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Kia Soul with "Flex-Fuel" (copyright image)

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3rd November, 2010

Kia Motors has celebrated the world premiere of its new fuel efficient, ethanol-petrol powered Soul Flex, at the Sao Paulo Motor Show (26th Salao Internacional do Automovel), in Brasil.

Kia’s Soul Flex is the first Korean FFV (Flexible Fuel Vehicle) which can run on an ethanol-petrol mixture, 100% ethanol or 100% petrol. It is especially designed for the Brasilian market, where ‘flex’ models account for more than 85% of the new car sales.

Currently, Brasil is ranked No. 2 in the world, in terms of ethanol production, and consequently its motorists enjoy the low cost of ethanol, which is priced at 40% less than petrol. As well as lower fuel costs, the industrial product tax (purchase tax) on new flex vehicles is only 11%, 2% lower than petrol models.

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The newly-introduced Soul Flex, with its unique exterior design features, boasts a 44% improvement in fuel efficiency compared with the existing petrol model and superior power (94 kW) and torque (161 Nm) outputs, which are improved by 3.2% and 3.7% respectively from the original model.

Differences from the petrol model include the newly adapted fuel injection and catalyst system as well as engine compression ratio – changes which combine to achieve enhanced fuel economy.

Changes made to accommodate the more abrasive nature of ethanol fuel include reinforcing the fuel pump, pillar cap and fuel line, and fitting a fuel tank assistance system in order to aid engine ignition at low temperatures.

Kia Motors is exporting Soul Flex to Brasil, with the new models going on sale at local Kia dealerships early 2011. Kia is planning to introduce an all-new Sportage ‘Flex’ model at the end 2011, and Kia will further strengthen its presence in Brasilian market as new flex models are to be introduced in each market segment.

So far in 2010, Brasil has been one of Kia’s best performing markets, with sales increasing by 151% year-on-year, reaching 40,865 units up to the end of September.

Maximising the introduction of new models, such as Flex models and new SUVs tailored to suit local consumer demands, Kia plans to expand its sales volume in Brasil as well as other Central and South American market.


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