, those will be the Soul's two main competitors when it goes on sale early in 2008. That means the Soul would need to come in priced somewhere in the $14k - $17k range.

By the time Kia's crossover gets here, Ford and Chrysler both are expected to be entering the same segment. Kia has proven to be stiff competition on price, warranty and content, and there's no reason to the the Soul won't up a similarly good fight.

Click here for photos of the Soul from the 2006 Detroit show as well as from Kia.

[Source: Brandweek]