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Click above for high-res gallery of the Kia Soul

In addition to making its own sportscars that are renowned for their sublime handling, Lotus has helped a wide variety of other automakers – Dodge, Ford, Isuzu, Talbot, Tesla, Toyota, and Vauxhall to name a few – adjust the suspensions on their cars to Lotus standards. Kia is slated to become the next to benefit from the combined experience of Lotus' chassis experts, as the Korean automaker recently contracted the services of the British engineering firm.

The first car to benefit from Lotus' input will be the new Kia Soul, but the partnership is slated to extend to all of the Korean brand's future models. Although reports suggest that the collaboration is earmarked specifically towards setting up Kia products for British roads, we certainly hope that Lotus can help Kia's ride and handling dynamics across the board. This isn't the first time Lotus and Kia have collaborated, either, as Kia sold rebadged versions of the Elan for a couple of years after Lotus discontinued the model in 1995.


[Source: CAR]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Funny how we all have different tastes. I sat in the Soul in Detroit on the weekend and thought it was absolutely horrible inside. I would have to kill someone if I had to look at that dash in bright red every day of my life. Overall fit and finish and quality of materials also seemed to be less impressive than recent Kia/Hyundai models.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Uhm, the red interior is only offered in one trim.....the Sport Tirm. The others get black, or black and tan/beige.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No fricken way. Awesome, nothing bad can come of this!
        • 6 Years Ago
        no you just jinxed it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The opening blurb also fails to point out that Nissan was a customer of Lotus, for the suspension or chassis of the GTR. It may have been both.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now I've only taken 3 college physics classes, but I think I've a cheap idea for improving handling on a vehicle that sits up way to high and has goofy/non-sporty proportions. Lower it. THEN go to Lotus for additional help. But getting the c.g. to a car-like level seems like an obvious first effort. Hell, do it for the sportier styling alone. This thing looks like a piggy in so many ways.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I sat in the Soul @ the NAIAS yesterday & really liked it. It definitely has more of a coolness factor than the XB.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And Jackie Chan movies have better acting than Jean Claude Van Damme's.

        Both of these cars are what happens when you give designers a block of wood, a piece of sand paper and tell them the unveiling is in 15 minutes...
      • 6 Years Ago

      After reading Edmunds review I am very impressed by what Kia/Hyundai have been up to as of late, considering their past history(especially my friends craptastic 95' Elantra for example). In the past decade Koreans have started making good cars and we now have a black president...times are changin.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't Kia own Lotus? Or am I being retarded?


        • 6 Years Ago
        Their majority owner is Proton... now wash your mouth out with soap! :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm excited to see what will come of that. Currently the Fit is considered by most to be the sub-compact of choice for DRIVERS. Perhaps if they get enough Lotus tuning and the interior plus overall refinement equal, they'll have a winner.

      Would like to see Lotus work their magic on the Genesis.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've always said Hyundai needs to drop a few million at Lotus' door and have Lotus polish Hyundai suspensions. Glad they're doing it for Kia, but they should have Lotus put their magic fingers on at least the Sonata and Genesis as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this a hot hatch successor to the Lotus Carlton? I hope it is!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I cant believe nobody remembers, but Kia got Lotus to tune the suspension of its first-gen Sephia back in the early-mid 1990s. I had a '94 Sephia- horrible car, and it didnt handle any better than an Escort at the time.

      That said, I like the Soul, its probably the only Hyundai/Kia product I'd actually considor buying. I like that they offer it with a manual trans, and I love the interior compared with any Scion.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm a bit dumbfounded as to why Kia would choose to put a lame torsion beam suspension on this vehicle and then ask Lotus to tune it. That torsion beam is the one reason I won't consider buying this Soul, or any other vehicle in this class for that matter. Torsion beams just don't have the travel and versatility for even the most basic outdoorsy activities such as forest service roads or camping, etc. This is such a wonderful vehicle otherwise, and exactly what I'm looking for, if it weren't for that suspension.

      I'm still waiting for a nice PREMIUM small vehicle as opposed to the CHEAP small vehicles that everyone loves to manufacture. All I'm asking for is a fully independent suspension and 4 wheel disc/anti-lock brakes. I also want a minimal horsepower to weight ratio of 1 hp/20 lbs or so. That's about 140 hp for a 2800 lb vehicle. That's not asking a lot, but by the recent crop of small cars, it's still nearly impossible to find other than the Civic coupe, Mini, and Rabbit. I was incredibly disappointed to find that even the VW Polo coming to the US has a torsion beam. That's another vehicle I could have loved.

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