March 30, 2013

Kia unveils all-new Soul at New York International Auto Show

Kia Motors has unveiled an all-new version of Soul, its iconic urban crossover, at the 113th New York International Auto Show.

The signature Soul design is instantly recognisable yet thoroughly fresh, with more than a passing nod to the hot Track'ster concept
that was unveiled in Chicago last year. Riding on a new chassis that is stiffer, longer and wider, the all-new Soul has grown up without losing its edge, allowing for more passenger and luggage room while reducing levels of noise, vibration and harshness.

Increased torque and significant suspension upgrades make the 2014 Soul a nimble and agile companion in congested urban environments. Honouring Soul owners' fierce individualism, three unique trim levels will be available when US sales are expected to begin in the third quarter of this year: Base, Plus and Exclaim. Pricing will be announced closer to the Soul's launch date. The release dates for mainland Europe and the United Kingdom have yet to be confirmed although an on sale date in the first half of 2014 is anticipated.

"When the first Soul was introduced in 2009, everyone at Kia believed we had a hit on our hands, but we didn't realise how big that hit was going to be," said Michael Sprague, Executive Vice-President of Marketing and Communications at Kia Motors America (KMA). "The Soul moved the needle significantly from a sales and marketing perspective, becoming one of our top-selling cars in the US and inspiring the now-legendary Hamster commercials. It was important that the all-new Soul remain true to the original iconic design while infusing it with improved driving dynamics and desirable features that add appeal, sophistication and value."

Keeping what made the current Soul special while addressing areas for improvement was no easy task. As the design team at Kia's California studio began putting virtual pen to virtual paper, engineers in the US and Korea focused on making Soul a joy to drive. Starting with a solid foundation was a key factor, and the new body enjoys a 28.7 per cent increase in torsional rigidity over the current Soul.

With the hard points set, the all-new Soul was boiled down to three focus areas - Maintaining the iconic design while adding modern cues; providing premium features and content; and improving driving dynamics that would make the 2014 Soul more desirable than ever.


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