Soul, Forte Koup, and Optima get unwrapped and CUB concept rocks a moustache.
Between shows in New York and Seoul, Kia is having a very upbeat week.
First up, the Korean automaker took the wraps off all-new versions of the Forte Koup and Soul as well as the refreshed Optima at the New York International Auto Show.
The new-for-2014 Kia Soul is an exercise in improving a car by fractions of inches. The chassis and styling are completely revised (with many elements borrowed from the Track’ster concept) yet wheelbase length only grows 0.8 inches. With so many vehicles ballooning in size every generation, this is a refreshing departure.
Engine options will continue to be the 1.6L and 2.0L four pot units, with the larger of the two getting direct injection (the 1.6L was already equipped with Kia’s GDI tech in the previous model). The new engines are tuned for low end torque and the 1.6L loses 8 hp at the peak of the power curve for 130 total horsepower; the 2.0L motor continues with 164 hp and a bump in peak torque to 151 lb-ft.
More details and pricing will be available closer to the sales launch date this fall.
The new Forte Koup was also revealed in New York, rounding out the refreshed Forte lineup.
The new two door gets brand new engines with increased output. In EX trim, the updated 2.0L four-cylinder produces 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque, increases of 17 hp and 10 lb-ft Gone is the manual option on the base model, replaced by a six-speed automatic as standard.
The real surprise is in the sportier SX trim. Gone is the 2.4L four-pot, replaced with 1.6L turbocharged mill with direct injection. The new powerplant develops 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque (the 2.4L had an output of 173 hp and 168 lb-ft). That power is put to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed slush-o-matic with paddle shifters.
Along with new engines comes a barrage of standard features, including UVO eServices with Rear Camera Display, Bluetooth, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control buttons, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows, and LED positioning headlights with fog lights. The SX benefits from additional 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, and LED tail lights.
No pricing has been released but expect it to land at around the same time as the Soul pricing details.
Last, and probably least, the Korean automaker rolled out an update to the incredibly sharp Optima sedan at the Jacob Javits Centre (this editor prefers the Optima over the Sonata by a long shot).
The refreshed sedan gets updated front and rear fascias featuring LED lighting. However, most improvements are on the inside: a new 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster and optional high-resolution 8.0-inch navigation and telematics screen, UVO eServices, and an eight-speaker Infinity sound system. New seats complement the interior and new Blind Spot Detection is added to the Optima’s safety features.
Expect pricing to stay fairly in line with the current model.
At the Seoul Motor Show, Kia took a different tactic as they rolled out the CUB concept.
Rocking what can only be described as the most Movember fascia ever, the CUB sports suicide rear doors and no B-pillars. Tiny mirrors and front doors with aerodynamic ‘turning-vanes’ complete the ‘concept only’ look of the CUB.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.