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Kia Motors Heralds Four Premieres At Paris Motor Show


26th September, 2008

2009 Kia Soul 
Image: copyright Kia Motors Corporation - used by Next Car Pty Ltd with permission

  • World premiere for Kia Soul urban crossover passenger car for global markets
  • World premiere for Kia cee'd ISG (Idle Stop&Go) a fuel-stretcher!
  • World premiere for Kia cee'd Hybrid concept
  • World premiere for Kia Soul Hybrid concept
  • European premiere of Kia Sportage FCEV fuel cell electric test vehicle

To celebrate the world premiere of the all-new Kia Soul urban crossover passenger car at the Paris Motor Show on 4th October 2008, Kia Motors Corporation will be displaying seven examples of its latest model in a special 'Soul World' zone throughout the 16-day event.

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 global consumers. It will attract thousands of 'conquest' sales to 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.

Distinctive styling like no Kia before!

Kia Motors Corporation's 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.

Space to feel free, plus a sensational sound system

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," enthused 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."

Innovative Audio with 'Mood Lighting' option

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 boot for a total of eight speakers - can be specified.

Choice of 94 kW diesel and 94 kW petrol powertrains

In Europe, Soul customers will be offered a choice of 94 kW diesel engine with DPF (and an 86 kW 'low-power' version in some countries) or 94 kW petrol engine, both 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 km/h) 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 grammes/kilometre for European models.

For the USA and several other non-European markets, the Kia Soul will also be available with a 2-litre, 106 kW petrol engine with five speed manual or four speed automatic transmission.

ESP and six airbags available to boost Soul safety

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 North America and the majority of countries in Western Europe will be fitted with six airbags, four disc brakes and ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) - increasingly a 'proven technology' in accident avoidance - as standard. In other countries ESP will be available as a factory-fitted option.

Producing a brand new global model

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 markets worldwide (including Australia). A dedicated version of Kia Soul for the Chinese market will be produced in China at the rate of 40,000 units annually, starting during 2009.

Australian Availability

Local specifications have not yet been announced. However, the Next Car team is not expecting the diesel Soul to come to Australia. The Kia Soul is expected in local showrooms in the first half of next year.

Four new models star in Kia's 'Green Zone'

Kia will display four new models in a dedicated 'Green Zone' at the Paris Motor Show. The Kia cee'd ISG, Soul Hybrid, cee'd Hybrid and Sportage FCEV are the latest results of the corporation's continuing and massive investment in eco-friendly technologies for the future. Moving forwards from research vehicles to production vehicles, Kia Motors will progressively introduce 'eco-friendly' technologies across its model range from 2009 onwards.

One of the first 'eco-friendly' technologies to transfer from concept to reality will be Kia's new ISG (Idle Stop&Go) system which makes its world premiere at Paris and will be available on Kia cee'd petrol models from early 2009. The innovative ISG system automatically switches the engine off - when the car is stopped in heavy traffic - and on again when traffic moves, cutting fuel consumption and emissions by up to 15% in typical city driving conditions.

The Kia cee'd is sold exclusively in Europe.

Kia Soul Hybrid concept car (copyright image)

Hybrid power for Kia Soul and Kia cee'd

Also making their world premieres at Paris are the Kia cee'd Hybrid and the Kia Soul Hybrid concept cars. The Soul Hybrid concept comes complete with a panoramic powered folding fabric roof, plus a transparent bonnet and floor, so the new hybrid powertrain and battery pack can be viewed by show visitors.

This Soul features Kia's Gamma 1.6-litre petrol engine, matched to a 15 kW, 105 Nm AC synchronised electric motor, with Kia's own CVT (continuously variable transmission), ISG (Idle Stop&Go) and 'regenerative braking' to re-charge its power pack. The prototype is designed to achieve a fuel consumption of 4.9 litres/100 km and a CO2 figure of 117 grammes/kilometre - reducing CO2 emissions by 26.4%.

The Kia cee'd Hybrid has been designed by Kia R&D to take part in 'real-world' test activities in Europe. Like the Soul Hybrid, the cee'd uses an upgraded powertrain with a 1.6-litre engine and a 15 kW electric motor. Environmental performance targets are 4.8 litres/100 km and a CO2 figure of 114 g/km.

Kia brings fuel cell vehicle to Europe

As part of Kia Motors Corporation's continuing fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) programme, the Kia Sportage FCEV is undergoing constant testing and evolution. Now, Kia has transported this hard-working prototype to Europe to make its European premiere in Paris.

Intensive research and development has resulted in numerous technical innovations, including a higher output 100 kW fuel cell and a new lithium ion polymer 152-volt battery pack, which give the Sportage FCEV better performance, a greatly extended 300 km driving range and a cold weather start-up capability in enable operation in sub-zero temperatures. The Sportage FCEV is equipped with hydrogen-powered fuel cells and a next generation E-drive train, electric motor and control unit developed in-house by KMC.

Other Kia content: here.

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