Big fender flares, a wrap-around windshield and reconfigurable cargo space define the look of the Kia Soul concept, a sporty 'crossover utility vehicle' slated for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. Inspired by the Mesa, one of Kia's last ventures into the world of concept cars, the compact crossover has the young and active set squarely in its crosshairs.

Follow the jump for Kia's guarded press release on the Soul concept…

IRVINE, Calif., December 15, 2005 ? Kia Motors America (KMA) today released a preview sketch of the all-new ?Soul? concept car, which will make its world premiere at the upcoming North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The Kia Soul concept is a crossover utility vehicle with a sporty, bold look that builds on design cues from the Kia Mesa concept vehicle introduced at the 2005 NAIAS.

A wrap-around windshield, muscular wheel flares, stylish front headlamps and a sloped roofline convey an athletic attitude for the Soul, which is geared toward an active lifestyle. Though small on the outside, it is big inside with practical interior room and a reconfigurable cargo space. The rear lift gate includes a unique ?drawer? for wet or muddy items such as a wetsuit or hiking shoes.

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