Kia Soul is one of company’s bestsellers and in order to keep its crown it will receive additional powertrain options. According to a Kia product planner who spoke with Automobilemag, the Soul will receive a 1.6-liter turbocharge four-cylinder engine found also on the Forte SX Turbo and the Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
On the mentioned models, the engine delivers 201 hp at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb-ft from 1,750 – 4,500 rpm. What’s more interesting is that Kia is also planning to add an all-wheel-drive version of the Soul as they receive plenty of requests for such a version from dealers.
Currently, the Kia Soul is only available with 1.6- and 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines that deliver 130 hp and 164 hp, respectively.
The model that will receive the turbocharged engine will also get a revised suspension system, but also more powerful brakes. If you remember, Kia introduce the high-performance Track’ster concept at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show and the vehicle used a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine developing 250 hp as well as a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive.
Although there are not too many details, the Soul is expected to receive the same all-wheel drive system found on the Sportage crossover. With AWD, the Kia Soul would take on other vehicles such as the Chevrolet Trax and the recently introduced Honda CR-V.
Kia Motors has long been known to have concept vehicles having a close link with production models. However for the 2014 Soul, the brand did not take any chances. For example, when the Track'ster concept made its official debut in 2012, analysts and fans of the Soul pleaded with Kia for this particular fantasy to come to life. Having only 18 months from design freeze to production, the stage was ready for the new Soul, as well as a number of the concept’s dramatic cues, to be seen in the production vehicle.
In describing the Track'ster, Chief Designer Tom Kearns at the California Studio, compared it to a bulldog and added that this same theme is conveyed in the new Soul, no matter where one looks. Making the Soul easily recognizable are the unique fender flares, squared shoulders, and upright stance. Wheelbase is now 101.2 inches, an increase of 0.8 inches, with total width increased by 0.6 inches to 70.9 inches.
Height however is unchanged at 63.4 inches. These figures mean that the new look of the Soul has that aggressive edge. Signature design elements are still present like the tall ride height, high-mounted tail lights, and the wraparound greenhouse. Kia also put in premium touches like the LED positioning lights on the front and the LED “halo” lights on the rear.
This allows the Soul to connect within the brand’s range models that have the same design cues. Examples include the 2014 Forte sedan and the 2014 Sorento CUV. According to Kearns, the new Soul is one of the most difficult assignments that the brand has taken on. It was difficult, he added, having the daring stance and proportions of the Track'ster and balancing it with the excellent design of the current model.
With assistance from Kia’s studio in Korea and guidance coming from Peter Schreyer in Frankfurt, he continued, it proved to be an effort that is truly collaborative. In the end, Kearns revealed, Kia managed to keep the spirit of the Soul while giving it more presence both on the exterior and the interior.