In the lead up to the Kia Soul's production debut at the Paris Motor Show, we've seen dozens of images, a trio of concepts and a spy shot or two, but today we finally get a taste of what Kia's answer to the Scion xB will be packing underhood.
When the Soul goes on sale in Europe this February, Kia's targeted demographic of hip, urban youths will be able to choose from either a 1.6-liter inline-four putting out 124 hp and 115 lb.-ft. of torque or a 1.6-liter turbodiesel producing the same amount of horsepower and 188 lb.-ft. of torque. Those of us in the States will have only one engine to choose from -- a 140-hp, 2.0-liter four – when sales begin early next year. All three engines will be available with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
Hit the jump for all the details.
KIA GETS READY TO PUT SOUL IN THE CITY AT PARIS SHOW
Kia's sharply-stylish new segment-busting Soul is set to win over minds as well as hearts at the Paris Salon de l'Automobile in October with confirmation that the urban crossover will come to Europe next year with a choice of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines.
Kia Soul will go on sale in mainland Europe next February with a choice 126 ps diesel and petrol engines based on the DOHC engines already fitted to the hugely successful, European-built, Kia cee'd – with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, depending on model. Right-hand drive production is due to start in March.
The diesel engine generates 126 ps at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 255 Nm at 2,000 rpm. The all-aluminium petrol engine also produces 126 ps at 6,300 rpm and 156 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm.
"The Kia Soul is a brand new urban crossover car packed with chic design, liberating ideas and cavernous passenger space for active people with busy lives," enthused Paul Philpott, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK) Limited.
"And we can't wait to see it on UK roads in the Spring of 2009 where its unique modern looks and strong individual appeal will make it a 'must-have' for everyone from young singles and couples to more mature motorists who insist on putting fun into their driving," he added.
Soul is a five-door hatchback with front-wheel drive, a high roofline and an unusually long wheelbase. The key elements behind Soul's striking appearance are its vertical measurements. Overall height is 1,610 mm but the base of the windscreen is 135 mm higher than a typical compact car, the hip-points are 120 mm higher and the ground clearance is raised by 45 mm.
Access to the new Kia Soul's spacious interior is remarkably easy and the cabin will deliver head, leg and shoulder room that matches or beats many larger vehicles. Generous headroom (1020/1005 mm front/rear), legroom (1070/990 mm front/rear) and shoulder room (1403/1400 mm front/rear) will ensure Soul can easily adapt to the changing demands of its owner when pressed into giving friends or family a lift!
Looking ahead to the Paris Show debut, Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: "Soul is about surprise and style and the experience of sitting in the Soul is unique. First impressions will make a big impact. Tall doors and high-mounted seats make for easy access and an airy interior, yet the 'laid-back' dashboard design, triple dial instrument cluster and thick-rimmed steering wheel create an unusual combination of spaciousness for passengers and cosiness for the driver generating a very special ambience."
Soul will make its world premiere on the Kia stand (No 520, Hall 5) at the Paris International Motor Show at 16.45 hrs on 2 October 2008.
Soul will be manufactured at Kia's Gwangju facility in Korea from November 2008. In the USA and several non-European markets a 2-litre, 142 ps petrol engine will also be available.