The first thing you need to know about Kia's new Great Britain-only Soul Tempest is that it's part of a series of Souls called "Originals," limited edition Kia Souls that get rotated in and out with the seasons. For instance, last season's Soul Original was the Samba, with the Shaker and Burner before it. And what is/was the last one, the Samba? Well, for one thing it had Tomato Red paint. For another, the interior was black on black with black "Soul Shine" fabric on the seats. Other than that, the Samba featured a kracklin' stereo coming complete with red LEDs in the speakers that pulsed along to the bass. So, that's a Samba.
But it's gone and now UK customers (and the Irish, too) can get themselves the newest Soul, an Original called Tempest. And just like with the Samba, what makes a Tempest? Glad you asked. The Tempest ditches the Samba's deep red for Titanium Silver set off by "high-gloss black" bumper inserts and wing mirrors. It also rides around on 18" wheels, however our colleagues over at Top Gear recommend against the big wheels.
Inside you still get the "Soul Shine" black seat trim, but in the Tempest its contrasted against a metallic center console and chrome instrument panel accents. You also get some more premium appointments like found on the Shaker – namely a reverse backup camera system along with more speakers and subwoofers. The Brits also have their choice of diesel or good old gasoline. While we'll (probably) never get a series like Originals here in the States, we do think it's pretty cool that Kia's doing special edition cars that cost under $20,000. Especially for the people buying them. Hit the jump for the press release.
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Kia has introduced a whole host of special editions this month to help keep the winter blues at bay. The best-selling Picanto city car and Rio supermini have both had a range-topping Graphite model added in stunning Titanium Silver and the Soul range has introduced a new design to its 'Originals' collection.
They say the best things come in small packages and the new 1.1 Picanto Graphite is no exception. It is a sophisticated package with an extensive specification including 14-inch alloy wheels, remote central locking, front electric windows, leather steering wheel, rear spoiler, silver centre fascia and CD audio with iPod compatibility as standard. For driver comfort, Graphite adds driver's seat height adjust, tilt adjustable steering and air conditioning. And for the driver's wallet, all this comes for just £8,495 including free metallic titanium silver paintwork.
Picanto's older, but equally glamorous sister the Rio supermini, has also received the Graphite makeover which makes the most of its recent facelift. Integrated mirror indicators, 15-inch alloy wheels, black bezel headlights and front fogs all enhance Rio from the outside while standard features such as air-conditioning, alloy pedals, a metallic centre fascia, leather steering wheel and gear knob makes what's on the inside count too. Rio Graphite is available in 1.4 petrol and 1.5 CRDi engines for just £9,395 and £10,395 respectively.
Tempting buyers with the new Tempest
Kia launched the funky new Soul earlier this year to include a range of 'Originals' – limited edition versions of the car – and with the change in season comes a change to the Originals collection. These 'character' models are designed to showcase equipment features and styles available on Soul which customers can match to their lifestyles and personalities.
The beginning of the month saw the launch of the all-new 'Tempest' Original, which replaces the outgoing 'Samba' model. The Tempest features standard metallic paintwork in Titanium Silver with black high-gloss bumper inserts and door mirrors, and is fitted with unique black 18-inch alloy wheels. Completing the look inside is the modern 'Soul-Shine' black seat trim with metallic centre fascia and chrome accents on the dashboard and instrument clusters.
Other key features include Kia's Advanced Reversing Camera system with Electrochromic Rearview Mirror, as available on its sister model Shaker, and an upgraded audio system which features a dash-top centre speaker, rear sub-woofer and external amplifier.
Tempest is available in 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines with a four-speed automatic transmission available on the latter – the first time automatic has been offered on any Original model. And with the price of Tempest starting from just £12,845, it's certainly a tempting offer.
There are other minor model year changes to the rest of the Soul range being introduced as running changes. The entry grade '1' trim now gains driver's seat height adjust as standard.
Metallic centre fascia highlights and chrome accents have been improved and made brighter and are now offered as standard on the Soul 2 grade as well as all Originals. Also, the lidded storage tray in the upper dash has been redesigned for improved functionality and usage.
Colour availability has been revised on the Soul '2' mid-grade. With the deletion of Samba from the line-up, the vivid Tornado Red paintwork is now made available on all '2' models, while the vibrant metallic Cocktail Orange is no longer offered. This quickly changing line-up ensures that all Soul customers feel special knowing theirs is one of a limited number.
The beginning of October also saw a small increase in pricing to the Soul range, with prices now starting from £10,775 OTR.