World premiere for KIA Motors at Paris Motor Show

  •  World premiere for new Kia Soul urban crossover passenger car
  • Kia Soul previewed in South Africa at the Johannesburg International

Motor Show

(JOHANNESBURG) 31 October 2008 — To celebrate the world premiere of the all-new Kia Soul urban crossover passenger car at the Paris Motor Show on 2 October 2008, Kia Motors Corporation displayed seven examples of its latest model – in a special ‘Soul World’ zone throughout the 18-day event.

The Soul was also previewed at the

Johannesburg International Motor Show

taking place from 30 October 2008 to 9 November 2008.

The eagerly awaited Kia Soul marks a revolutionary expansion of the Kia product line-up. A bold statement of Kia’s determination to succeed as one of the world’s top automotive companies, Kia Soul is destined to appeal to a whole new group of European, US and global consumers. It will achieve thousands of ‘conquest’ sales for the Kia brand – appealing especially to the young and the young-at-heart.

“Soul presents consumers with such a broad selection of styling, comfort and equipment choices, that it redefines the concept of freedom. It’s a brand new urban car packed full of liberating ideas – a car that challenges consumers to ‘free your mind’, to build an emotional bond with their new car and to rethink everything they know about Kia,” enthuses Mr. Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President and COO, International Business Division, Kia Motors Corporation.

Kia Soul is a five-door hatchback with front-wheel drive, a high roofline and an unusually long wheelbase. Soul will offer cavernous passenger space that matches or even outperforms many vehicles with much larger exterior dimensions. Luggage capacity is also generous – 340 litres with the rear seats upright, the same as the Kia cee’d hatchback.

“Highly competitive levels of specification and state-of-the-art active and passive safety equipment will ensure that consumers convert their initial emotional attraction to Soul into a purchase decision without worrying that their heart might be unwisely overruling their head,” adds Vainamo.

When Soul goes on sale in Europe in late 2008/early 2009, customers will be able to choose from a line-up of up to 15* Soul cars, with five equipment levels, two engines (with manual or automatic transmissions), and a range of option packs – depending on individual markets.

Kia Motors Corporation Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, has overseen the evolution of Kia Soul from 2006 concept fantasy to its 2008 production reality. “The new Kia Soul will be a breakthrough vehicle for Kia on its journey to be seen as a design-led company and the maker of distinctive cars which consumers aspire to own. Conceived in the USA, developed in Korea and fine-tuned in Europe, I strongly believe that the production Kia Soul urban crossover is a completely resolved design that has successfully achieved its own distinctive style.”

“Kia Soul is all about creating a car that demonstrates our passion for automotive design, gets Kia talked about the media and the public, and generates an irresistible customer appeal that will translate into strong sales,” adds Schreyer.

Kia Motors’ senior executives and its many dealers are confident that when customers first experience the new Kia Soul urban crossover they are going to be deeply impressed by its style, colours, execution, quality, materials, and fit and finish.

“First impressions will make a big impact and there will be several unique aspects to the experience of sitting in the Soul,” enthuses Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer, Kia Motors Europe. “The tall doors and high-mounted seats make for easy access, while the ‘laid back’ dashboard, triple dial instrument cluster and thick-rimmed steering wheel create an unusual combination of spaciousness for passengers and cosiness for the driver to generate a very special ambience inside this new Kia.”

Every Kia Soul in Europe will be equipped with a factory-fit RDS radio/single CD player with MP3 compatibility, plus USB, AUX and iPod connections in the centre console and six audio speakers, a 112 watts output, innovative PowerBass technology and a roof-top antenna. An Upgraded Sound System – complete with ‘Sound Sensitive Mood Lighting’, a 315 watts output, a large diameter dash-top centre speaker, external amplifier and a sub-woofer mounted in the trunk for a total of eight speakers – can be specified.

In Europe, Soul customers will be offered a choice of 126 ps diesel with DPF (and a 115 ps ‘low-power’ version in some countries), or 126 ps gasoline engines, based closely on the 1.6-litre units first designed and produced by Kia’s engineers for the Kia cee’d model made in Slovakia. All three engines are Euro4 compliant for emissions.

Soul acceleration times (to 100 kph) range from 10.4 to 11.3 seconds and fuel consumption spreads over a 5.1 to 6.6 litres/100 km span, while CO2 figures vary between 137 and 159 g/km for European models.

For the USA and several other non-European General markets, the Kia Soul will also be available with a 2-litre, 142 ps gasoline engine with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

The Kia Soul will be available with the highest levels of active and passive safety, to fully satisfy the ever-increasing consumer expectations of modern car design. Kia Soul cars supplied to the majority of countries in Western Europe and all of North America will be fitted with six airbags, four disc brakes and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) – increasingly a ‘proven technology’ in accident avoidance – as standard. In other countries ESP will be available as a factory-fitted option.

Kia Motors Corporation is planning to manufacture up to 136,000 examples of the Kia Soul annually at its Gwangju facility in Korea. The plant has been extensively refurbished for its new role, enhancing vehicle quality and greatly increasing the flexibility of the production processes.

Overall sales volumes are expected to split 36,000 to the domestic Korean market, 50,000 units to North America, 30,000 to Europe and 20,000 to other ‘General’ markets worldwide. A dedicated version of Kia Soul for the Chinese market will be produced locally in China at the rate of 40,000 units annually, starting during 2009.