Kia Motors has put more of its Soul on show with the release of new official images of its segment-busting model at the British International Motor Show.
Kia is releasing the photographs of the fun and design-conscious Soul as it also brings the three stunning SOUL concept cars to its display in London.
The three SOUL concept vehicles, originally seen at the Geneva Salon de l’Automobile earlier in 2008, will feature alongside the dramatic KEE sports coupe concept, the ex-cee’d cabrio concept and the eco_cee’d low-emissions showcase concept. This is the first time all of these concept vehicles have been on display together and hint at the exciting future for the Korean brand.
Kia has also confirmed that the new model, which will be available exclusively as a five-door hatchback with front-wheel drive, will have an overall length of 4,105 mm, be 1,785 mm wide, excluding door mirrors, and 1,610 mm tall. The wheelbase will be 2,550 mm long. For comparison, Kia’s C-segment cee’d is 4,235mm long, 1,790mm wide, 1,480 tall and has a wheelbase of 2,650mm.
Speaking before the British International Motor Show, Peter Schreyer, Kia’s Chief Design Officer, commented, ‘Reaction from the media and public to the three SOUL concept cars first unveiled at Geneva in March and now being shown here in London, has been overwhelmingly positive.
‘The SOUL concept cars are so closely related to the new Kia Soul production car, that everyone can see this new model will defy conventions and appeal especially to the young and young-at-heart – whatever their age,’ added Schreyer.
Kia Motors (UK) Limited Managing Director, Paul Philpott, added: ‘The British car buyer is looking for something new and exciting as well as representing excellent quality and value and that is just what Soul will provide. It is perfect for the driver wanting to express themselves through their choice of car and will put fun firmly on the streets.
‘We now have a brand that is exercising real power in the UK amongst retail buyers, as our improving sales this year – a difficult one for some marques – clearly show. Soul will provide another very strong reason for more individually-minded motorists to head for their nearest Kia dealer,’ he commented.
The three concept cars on display in London – SOUL Burner, SOUL Diva and SOUL Searcher – were created by Kia’s European design team, led by Gregory Guillaume, under the guidance of Peter Schreyer. They were developed from the original SOUL concept car designed jointly by Kia’s California and Korea design studios and unveiled in 2006 at the Detroit Motor Show.
Looking ahead to the World Premiere of the Kia Soul production model on 2 October at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, Gregory Guillaume observed, ‘Because the all-new Kia Soul is not a replacement for an existing vehicle and is destined to play a unique role within the Kia global line-up, it can be a bit of a rebel! The Kia Soul defies classification, and its design will encourage customers to form an emotional bond with this exciting new car.’
To be manufactured in Korea from November 2008, the Kia Soul will provide a creative platform for buyers to individualise and match their car to their own personality.