Kia Motors Corporation has confirmed that its all-new Kia Soul urban crossover passenger car will go on sale around the world early next year with a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel* engine with manual or automatic transmission (all depending on individual market needs).
The most powerful engine will be a 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol unit producing 106kW at 6,000 rpm and 186 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm. This engine will be offered with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission.
A smaller capacity 1.6-litre petrol engine will be offered in most countries, while consumers in Europe (and some general market countries) will be able to order a 1.6-litre diesel engine featuring a VGT (variable geometry turbocharger). Both these highly efficient 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC powertrains are based closely on engines fitted to the hugely successful, European-built Kia cee'd.
The all-aluminium 1.6-litre petrol engine generates 94kW at 6,300 rpm and 156 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm. The diesel delivers 94kW at 4,000 rpm and a very competitive 255 Nm of torque at just 2,000 rpm.
"The Kia Soul is a brand new urban crossover passenger car that will challenge customers to free their minds. It is packed with clever and liberating features and will offer cavernous passenger space that matches or even outperforms many vehicles with much larger exterior dimensions," enthused Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President & COO, International Business Division.
Kia Soul is a five-door hatchback with front-wheel drive, a high roofline and an unusually long wheelbase. Overall length is 4,105 mm with a 2,550 mm wheelbase. Overall height is 1,610 mm, the base of the windshield 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 exceeds 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 that Soul can accommodate five large adults in genuine comfort.
Looking ahead to the Paris International Motor Show debut next month, Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer, Kia Motors Europe, commented, "Drivers and passengers will be treated to a very unique experience when sitting inside the Soul for the first time.
"The tall doors and high-mounted seats make for easy access, while the 'laid-back' dashboard design, triple dial instrument cluster and thick-rimmed steering wheel create a combination of spaciousness for passengers and tailored fit for the driver, generating a very special ambience."
The Kia Soul urban crossover will make its world premiere on the Kia stand (No 520, Hall 5) at the Paris show at 16.45 hrs on Thursday, 2 October 2008.
Production of the Kia Soul will begin in November 2008 at the Gwangju facility in Korea.
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