Kia Soul
Kia Soul. Click image to enlarge

Seoul, South Korea – Kia has unveiled its Soul urban crossover vehicle at the Mondial de l’Automobile show in Paris, along with concept models of the cee’d Hybrid and Soul Hybrid, the hydrogen-powered Sportage FCEV prototype, and the cee’d with new ISG (Idle Stop & Go). The Soul will be sold globally, including in North America; it is expected to be shown at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto in February 2009.

“Conceived in the U.S.A., developed in Korea and fine-tuned in Europe, I strongly believe that the production Kia Soul has successfully achieved its own distinctive style and will generate an irresistable customer appeal for the young-at-heart,” said Kia chief design officer Peter Schreyer, who oversaw the evolution of the Soul from its 2006 concept to its 2008 production reality.

In Europe, the Soul will be offered with a diesel or gasoline engine, based closely on the 1.6-litre units produced for the Kia cee’d model. For Canada, the U.S. and some non-European general markets, the Soul will come with a 2.0-litre gasoline engine. For European models, fuel consumption ranges from 5.1 to 6.6 L/100 km.

Soul models sold in North America and in the majority of countries in Western Europe will be fitted with standard electronic stability control, four disc brakes and six airbags.

Kia is also displaying four models in its “Green Zone” in Paris: the cee’d ISG, Soul Hybrid, cee’d Hybrid and Sportage FCEV. Kia’s new ISG system, which makes its world premiere at Paris, will be available on Kia cee’d gasoline models from early 2009. The system cuts fuel consumption and emissions in heavy traffic by up to 15 per cent. The hybrid concept cars use a 1.6-litre gasoline engine mated to an electronic motor and automatic transmission, while the FCEV model’s latest generation contains a higher-output 100 kW fuel cell and a range of 300 km.

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