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Found 20 results

  1. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Kia Soul Exclaim

    I happen to be a big fan of the Kia Soul. Its daring looks, spacious interior, and overall value make it an interesting option in the compact class. It seems many others would agree as the Soul is one of Kia’s best selling models. To help keep it up there, Kia has introduced a new turbo engine for the top-line Exclaim (!) model along with minor changes for 2017. Let's see how these changes affect the Soul. Aside from the turbo engine, Kia made some design tweaks to the Exclaim to have it stand out from other Soul trims. This includes a new front bumper, red accents, 18-inch alloy wheels, a twin-tip exhaust, and exclusive colors like this copper color seen here. The little changes really make the Soul stand out even further than before. Moving on to the turbo engine, it is a 1.6L four-cylinder packing 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is only paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. If you really want a manual with your turbo-four, Kia will gladly sell you a Forte5 SX which features the same engine. There is a brief moment of turbo lag when you step on the accelerator, but the engine comes into its own after this with power building smoothly. There are no issues with getting up to speed when merging or making a pass. The dual-clutch transmission is a bit of a mixed bag. In stop-and-go traffic, the transmission exhibits some jerkiness and lazy shifts. We also noticed the transmission was slow to respond in terms of downshifting, making us think the programming for this transmission was focused on fuel economy. At higher speeds, the transmission is better with rapid and smooth shifts. The turbo engine has the highest fuel economy fuel economy figures in the Soul lineup with an EPA rating of 26 City/31 Highway/28 Combined. We saw an average of 25.3 mpg during our week in mostly city driving, which is slightly disappointing. With the turbo engine and racy looks, you might think that this particular Soul is fun to drive. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not the case. Out on a winding road, the Soul is competent with minimal body roll and okay steering. This would be ok if it weren’t for the sporty image that is being portrayed by the exterior. We do wish that Kia had made some changes to the suspension to make it slightly sportier. The upside to not messing with the Soul’s suspension is it mostly retains the smooth and comfortable ride of other models. Mostly is the keyword as the 18-inch wheels do introduce some harshness to the Soul’s ride. There is a fair amount of wind and road noise, most of this due to the Soul’s boxy shape. The Soul’s interior is still as sharp looking as it first was when the current model was launched in 2013. Little touches such as the uniquely styled air vents and orange accent stitching give the Soul a bit of whimsy. The extensive use of soft-touch materials gives off an aura of quality. Driver and passenger get power seats which make finding a comfortable position very easy. Those sitting in the back will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom, due to the Soul’s boxy shape. Our test Soul came with optional Technology Package that includes an 8-inch touchscreen with Kia’s UVO infotainment system and navigation. It is beginning to show its age in terms of the graphics, but it is still one of the most intuitive systems on sale today. A simple layout and redundant physical buttons make it breeze to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is an added bonus. The Exclaim begins at $22,650 and comes well equipped. Standard features include automatic climate control, 7-inch touchscreen with UVO, Bluetooth, leather and cloth wrapped seats, push-button start with proximity key, and automatic headlights. Opt for the technology to get the 8-inch system, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, heated seats and steering wheel, and power folding mirrors. For only $26,995, you get a nicely equipped vehicle. Our test vehicle is slightly more expensive at $27,620 due to an optional panoramic sunroof which we would skip. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Soul, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Kia Model: Soul Trim: ! (Exclaim) Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/31/28 Curb Weight: 3,232 lbs Location of Manufacture: Gwangju, South Korea Base Price: $22,650 As Tested Price: $27,620 (Includes $850.00 Destination Charge) Options: Technology Package - $3,000.00 Panoramic Sunroof - $1,000.00 Carpeted Floor Mars - $120.00 View full article
  2. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Kia Soul Exclaim

    I happen to be a big fan of the Kia Soul. Its daring looks, spacious interior, and overall value make it an interesting option in the compact class. It seems many others would agree as the Soul is one of Kia’s best selling models. To help keep it up there, Kia has introduced a new turbo engine for the top-line Exclaim (!) model along with minor changes for 2017. Let's see how these changes affect the Soul. Aside from the turbo engine, Kia made some design tweaks to the Exclaim to have it stand out from other Soul trims. This includes a new front bumper, red accents, 18-inch alloy wheels, a twin-tip exhaust, and exclusive colors like this copper color seen here. The little changes really make the Soul stand out even further than before. Moving on to the turbo engine, it is a 1.6L four-cylinder packing 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is only paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. If you really want a manual with your turbo-four, Kia will gladly sell you a Forte5 SX which features the same engine. There is a brief moment of turbo lag when you step on the accelerator, but the engine comes into its own after this with power building smoothly. There are no issues with getting up to speed when merging or making a pass. The dual-clutch transmission is a bit of a mixed bag. In stop-and-go traffic, the transmission exhibits some jerkiness and lazy shifts. We also noticed the transmission was slow to respond in terms of downshifting, making us think the programming for this transmission was focused on fuel economy. At higher speeds, the transmission is better with rapid and smooth shifts. The turbo engine has the highest fuel economy fuel economy figures in the Soul lineup with an EPA rating of 26 City/31 Highway/28 Combined. We saw an average of 25.3 mpg during our week in mostly city driving, which is slightly disappointing. With the turbo engine and racy looks, you might think that this particular Soul is fun to drive. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not the case. Out on a winding road, the Soul is competent with minimal body roll and okay steering. This would be ok if it weren’t for the sporty image that is being portrayed by the exterior. We do wish that Kia had made some changes to the suspension to make it slightly sportier. The upside to not messing with the Soul’s suspension is it mostly retains the smooth and comfortable ride of other models. Mostly is the keyword as the 18-inch wheels do introduce some harshness to the Soul’s ride. There is a fair amount of wind and road noise, most of this due to the Soul’s boxy shape. The Soul’s interior is still as sharp looking as it first was when the current model was launched in 2013. Little touches such as the uniquely styled air vents and orange accent stitching give the Soul a bit of whimsy. The extensive use of soft-touch materials gives off an aura of quality. Driver and passenger get power seats which make finding a comfortable position very easy. Those sitting in the back will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom, due to the Soul’s boxy shape. Our test Soul came with optional Technology Package that includes an 8-inch touchscreen with Kia’s UVO infotainment system and navigation. It is beginning to show its age in terms of the graphics, but it is still one of the most intuitive systems on sale today. A simple layout and redundant physical buttons make it breeze to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is an added bonus. The Exclaim begins at $22,650 and comes well equipped. Standard features include automatic climate control, 7-inch touchscreen with UVO, Bluetooth, leather and cloth wrapped seats, push-button start with proximity key, and automatic headlights. Opt for the technology to get the 8-inch system, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, heated seats and steering wheel, and power folding mirrors. For only $26,995, you get a nicely equipped vehicle. Our test vehicle is slightly more expensive at $27,620 due to an optional panoramic sunroof which we would skip. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Soul, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Kia Model: Soul Trim: ! (Exclaim) Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/31/28 Curb Weight: 3,232 lbs Location of Manufacture: Gwangju, South Korea Base Price: $22,650 As Tested Price: $27,620 (Includes $850.00 Destination Charge) Options: Technology Package - $3,000.00 Panoramic Sunroof - $1,000.00 Carpeted Floor Mars - $120.00
  3. William Maley

    Kia News: Kia Adds A Bit of Spice for 2017 Soul

    Previous Page Next Page Ever since Kia unveiled a turbocharged version of the Soul in Paris back in September, we have been waiting for the South Korean to make the announcement for U.S.-spec Soul Turbo. Today, Kia has introduced the 2017 Soul! - we'll be referring to it as the Exclaim in this story - with turbo power. As before, the Exclaim sits on top of the Soul's hierarchy and swaps the 2.0L four-cylinder for an all new 1.6L turbo-four with 201 horsepower and 196 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Other changes the Exclaim gets for 2017 includes a chrome grille surround, body accents finished in red, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a dual chrome twin-tip exhaust. Standard equipment includes push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8.0-inch touchscreen with UVO3, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and a couple of USB ports. Options include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 315-watt Harman/Kardon audio system. “We wanted to provide loyal Soul lovers and new buyers a sportier option. The 2017 Soul Exclaim with its turbocharged engine gives the car’s fans another wonderful choice from an already wonderful line-up,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning KMA. No word on pricing or when the 2017 Soul Exclaim will go on sale. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 New Soul Exclaim Adds 1.6-liter Turbocharged GDI Engine with 40 More Horsepower, 45 More lb.-ft. of Torque and More to Love More power makes Kia’s funky urban runabout more fun than ever More power and improved fuel economy Other love-inducing additions include specialized trim and upscale, sportier features SAN FRANCISCO, November 8, 2016—It’s hard to make something great even better, but Kia did when it added a 201-horsepower turbocharged engine to one of its best-selling, most-iconic and most beloved vehicles. Fans of the Soul had long lobbied for a little more zip in their favorite ride and the 2017 Soul Exclaim didn’t disappoint when it was revealed to media today. “We wanted to provide loyal Soul lovers and new buyers a sportier option,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “The 2017 Soul Exclaim with its turbocharged engine gives the car’s fans another wonderful choice from an already wonderful line-up.” Though the 1.6-liter turbo engine adds 40 horsepower, fuel economy is 28 miles-per-gallon, city and highway combined1—slightly better than the combined mileage of the 2.0-liter normally-aspirated 161-hp engine in the Soul Plus and in the Soul Base 1.6-liter, which produces 130 horsepower. Performance in the turbocharged Exclaim is further enhanced by the addition of a new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which, via quicker and smoother shift points and no shift shock, makes for more dynamic acceleration and contributes to a more engaging driving experience. In addition to the turbo engine, the Exclaim includes specialized trim and sportier features, including: exclusive 18-inch wheels; red-accented body trim; chrome grille surround, unique Soul tailgate badge; and, for the first time on Soul, dual chrome twin-tip exhaust. The Exclaim also gets a standard leather-wrapped, D-shaped steering wheel, pushbutton start with smart key and UVO32 with e-Services with integrated Android Auto™3 and Apple CarPlay ™4 . A thumping 315-watt Harman Kardon® 5 premium audio system with eight speakers, including a center channel and subwoofer, navigation and 8-inch touchscreen display is also available. Other new options for the 2017 model year are convenience systems such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection are also available6. The 2017 Soul is available in three trim levels: Base with manual or automatic 6-speed transmission; Soul Plus with the 6-speed automatic; and the Exclaim turbo with the new 7-speed DCT. There are also two new exterior colors. Redesigned headlights and fog lights, along with front and rear fascias lend a more aggressive appearance while two dedicated USB charge ports and an available 8-way power passenger seat add convenience and comfort. Previous Page Next Page View full article
  4. William Maley

    Kia Adds A Bit of Spice for 2017 Soul

    Previous Page Next Page Ever since Kia unveiled a turbocharged version of the Soul in Paris back in September, we have been waiting for the South Korean to make the announcement for U.S.-spec Soul Turbo. Today, Kia has introduced the 2017 Soul! - we'll be referring to it as the Exclaim in this story - with turbo power. As before, the Exclaim sits on top of the Soul's hierarchy and swaps the 2.0L four-cylinder for an all new 1.6L turbo-four with 201 horsepower and 196 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Other changes the Exclaim gets for 2017 includes a chrome grille surround, body accents finished in red, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a dual chrome twin-tip exhaust. Standard equipment includes push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8.0-inch touchscreen with UVO3, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and a couple of USB ports. Options include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 315-watt Harman/Kardon audio system. “We wanted to provide loyal Soul lovers and new buyers a sportier option. The 2017 Soul Exclaim with its turbocharged engine gives the car’s fans another wonderful choice from an already wonderful line-up,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning KMA. No word on pricing or when the 2017 Soul Exclaim will go on sale. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 New Soul Exclaim Adds 1.6-liter Turbocharged GDI Engine with 40 More Horsepower, 45 More lb.-ft. of Torque and More to Love More power makes Kia’s funky urban runabout more fun than ever More power and improved fuel economy Other love-inducing additions include specialized trim and upscale, sportier features SAN FRANCISCO, November 8, 2016—It’s hard to make something great even better, but Kia did when it added a 201-horsepower turbocharged engine to one of its best-selling, most-iconic and most beloved vehicles. Fans of the Soul had long lobbied for a little more zip in their favorite ride and the 2017 Soul Exclaim didn’t disappoint when it was revealed to media today. “We wanted to provide loyal Soul lovers and new buyers a sportier option,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “The 2017 Soul Exclaim with its turbocharged engine gives the car’s fans another wonderful choice from an already wonderful line-up.” Though the 1.6-liter turbo engine adds 40 horsepower, fuel economy is 28 miles-per-gallon, city and highway combined1—slightly better than the combined mileage of the 2.0-liter normally-aspirated 161-hp engine in the Soul Plus and in the Soul Base 1.6-liter, which produces 130 horsepower. Performance in the turbocharged Exclaim is further enhanced by the addition of a new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which, via quicker and smoother shift points and no shift shock, makes for more dynamic acceleration and contributes to a more engaging driving experience. In addition to the turbo engine, the Exclaim includes specialized trim and sportier features, including: exclusive 18-inch wheels; red-accented body trim; chrome grille surround, unique Soul tailgate badge; and, for the first time on Soul, dual chrome twin-tip exhaust. The Exclaim also gets a standard leather-wrapped, D-shaped steering wheel, pushbutton start with smart key and UVO32 with e-Services with integrated Android Auto™3 and Apple CarPlay ™4 . A thumping 315-watt Harman Kardon® 5 premium audio system with eight speakers, including a center channel and subwoofer, navigation and 8-inch touchscreen display is also available. Other new options for the 2017 model year are convenience systems such as Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection are also available6. The 2017 Soul is available in three trim levels: Base with manual or automatic 6-speed transmission; Soul Plus with the 6-speed automatic; and the Exclaim turbo with the new 7-speed DCT. There are also two new exterior colors. Redesigned headlights and fog lights, along with front and rear fascias lend a more aggressive appearance while two dedicated USB charge ports and an available 8-way power passenger seat add convenience and comfort. Previous Page Next Page
  5. William Maley

    2017 Kia Soul Reaches Turbo Level

    A few months ago, we reported on a Kia ad that sneakily revealed that a turbocharged Soul would be arriving this winter. Now Kia has spilled the beans on the 2017 Soul Turbo before its official debut at the Paris Motor Show next week. As was speculated, the Soul Turbo will use the 1.6L turbocharged-four used in the used in the Forte Koup and Forte5 (Cee'd GT and Pro_Cee'd GT in Europe). It produces 201 horsepower and will go through a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. 0-60 mph takes about 7.5 seconds. Outside, the turbo model features new bumpers, slightly tweaked front grille, and a new set of 18-inch aluminum wheels. Kia will begin sales of the 2017 Soul Turbo later this year in Europe. Expect Kia to provide details on the U.S.-spec model at the LA Auto Show in November or sometime sooner. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 Kia introduces powerful new Soul 1.6 T-GDI and updates Soul model line-up New Soul variant powered by 201 bhp 1.6-litre T-GDI Engine paired with fast-shifting seven-speed double-clutch transmission Design complements enhanced performance New safety features, and Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlayTM integration Upgraded Soul and Soul 1.6 T-GDI on sale in UK from late 2016 Kia has announced details of a range of upgrades to the Soul compact SUV, and the introduction of a powerful new 201 bhp 1.6-litre T-GDI engine variant, the most powerful Soul ever engineered by the Korean brand. The Soul has received a light update to its exterior and interior design, and is now available with new safety and infotainment technologies. The upgraded Soul and Soul 1.6 T-GDI will be available in the UK from late 2016 and will have its public unveiling at the 2016 Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l'Automobile) on 29 September. Soup for the Soul: Kia launches new 201 bhp Soul 1.6 T-GDI Kia has introduced a new version of the Soul to the line-up - the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI. Powered by Kia's 201 bhp 1.6-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) engine from the cee'd GT and pro_cee'd GT, the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI is the most powerful Soul that Kia has produced. With the new engine, the car will accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in 7.5 seconds, with a top speed of 122 mph and produce CO2 emissions of 156 g/km. The engine transmits its power to the front wheels through Kia's advanced new seven-speed double-clutch transmission (7DCT), providing instant gear changes and decisive acceleration at all speeds. A new Drive Mode Selector - available across the Soul range on models equipped with the 7DCT - lets Soul T-GDI drivers switch between Normal, Eco and Sport modes, each subtly adapting the level of steering assistance available, to allow for normal, light or heavy steering depending on driver preference and driving conditions. The Soul 1.6 T-GDI is differentiated from conventional models in the Soul range with a series of exterior modifications, including a bolder front bumper and air intake grille design, twin exhaust pipes at the rear, and its own 10-spoke 18-inch aluminium alloy wheel design. Completing the sportier appearance of the T-GDI model are red highlights to the front bumper and side sills. Kia has also made changes to the interior of the Soul 1.6 T-GDI. The powerful new model features its own distinctive cabin colour scheme, with black cloth and leather upholstery paired with orange stitching. A D-shaped steering wheel and orange highlights throughout the cabin, including orange metal paint on the gearstick, add further purpose to the design of the Soul 1.6 T-GDI's interior. The Soul 1.6 T-GDI is available with larger brakes than the standard Soul. The car is fitted with 17" ventilated front discs, the solid rear discs remain the same size. The revised brakes reduce the stopping distance of the Turbo model slightly, to 35.3 metres when stopping from 60 mph (down from 35.5 metres), with the changes primarily made to ensure fade-free braking power under consistent use. Design and technology upgrades to the Kia Soul range The Kia Soul range has received a series of upgrades to further enhance its appeal among buyers. These include updates to its exterior appearance, with remodelled front and rear bumpers with a metallic skid plate for a more robust appearance. The Soul's front bumper houses optional bi-function HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights with LED daytime running lights, and an updated finish to Kia's signature ‘tiger-nose' grille. The rear of the car features newly-designed fog lamps and reflectors for greater illumination for following road users. The ambience of the cabin has also been enhanced with the introduction of new gloss black and metallic highlights and switchgear. In addition, new exterior features emphasise the car's compact SUV credential with a gloss black finish to front and rear wheel arches, and a body kit for front and rear bumpers and side sills on selected models. New technologies will further enhance the appeal of the Soul, with buyers able to choose from Kia's latest 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.0-inch colour touchscreen infotainment HMI (human-machine interface). The new HMI systems provide smartphone-style touchscreen control over the audio-visual navigation system, and is available with Apple CarPlayTM (for iPhone 5 or newer) and Android AutoTM (for Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer) for full smartphone integration. The new HMI systems also house a rear-view parking camera, and a new USB port has been added to the rear of the cabin, allowing back-seat passengers to charge mobile devices on the move. The front passenger seat is also now available with eight-way power adjustment, and drivers can benefit from new rain-sensing windscreen wipers and, in models equipped with 7DCT, the new Drive Mode Selector. Safety is also improved in the Soul with the adoption of Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) for the first time, giving drivers better all-round visibility on motorways and during low-speed parking manoeuvres. 2017 Kia Soul and Soul 1.6 T-GDI on sale in UK from late 2016 The upgraded Kia Soul and the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI will be available from Kia's UK dealer network in late 2016 following its unveiling in Paris. Full UK specification and pricing will be released at launch.
  6. William Maley

    2017 Kia Soul Reaches Turbo Level

    A few months ago, we reported on a Kia ad that sneakily revealed that a turbocharged Soul would be arriving this winter. Now Kia has spilled the beans on the 2017 Soul Turbo before its official debut at the Paris Motor Show next week. As was speculated, the Soul Turbo will use the 1.6L turbocharged-four used in the used in the Forte Koup and Forte5 (Cee'd GT and Pro_Cee'd GT in Europe). It produces 201 horsepower and will go through a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. 0-60 mph takes about 7.5 seconds. Outside, the turbo model features new bumpers, slightly tweaked front grille, and a new set of 18-inch aluminum wheels. Kia will begin sales of the 2017 Soul Turbo later this year in Europe. Expect Kia to provide details on the U.S.-spec model at the LA Auto Show in November or sometime sooner. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 Kia introduces powerful new Soul 1.6 T-GDI and updates Soul model line-up New Soul variant powered by 201 bhp 1.6-litre T-GDI Engine paired with fast-shifting seven-speed double-clutch transmission Design complements enhanced performance New safety features, and Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlayTM integration Upgraded Soul and Soul 1.6 T-GDI on sale in UK from late 2016 Kia has announced details of a range of upgrades to the Soul compact SUV, and the introduction of a powerful new 201 bhp 1.6-litre T-GDI engine variant, the most powerful Soul ever engineered by the Korean brand. The Soul has received a light update to its exterior and interior design, and is now available with new safety and infotainment technologies. The upgraded Soul and Soul 1.6 T-GDI will be available in the UK from late 2016 and will have its public unveiling at the 2016 Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l'Automobile) on 29 September. Soup for the Soul: Kia launches new 201 bhp Soul 1.6 T-GDI Kia has introduced a new version of the Soul to the line-up - the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI. Powered by Kia's 201 bhp 1.6-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) engine from the cee'd GT and pro_cee'd GT, the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI is the most powerful Soul that Kia has produced. With the new engine, the car will accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in 7.5 seconds, with a top speed of 122 mph and produce CO2 emissions of 156 g/km. The engine transmits its power to the front wheels through Kia's advanced new seven-speed double-clutch transmission (7DCT), providing instant gear changes and decisive acceleration at all speeds. A new Drive Mode Selector - available across the Soul range on models equipped with the 7DCT - lets Soul T-GDI drivers switch between Normal, Eco and Sport modes, each subtly adapting the level of steering assistance available, to allow for normal, light or heavy steering depending on driver preference and driving conditions. The Soul 1.6 T-GDI is differentiated from conventional models in the Soul range with a series of exterior modifications, including a bolder front bumper and air intake grille design, twin exhaust pipes at the rear, and its own 10-spoke 18-inch aluminium alloy wheel design. Completing the sportier appearance of the T-GDI model are red highlights to the front bumper and side sills. Kia has also made changes to the interior of the Soul 1.6 T-GDI. The powerful new model features its own distinctive cabin colour scheme, with black cloth and leather upholstery paired with orange stitching. A D-shaped steering wheel and orange highlights throughout the cabin, including orange metal paint on the gearstick, add further purpose to the design of the Soul 1.6 T-GDI's interior. The Soul 1.6 T-GDI is available with larger brakes than the standard Soul. The car is fitted with 17" ventilated front discs, the solid rear discs remain the same size. The revised brakes reduce the stopping distance of the Turbo model slightly, to 35.3 metres when stopping from 60 mph (down from 35.5 metres), with the changes primarily made to ensure fade-free braking power under consistent use. Design and technology upgrades to the Kia Soul range The Kia Soul range has received a series of upgrades to further enhance its appeal among buyers. These include updates to its exterior appearance, with remodelled front and rear bumpers with a metallic skid plate for a more robust appearance. The Soul's front bumper houses optional bi-function HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights with LED daytime running lights, and an updated finish to Kia's signature ‘tiger-nose' grille. The rear of the car features newly-designed fog lamps and reflectors for greater illumination for following road users. The ambience of the cabin has also been enhanced with the introduction of new gloss black and metallic highlights and switchgear. In addition, new exterior features emphasise the car's compact SUV credential with a gloss black finish to front and rear wheel arches, and a body kit for front and rear bumpers and side sills on selected models. New technologies will further enhance the appeal of the Soul, with buyers able to choose from Kia's latest 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.0-inch colour touchscreen infotainment HMI (human-machine interface). The new HMI systems provide smartphone-style touchscreen control over the audio-visual navigation system, and is available with Apple CarPlayTM (for iPhone 5 or newer) and Android AutoTM (for Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer) for full smartphone integration. The new HMI systems also house a rear-view parking camera, and a new USB port has been added to the rear of the cabin, allowing back-seat passengers to charge mobile devices on the move. The front passenger seat is also now available with eight-way power adjustment, and drivers can benefit from new rain-sensing windscreen wipers and, in models equipped with 7DCT, the new Drive Mode Selector. Safety is also improved in the Soul with the adoption of Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) for the first time, giving drivers better all-round visibility on motorways and during low-speed parking manoeuvres. 2017 Kia Soul and Soul 1.6 T-GDI on sale in UK from late 2016 The upgraded Kia Soul and the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI will be available from Kia's UK dealer network in late 2016 following its unveiling in Paris. Full UK specification and pricing will be released at launch. View full article
  7. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com Self Driving Machines is a battle for your soul and that of Detroit! Wall Street Journal had the following story, Detroit Battles for the Soul of Self-Driving Machines. In reading this I felt it was more about Self Driving Machines and the battle for Detroit and your soul as a driver. The story goes on to follow an engineer who left Caterpillar and went to Ford only to end up at a startup that is doing far more inline with High Tech software companies than auto companies. It made me wonder if the new Detroit is not the west coast now. The amount of technology that is being aimed at the auto industry, self driving cars, internet access, updates on the fly, etc. makes it seem like the future auto's will be more of an electric device you update to get the latest and greatest and for those that want performance with customization, you pay an extra fee and get it. It is amazing to see where employment is at in this industry and how software engineers are driving the creation of new jobs and growth. The story covers how GM just bought Cruise Automation for $1 Billion dollars. Toyota just also bought a competitor company for $1 Billion dollars and the engineers are extremely wealthy now as GM's company was a 20 person startup, Toyota's company was a 16 person startup. Ford just bought a software cloud computing company for $182 million to expand their software expertise without adding layers of employees at corp. Even Tesla is not immune to the brain drain that is pulling talented people away from building advanced tech autos at established companies and going to startups. The story goes on about the signing bonuses at more than $25,000 a year and how Google and Apple is just consuming them with traditional high paying software development paying jobs that the auto industry is not used to paying. The interesting ending comment is from GM, Quote: “The notion that we’re hiring someone at GM, cradle to grave, a lifer, that’s dead,” Mr. Huffaker said. The goal instead is to get them to stay longer, he said. This was a great story that talks to me and shows just how technology is radically changing the auto industry at a pace they have never dealt with before and could make evolutionary changes in just a few years compared to the 20-30 years it used to take to cause profound change in a product line. Check it out and sound off on what your thoughts are on this!
  8. William Maley

    Kia News: Kia Teases Soul Turbo For Winter 2016

    The Kia Soul is one the popular models in their lineup. But even more popular are the Soul ads with hamsters (Kia would like you to call them Hamstars). Recently, Kia unveiled a new ad with the Hamstars and the Soul EV (with others to follow). But the automaker slipped something towards the end of the ad of a new powertrain option. In the closing frames, Kia has an overview of the Soul lineup with Gas, Electric, and Turbo. Turbo? Right next to it is 'Winter 2016'. Very sneaky Kia. Rumors of a turbocharged Soul have been flying around for a few years now, but this could be first real indication of it. What could be under the hood of the Soul Turbo? Car and Driver speculates it might be the turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder used in the Forte Koup and Forte5. The engine produces 201 horsepower. Source: Car and Driver, Kia View full article
  9. William Maley

    Kia Teases Soul Turbo For Winter 2016

    The Kia Soul is one the popular models in their lineup. But even more popular are the Soul ads with hamsters (Kia would like you to call them Hamstars). Recently, Kia unveiled a new ad with the Hamstars and the Soul EV (with others to follow). But the automaker slipped something towards the end of the ad of a new powertrain option. In the closing frames, Kia has an overview of the Soul lineup with Gas, Electric, and Turbo. Turbo? Right next to it is 'Winter 2016'. Very sneaky Kia. Rumors of a turbocharged Soul have been flying around for a few years now, but this could be first real indication of it. What could be under the hood of the Soul Turbo? Car and Driver speculates it might be the turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder used in the Forte Koup and Forte5. The engine produces 201 horsepower. Source: Car and Driver, Kia
  10. KIA MOTORS AMERICA POSTS TENTH CONSECUTIVE MONTHLY SALES RECORD Double Digit Gains for Five Models Push Year-To-Date Sales up 6.9 Percent IRVINE, Calif., March 1, 2016 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced best-ever February sales of 49,737 vehicles, a 13 percent increase over the same period last year. The brand’s tenth consecutive monthly sales record was led by the Soul and Optima, with 11,842 and 9,630 units sold, respectively. “With our Super Bowl ad, Presidents’ Day Sales Event and prominent role in the NBA All-Star Game, February was a huge month for Kia as we extended our monthly record streak to double digits,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, KMA. “Positive economic indicators, low gas prices and mild weather nationwide also drove consumers into Kia showrooms at a record pace, where they discovered the ‘New Kia’s’ line-up of world-class products.” MONTH OF FEBRUARY YEAR-TO-DATE Model 2016 2015 2016 2015 Rio 1,461 1,943 2,891 3,515 Forte 8,187 5,549 13,516 11,971 Optima 9,630 11,584 18,043 20,978 Cadenza 585 640 959 1,023 K900 83 62 151 181 Sportage 5,860 3,407 10,663 6,461 Sorento 8,101 8,518 14,796 16,061 Sedona 3,988 2,362 5,990 4,032 Soul 11,842 9,965 21,033 18,107 Total 49,737 44,030 88,042 82,329
  11. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2015 Kia Soul EV

    There are two ways you can go when building an electric vehicle, either you start with a clean sheet design or you take a vehicle you currently build and modify it. Both methods have their pluses and minuses. Going with a clean sheet gives you the ability to design a vehicle with an electric powertrain in mind, but the costs can grow exorbitantly. The opposite is true when taking a vehicle and modifying it electrification. This was a decision Kia was faced with a few years ago when they began working on their first electric vehicle. Ultimately, the company decided to use one of their current vehicles. But which one would offer the least amount of problems in the transformation? To their eyes, the Soul would be the perfect candidate. Let’s see if this decision paid off. The standard Kia Soul is already a vehicle that stands out thanks to the funky boxy design and range of wild colors. The electric version steps it up with small changes such as lighting with a blue tint, wheels painted in white, and a new front fascia with a closed off grille. That grille hides the Soul EV’s recharging ports. Inside, the Soul EV is mostly the same as the standard Soul with an expressive design and high-quality materials. Kia added some unique touches to the Soul EV’s interior such as a white trim around the gear shift and center console, and blue piping for the seats. One of the key issues when converting a standard vehicle to electric power is the loss of space due to the batteries. The Soul EV is no exception to this rule. Compared to the standard Soul, the EV has less cargo space as the batteries take up space that is normally part of an underfloor storage tray. But most owners won’t notice this loss in space as the Soul EV can still take in a lot of cargo thanks to the boxy shape. Power comes in the form of an 81kW electric motor delivering 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. While the Soul EV is 600 pounds heavier than the standard Soul, it doesn’t feel like it has gained any weight. With torque fully available at zero rpm, the Soul EV moves quite quickly. Moreover, the electric powertrain was able to provide power instantaneously whenever I needed to make a pass or merge onto a freeway. Kia says the Soul EV has a range of 93 Miles on a full charge, which is higher than the Ford Focus EV and Nissan Leaf EV. A full charge takes about four to five hours when plugged into 240V charger, or 24 hours when plugged in 120V outlet. During the week, it took about eight to ten hours for the Soul EV to charge back up from a day of driving (about 40 miles in my case). The Soul EV retains the same ride qualities as the standard Soul as it seems to glide over bumps and imperfections. There is barely any road noise entering the cabin, but wind noise is somewhat apparent. This is due to the shape of the Soul. Kia has done an excellent job with their first electric vehicle. The Soul EV shows that with that with the right base vehicle, you can create an electric vehicle that is vying for best in class honors. The big downside to the Soul EV is that Kia is only selling it certain markets. At the time of this writing, Kia is selling the Soul EV in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. If you happen to be considering and are in one of the states where Kia is selling the Soul EV, then be sure to give it a look. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Soul EV and Insurance Year: 2015 Make: Kia Model: Soul EV Trim: + Engine: 81 kW Electric Motor Driveline: Single-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 109 @ 0 Torque @ RPM: 210 @ 0 Fuel Economy: N/A Curb Weight: 3,289 lbs Location of Manufacture: Gwangju, South Korea Base Price: $35,700 As Tested Price: $35,700* (*Note: Price doesn't include destination charge or Federal and State incentives.) Options: N/A View full article
  12. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2015 Kia Soul EV

    There are two ways you can go when building an electric vehicle, either you start with a clean sheet design or you take a vehicle you currently build and modify it. Both methods have their pluses and minuses. Going with a clean sheet gives you the ability to design a vehicle with an electric powertrain in mind, but the costs can grow exorbitantly. The opposite is true when taking a vehicle and modifying it electrification. This was a decision Kia was faced with a few years ago when they began working on their first electric vehicle. Ultimately, the company decided to use one of their current vehicles. But which one would offer the least amount of problems in the transformation? To their eyes, the Soul would be the perfect candidate. Let’s see if this decision paid off. The standard Kia Soul is already a vehicle that stands out thanks to the funky boxy design and range of wild colors. The electric version steps it up with small changes such as lighting with a blue tint, wheels painted in white, and a new front fascia with a closed off grille. That grille hides the Soul EV’s recharging ports. Inside, the Soul EV is mostly the same as the standard Soul with an expressive design and high-quality materials. Kia added some unique touches to the Soul EV’s interior such as a white trim around the gear shift and center console, and blue piping for the seats. One of the key issues when converting a standard vehicle to electric power is the loss of space due to the batteries. The Soul EV is no exception to this rule. Compared to the standard Soul, the EV has less cargo space as the batteries take up space that is normally part of an underfloor storage tray. But most owners won’t notice this loss in space as the Soul EV can still take in a lot of cargo thanks to the boxy shape. Power comes in the form of an 81kW electric motor delivering 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. While the Soul EV is 600 pounds heavier than the standard Soul, it doesn’t feel like it has gained any weight. With torque fully available at zero rpm, the Soul EV moves quite quickly. Moreover, the electric powertrain was able to provide power instantaneously whenever I needed to make a pass or merge onto a freeway. Kia says the Soul EV has a range of 93 Miles on a full charge, which is higher than the Ford Focus EV and Nissan Leaf EV. A full charge takes about four to five hours when plugged into 240V charger, or 24 hours when plugged in 120V outlet. During the week, it took about eight to ten hours for the Soul EV to charge back up from a day of driving (about 40 miles in my case). The Soul EV retains the same ride qualities as the standard Soul as it seems to glide over bumps and imperfections. There is barely any road noise entering the cabin, but wind noise is somewhat apparent. This is due to the shape of the Soul. Kia has done an excellent job with their first electric vehicle. The Soul EV shows that with that with the right base vehicle, you can create an electric vehicle that is vying for best in class honors. The big downside to the Soul EV is that Kia is only selling it certain markets. At the time of this writing, Kia is selling the Soul EV in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. If you happen to be considering and are in one of the states where Kia is selling the Soul EV, then be sure to give it a look. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Soul EV and Insurance Year: 2015 Make: Kia Model: Soul EV Trim: + Engine: 81 kW Electric Motor Driveline: Single-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 109 @ 0 Torque @ RPM: 210 @ 0 Fuel Economy: N/A Curb Weight: 3,289 lbs Location of Manufacture: Gwangju, South Korea Base Price: $35,700 As Tested Price: $35,700* (*Note: Price doesn't include destination charge or Federal and State incentives.) Options: N/A
  13. Kia has released a teaser for their upcoming concept car that will be shown at Chicago. The concept will feature an electric all-wheel drive system and be aimed at "city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape." From what we can tell from the teaser shot, it looks like a Soul with a few more inches of ground clearance and body cladding. We'll have more information and live shots from Chicago Auto Show in a couple of weeks. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA TO REVEAL CONCEPT AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia Motors America will unveil an advanced and capable electric all-wheel drive (e-AWD) concept vehicle at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. This bold off-roader was conceived by Kia’s California design studio and built for city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape. Intended to enable a wide array of outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding, to camping, hiking and mountain biking, this rugged runabout captures the essence of adventuring at higher elevations with the promise of surefootedness in the wild. Kia’s newest concept will be revealed on the Kia stand Thursday, February 12 at 9 AM. View full article
  14. Kia has released a teaser for their upcoming concept car that will be shown at Chicago. The concept will feature an electric all-wheel drive system and be aimed at "city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape." From what we can tell from the teaser shot, it looks like a Soul with a few more inches of ground clearance and body cladding. We'll have more information and live shots from Chicago Auto Show in a couple of weeks. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA TO REVEAL CONCEPT AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia Motors America will unveil an advanced and capable electric all-wheel drive (e-AWD) concept vehicle at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. This bold off-roader was conceived by Kia’s California design studio and built for city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape. Intended to enable a wide array of outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding, to camping, hiking and mountain biking, this rugged runabout captures the essence of adventuring at higher elevations with the promise of surefootedness in the wild. Kia’s newest concept will be revealed on the Kia stand Thursday, February 12 at 9 AM.
  15. At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model. Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration. The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel. In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range. Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range. Press Release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials. The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.” The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient. The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul. Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. Minimal Battery Intrusion The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger. Uniquely Designed Inside and Out The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range. When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air. Forward Thinking Technology Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment. Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art. Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide. The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit.
  16. At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model. Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration. The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel. In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range. Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range. Press Release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials. The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.” The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient. The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul. Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. Minimal Battery Intrusion The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger. Uniquely Designed Inside and Out The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range. When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air. Forward Thinking Technology Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment. Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art. Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide. The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit. View full article
  17. William Maley

    Kia Announces The Soul EV For 2014

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 2, 2013 At the press launch of the 2014 Soul this week, Kia announced that an electric version of the Soul would be coming out sometime next year. This is Kia's first electric vehicle that will be sold in the U.S. The company isn't saying much about the vehicle, only saying that more information will be revealed "at an upcoming major U.S. auto show." "Eco-consciousness already comes standard on the all-new Soul with 85-percent of its materials able to be recycled at the end of its lifespan, and the Soul EV will further demonstrate Kia's engineering capabilities as well as our commitment to producing vehicles with reduced environmental footprints," said Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning of Kia Motors America. Source: Kia William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR FIRST All-ELECTRIC VEHICLE IN THE UNITED STATES Electrified Version of the All-New Soul Urban Passenger Vehicle Scheduled to Arrive in 2014 - Kia's first EV in the U.S. will combine the Soul's funky and iconic design with new styling cues aimed at improving aerodynamics and distinguishing it from non-EV Souls - Soul EV will be powered exclusively by a battery for gas-free driving and zero emissions - Images of the Soul EV will be release closer to launch Minneapolis, Oct. 1, 2013 – At the media launch of the all-new 2014 Soul, Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced plans to offer an all-electric version of the company's iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle in select markets in 2014. Already one of KMA's best-selling vehicles, an all-electric variant is a natural extension of the Soul's urban-friendly place in the brand's lineup of award-winning vehicles. More details about the Soul EV's powertrain, range/MPGe, packaging and go-to-market strategy will be announced at an upcoming major U.S. auto show. "Eco-consciousness already comes standard on the all-new Soul with 85-percent of its materials able to be recycled at the end of its lifespan, and the Soul EV will further demonstrate Kia's engineering capabilities as well as our commitment to producing vehicles with reduced environmental footprints," said Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning, KMA. "The Soul has always been a terrific choice for drivers in urban environments, and the all-new version's blend of technology, refinement, style, improved dynamics and value has allowed us to create a car that is as efficient as it is fun to drive." Kia Motors was recently ranked by Interbrand as one of the "50 Best Global Green Brands," and Soul EV will be the second alternative-fuel Kia vehicle to be offered for sale in the U.S. The award-winning Optima Hybrid was introduced in 2011 and for 2013 sees a number of enhancements including numerous powertrain refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a more robust 47 HP electric traction motor, a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery.
  18. William Maley

    Kia News: Kia Announces The Soul EV For 2014

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 2, 2013 At the press launch of the 2014 Soul this week, Kia announced that an electric version of the Soul would be coming out sometime next year. This is Kia's first electric vehicle that will be sold in the U.S. The company isn't saying much about the vehicle, only saying that more information will be revealed "at an upcoming major U.S. auto show." "Eco-consciousness already comes standard on the all-new Soul with 85-percent of its materials able to be recycled at the end of its lifespan, and the Soul EV will further demonstrate Kia's engineering capabilities as well as our commitment to producing vehicles with reduced environmental footprints," said Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning of Kia Motors America. Source: Kia William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR FIRST All-ELECTRIC VEHICLE IN THE UNITED STATES Electrified Version of the All-New Soul Urban Passenger Vehicle Scheduled to Arrive in 2014 - Kia's first EV in the U.S. will combine the Soul's funky and iconic design with new styling cues aimed at improving aerodynamics and distinguishing it from non-EV Souls - Soul EV will be powered exclusively by a battery for gas-free driving and zero emissions - Images of the Soul EV will be release closer to launch Minneapolis, Oct. 1, 2013 – At the media launch of the all-new 2014 Soul, Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced plans to offer an all-electric version of the company's iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle in select markets in 2014. Already one of KMA's best-selling vehicles, an all-electric variant is a natural extension of the Soul's urban-friendly place in the brand's lineup of award-winning vehicles. More details about the Soul EV's powertrain, range/MPGe, packaging and go-to-market strategy will be announced at an upcoming major U.S. auto show. "Eco-consciousness already comes standard on the all-new Soul with 85-percent of its materials able to be recycled at the end of its lifespan, and the Soul EV will further demonstrate Kia's engineering capabilities as well as our commitment to producing vehicles with reduced environmental footprints," said Orth Hedrick, executive director of product planning, KMA. "The Soul has always been a terrific choice for drivers in urban environments, and the all-new version's blend of technology, refinement, style, improved dynamics and value has allowed us to create a car that is as efficient as it is fun to drive." Kia Motors was recently ranked by Interbrand as one of the "50 Best Global Green Brands," and Soul EV will be the second alternative-fuel Kia vehicle to be offered for sale in the U.S. The award-winning Optima Hybrid was introduced in 2011 and for 2013 sees a number of enhancements including numerous powertrain refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a more robust 47 HP electric traction motor, a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery. View full article
  19. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 27, 2013 Kia has pulled the covers off the new 2014 Soul today at the New York Auto Show. The new 2014 model takes a lot of design cues from the 2012 Track'ster concept shown at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The most notable change is the back end where there are large, vertical taillights and a distinct tailgate design. Moving inside, the 2014 Soul gets substantially revised cabin with a new dash design featuring organic curves, soft-touch materials, and the option of leather seats. Interior space has seen a small increase in all areas. Standard equipment on the Soul include power windows, heated outside mirrors, telescoping steering wheel, six-speaker stereo with USB input, Sirius satellite radio, and Bluetooth. Available is a eight-inch touchscreen with Kia's UVO infotainment system and a four-inch color screen in the instrument cluster. Powering the Soul is either a 1.6L direct-injection four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque or a 2.0L direct-injection four-cylinder developing 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Both engines have the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic. Kia says they have improved the Soul's handling by using ultra-high-strength steel in most of the Soul's body to increase rigidity and lower the weight. The suspension and steering has also been revised. The 2014 Soul arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Kia William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 KIA UNVEILS ALL-NEW 2014 SOUL AT NEW YORK AUTO SHOW Boasting Iconic Design, Desirable Features and Improved Driving Dynamics, Kia's All-New Soul Urban Passenger Vehicle is Tailor-made for Metropolis • Born from the Track'ster concept, the all-new 2014 Soul is set to continue Kia's segment-leading position as the perfect urban utility vehicle • With more room, more premium features, improved driving dynamics and true-to-its-roots iconic design, the all-new Soul is more fun, funky and functional than ever NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 – The Big Apple, perhaps America's most iconic metropolis, is playing host to the global unveiling of Kia Motors' most iconic people mover, the all-new 2014 Soul urban utility vehicle, today at the 113th New York International Auto Show. The signature Soul design is instantly recognizable yet thoroughly fresh, with more than a passing nod to the hot Track'ster concept that was unveiled last year. Riding on a new chassis that is stiffer, longer and wider, the all-new Soul has grown up without losing its edge, allowing for more passenger and cargo room while reducing NVH levels. Increased torque and significant suspension upgrades make the 2014 Soul a nimble and agile companion in congested urban environments. Honoring Soul owners' fierce individualism, three unique trim levels will be available when U.S. sales are expected to begin in the third quarter of this year: Base, Plus and Exclaim. Pricing will be announced closer to the Soul's launch date. "When the first Soul was introduced in 2009, everyone at Kia believed we had a hit on our hands, but we didn't realize how big that hit was going to be," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America (KMA). "The Soul moved the needle significantly from a sales and marketing perspective, becoming one of our top-selling cars and inspiring the now-legendary hamster commercials. It was important that the all-new Soul remain true to the original iconic design while infusing it with improved driving dynamics and desirable features that add appeal, sophistication and value." Keeping what made the current Soul special while addressing areas for improvement was no easy task. As the design team at Kia's California studio began putting virtual pen to virtual paper, engineers in the U.S. and Korea focused on making Soul a joy to drive. Starting with a solid foundation was a key factor, and the new body enjoys a 28.7 percent increase in torsional rigidity over the current Soul. With the hard points set, the all-new Soul was boiled down to three focus areas: Maintaining the iconic design while adding modern cues; providing premium features and content; and improving driving dynamics that would make the 2014 Soul more desirable than ever. Iconic Design Well-known for the close link between its concept vehicles and production models, Kia Motors took no chances with the 2014 Soul. When the wild Track'ster concept made its debut in 2012, Soul enthusiasts and pundits alike urged Kia to turn fantasy into reality. With 18 months from design freeze to production, the stage was set for the all-new Soul and many of the concept's dramatic design cues can be found in the production vehicle. Tom Kearns, chief designer at the California studio likened the Track'ster to a bulldog and that theme is expressed from almost any angle of the all-new Soul. "The all-new Soul was one of the more difficult assignments we've taken on," said Kearns. "Striking the right balance between the wonderful design of the current car with the audacious proportions and stance of the Track'ster was daunting. It proved to be a truly collaborative effort with guidance from Peter Schreyer in Frankfurt and assistance from our studio in Korea. In the end, we've kept the essence of Soul while infusing it with more presence inside and out." The upright stance, squared shoulders and distinctive fender flares are instantly recognizable as Soul. Combining a longer 101.2-inch wheelbase (up 0.8 inches), overall width that's broadened to 70.9 inches (increased by 0.6 inches) and the same overall height of 63.4 inches, adds a more aggressive edge to the all-new Soul's appearance. Likewise, the wraparound greenhouse, high-mounted tail lights and tall ride height are all hallmark design elements. Premium touches such as available LED front positioning lights and rear LED "halo" lights help connect Soul to siblings within the Kia lineup that share similar design cues, such as the 2014 Sorento CUV and 2014 Forte sedan. Exterior Track'ster similarities are easy to spot. The large trapezoidal lower air intake is nearly a direct carryover of the concept, and the location of the available fog lights – down low and pushed to the leading edges – mirror those found on the Track'ster. Kia's signature grille is present, but it's been reworked to more closely resemble the concept. Adding a touch of flare, the unique "floating" body color panel inset into the lift gate has its roots based in the Track'ster as well. Subtle enhancements include a wider (by 2.4 inches over the previous Soul) opening for the lift gate, allowing Soul to swallow more stuff. While final color names have yet to be determined, the 2014 Soul will be available in seven new exterior hues, including the two seen on stage in New York: Solar Yellow and Inferno Red. Overall, the design team paid particular attention to instilling a more premium look and feel to the 2014 Soul's interior. Liberal applications of soft-touch materials are found on the instrument panel, center console and door panels. Details such as available leather seating with improved lateral and thigh support, and the use of high-gloss piano-black trim pieces on the center console and dash elevate the Soul's interior to new levels of sophistication. Citing the current Soul interior as a starting point, Kia's designers played up the circular theme found inside Track'ster. "With the previous Soul, we kind of dipped our toe in the water when it came to incorporating the circular patterns," noted Kearns. "But for the all-new Soul, we really wanted to lift as many of the Track'ster's circular interior reference points as possible." Front and center is the triple-circle instrument cluster with deeply recessed gauges. Along the door panels, sculpted circles incorporate the power windows and door locks. The center console features a round gear shift knob and push-button start – its location exclusive to Soul in the Kia lineup – which also are direct carryovers from Track'ster. The front door-mounted speakers mirror the circular, high-mounted "floating" tweeters and utilize available LED-string light technology to create ripple-effect red-hued mood lighting. The steering-wheel mounted controls are housed in Soul-exclusive circular groupings along the lower spokes with the buttons for the audio system and trip computer falling readily to the thumbs, enabling the driver's hands to remain on the wheel at all times. "If you think about droplets falling into a still pond, you begin to visualize the inspiration for the all-new Soul's interior design," said Kearns. "The design is organic, like the human body, and we feel it makes the interior that much more appealing to the driver and passengers." Taking that appeal a step further is Soul's desirable list of standard and optional equipment. A Street Soul Named "Desire" An attractive package is a let-down if the contents don't deliver. Fortunately, the all-new Soul is set to delight right out of the gate. Most prominent in the new instrument panel is the available eight-inch touch screen – the largest ever offered on Soul – which houses Kia's second-generation telematics and infotainment system, UVO eServices , combined with Kia's first use of the Android-based operating platform. Launching with Soul, UVO eServices is now compatible with the iPhone and Android Smartphone. UVO eServices is optional and takes in-car connectivity and media interplay to the next level, integrating a number of other Kia firsts. Topping that list is the high-definition capacitive touch screen. Its wide viewing angle affords better visibility and allows the user to scroll with the stroke of a finger. Living side-by-side for the first time in a Kia vehicle, the audio/video and optional navigation controls are viewable on the home screen. Combining the most accessed ancillary controls on a single screen helps reduce driver distraction and improves overall functionality and ease-of-use. Additionally, the available larger Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD color screen found in the instrument binnacle now displays turn-by-turn directions from the navigation system, helping to keep the driver's eyes looking forward. Another first is the integration of Pandora internet radio, the revolutionary online radio network that allows the user to customize their listening experience. Users will no longer manage Pandora through their Smartphone. Instead, Pandora is preloaded into the headunit and accessible through the touch screen and Voice Command, displaying the artist, title and album cover art as well as allowing the user to conveniently skip songs, "like" the song with Pandora's thumbs-up rating system, or manage preferred stations. Arriving with a three month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™ Data Services and Travel Link, the all-new Soul has access to travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times, stock prices and fuel prices through the screen's graphical interface and electronic program guide. Better still, customers will continue to have All Access to both Sirius and XM channels for the price of one should they elect to continue a paid subscription after the three month trial period concludes. Making all of this available technology easy to use is the industry-first integration of on-screen quick guide videos. Easily accessed through the touch screen, users have the ability to view instructional videos that highlight all of the features and functionality of UVO eServices along with the Smartphone app and MyUVO.com, including MyPOIs, powered by Google Maps. Combined, UVO eServices represents one of the most powerful and comprehensive infotainment systems on the market today. Making UVO eServices even more impressive is that there is no cost to the owner. Technology aside, driver and passengers will enjoy a larger and significantly quieter cabin with incremental increases in front leg room (42.9 inches, 0.8 inches more than the current Soul), rear leg room (up 0.2 inches to 39.1), front headroom (increased 0.2 inches to 39.6) and front seat shoulder room (up 0.3 inches to 55.5). The all-new Soul also offers a 0.5-inch lower hip point and a step-in height that's reduced 0.2 inches, allowing for even easier ingress and egress. Overall cargo capacity is increased by a half cubic foot, to 24.2. Liberal use of expansion foam (replacing the previously used block foam) thoroughly fills body cavities, reducing outside wind and road noise. A reinforced isolation pad in the cargo area and poly-urethane-layered carpet helps reduce overall interior noise levels by approximately 3 decibels. The Base Soul comes standard with a long list of features that set it apart from the competition. Power windows, door locks and (heated) outside mirrors, a telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio unit are all standard. Bluetooth® hands-free wireless technology, SiriusXM™ satellite radio with three months complimentary service and USB/AUX inputs round out the Base Soul's impressive audio/infotainment equipment. Desirable options include remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and a six-speed automatic transmission. The Soul Plus takes a step up in standard and available optional amenities. Attractive 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 215/55R-17 tires, outside mirror turn-signal indicators, auto-on/off head lights and unique fender garnish distinguish the Plus from the Base exterior. Inside, the Plus benefits include a floor console stowage box with integrated arm rest, UVO eServices, Rear Camera Display and rear seat center arm rest. Options include navigation, an upgraded Infinity® audio system, string-LED front speaker surround mood lighting, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof – a Soul first – leather seating with segment-exclusive ventilated front driver and passenger seats, and seat heaters for all four outboard positions, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, leather wrapped and heated steering wheel and a leather-wrapped gear shift knob. The Soul Exclaim adds to the Plus as standard features 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/45R-18 tires, fog lights, body-color bumper "tusks," projector head lights, front LED positioning lights and rear LED "halo" lights. Open the door and standard amenities include a high-gloss piano-black center console, cooled glove box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment and auto-dimming rearview mirror. Optional equipment includes navigation, Infinity audio, front speaker LED mood lighting, panoramic sunroof, leather seating with front driver and passenger ventilation and heating for all four outboard positions. Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD screen, HID head lights, push button start and automatic climate control make the Exclaim the most premium Soul ever. Improved Driving Dynamics Built on an all-new chassis that is nearly 29 percent stiffer than before, the Soul's stout skeleton provides the base for a vehicle that places a premium on driving dynamics. Engineers put their efforts in strengthening the body at key connection points along the cowl, upper and lower B-pillars, cross members, and at the C-pillars. Fully, 66 percent of the chassis utilizes either Ultra High Strength Steel (35 percent) or High Strength Steel (31 percent). The A-pillar is 0.8-inches narrower, allowing for improved outward visibility, but through the use of Ultra High Strength Steel, it's lighter and stronger. The application of structural adhesive around the door openings and along the roof also helps improve torsional rigidity. Significant attention has been focused on improving the all-new Soul's ride and handling through heavily revised front and rear suspension set ups. The front subframe utilizes four bushings (none are used on the current Soul) to reduce ride harshness and impact booms over rough pavement. The stabilizer bar has been moved rearward on the McPherson strut front suspension, while the steering box has been moved forward, lending better balance and subsequently improved handling. Relocating the steering box has also yielded benefits to on-center feel. The new one-piece steering gear housing is stronger than the two-piece unit used on the current Soul, improving steering response and reducing impacts felt through the wheel. Optional is a new Flex Steer™ system, which allows the driver to select from three distinct steering settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport. The shock absorbers on the torsion bar rear suspension have been turned vertically (they were positioned at an angle on the current Soul) and lengthened. This arrangement allows for more suspension travel, improving ride comfort. Motivation for the Base Soul is delivered by a gasoline direct injection (GDI) 130-horsepower (at 6,300 rpm) 1.6-liter all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine. The GAMMA engine produces 118 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm. The Plus and Exclaim models enjoy the more powerful 2.0-liter NU power plant. For the all-new 2014 Soul, the engine is updated with GDI technology. Power is rated at 164 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 151 lb.-ft. of torque at a 4,000 rpm. Both engines have been tuned to provide more low-end torque (nine percent more torque at 1,500 rpm on the 2.0-liter; five percent more on 1.6-liter) for an improved around-town driving experience. The 1.6-liter engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or, optionally, to a six-speed automatic. The Plus model may be equipped with either transmission while the Exclaim is available exclusively with the six-speed automatic. View full article
  20. William Maley

    New York Auto Show: 2014 Kia Soul

    By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 27, 2013 Kia has pulled the covers off the new 2014 Soul today at the New York Auto Show. The new 2014 model takes a lot of design cues from the 2012 Track'ster concept shown at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The most notable change is the back end where there are large, vertical taillights and a distinct tailgate design. Moving inside, the 2014 Soul gets substantially revised cabin with a new dash design featuring organic curves, soft-touch materials, and the option of leather seats. Interior space has seen a small increase in all areas. Standard equipment on the Soul include power windows, heated outside mirrors, telescoping steering wheel, six-speaker stereo with USB input, Sirius satellite radio, and Bluetooth. Available is a eight-inch touchscreen with Kia's UVO infotainment system and a four-inch color screen in the instrument cluster. Powering the Soul is either a 1.6L direct-injection four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque or a 2.0L direct-injection four-cylinder developing 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Both engines have the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic. Kia says they have improved the Soul's handling by using ultra-high-strength steel in most of the Soul's body to increase rigidity and lower the weight. The suspension and steering has also been revised. The 2014 Soul arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Kia William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 KIA UNVEILS ALL-NEW 2014 SOUL AT NEW YORK AUTO SHOW Boasting Iconic Design, Desirable Features and Improved Driving Dynamics, Kia's All-New Soul Urban Passenger Vehicle is Tailor-made for Metropolis • Born from the Track'ster concept, the all-new 2014 Soul is set to continue Kia's segment-leading position as the perfect urban utility vehicle • With more room, more premium features, improved driving dynamics and true-to-its-roots iconic design, the all-new Soul is more fun, funky and functional than ever NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 – The Big Apple, perhaps America's most iconic metropolis, is playing host to the global unveiling of Kia Motors' most iconic people mover, the all-new 2014 Soul urban utility vehicle, today at the 113th New York International Auto Show. The signature Soul design is instantly recognizable yet thoroughly fresh, with more than a passing nod to the hot Track'ster concept that was unveiled last year. Riding on a new chassis that is stiffer, longer and wider, the all-new Soul has grown up without losing its edge, allowing for more passenger and cargo room while reducing NVH levels. Increased torque and significant suspension upgrades make the 2014 Soul a nimble and agile companion in congested urban environments. Honoring Soul owners' fierce individualism, three unique trim levels will be available when U.S. sales are expected to begin in the third quarter of this year: Base, Plus and Exclaim. Pricing will be announced closer to the Soul's launch date. "When the first Soul was introduced in 2009, everyone at Kia believed we had a hit on our hands, but we didn't realize how big that hit was going to be," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America (KMA). "The Soul moved the needle significantly from a sales and marketing perspective, becoming one of our top-selling cars and inspiring the now-legendary hamster commercials. It was important that the all-new Soul remain true to the original iconic design while infusing it with improved driving dynamics and desirable features that add appeal, sophistication and value." Keeping what made the current Soul special while addressing areas for improvement was no easy task. As the design team at Kia's California studio began putting virtual pen to virtual paper, engineers in the U.S. and Korea focused on making Soul a joy to drive. Starting with a solid foundation was a key factor, and the new body enjoys a 28.7 percent increase in torsional rigidity over the current Soul. With the hard points set, the all-new Soul was boiled down to three focus areas: Maintaining the iconic design while adding modern cues; providing premium features and content; and improving driving dynamics that would make the 2014 Soul more desirable than ever. Iconic Design Well-known for the close link between its concept vehicles and production models, Kia Motors took no chances with the 2014 Soul. When the wild Track'ster concept made its debut in 2012, Soul enthusiasts and pundits alike urged Kia to turn fantasy into reality. With 18 months from design freeze to production, the stage was set for the all-new Soul and many of the concept's dramatic design cues can be found in the production vehicle. Tom Kearns, chief designer at the California studio likened the Track'ster to a bulldog and that theme is expressed from almost any angle of the all-new Soul. "The all-new Soul was one of the more difficult assignments we've taken on," said Kearns. "Striking the right balance between the wonderful design of the current car with the audacious proportions and stance of the Track'ster was daunting. It proved to be a truly collaborative effort with guidance from Peter Schreyer in Frankfurt and assistance from our studio in Korea. In the end, we've kept the essence of Soul while infusing it with more presence inside and out." The upright stance, squared shoulders and distinctive fender flares are instantly recognizable as Soul. Combining a longer 101.2-inch wheelbase (up 0.8 inches), overall width that's broadened to 70.9 inches (increased by 0.6 inches) and the same overall height of 63.4 inches, adds a more aggressive edge to the all-new Soul's appearance. Likewise, the wraparound greenhouse, high-mounted tail lights and tall ride height are all hallmark design elements. Premium touches such as available LED front positioning lights and rear LED "halo" lights help connect Soul to siblings within the Kia lineup that share similar design cues, such as the 2014 Sorento CUV and 2014 Forte sedan. Exterior Track'ster similarities are easy to spot. The large trapezoidal lower air intake is nearly a direct carryover of the concept, and the location of the available fog lights – down low and pushed to the leading edges – mirror those found on the Track'ster. Kia's signature grille is present, but it's been reworked to more closely resemble the concept. Adding a touch of flare, the unique "floating" body color panel inset into the lift gate has its roots based in the Track'ster as well. Subtle enhancements include a wider (by 2.4 inches over the previous Soul) opening for the lift gate, allowing Soul to swallow more stuff. While final color names have yet to be determined, the 2014 Soul will be available in seven new exterior hues, including the two seen on stage in New York: Solar Yellow and Inferno Red. Overall, the design team paid particular attention to instilling a more premium look and feel to the 2014 Soul's interior. Liberal applications of soft-touch materials are found on the instrument panel, center console and door panels. Details such as available leather seating with improved lateral and thigh support, and the use of high-gloss piano-black trim pieces on the center console and dash elevate the Soul's interior to new levels of sophistication. Citing the current Soul interior as a starting point, Kia's designers played up the circular theme found inside Track'ster. "With the previous Soul, we kind of dipped our toe in the water when it came to incorporating the circular patterns," noted Kearns. "But for the all-new Soul, we really wanted to lift as many of the Track'ster's circular interior reference points as possible." Front and center is the triple-circle instrument cluster with deeply recessed gauges. Along the door panels, sculpted circles incorporate the power windows and door locks. The center console features a round gear shift knob and push-button start – its location exclusive to Soul in the Kia lineup – which also are direct carryovers from Track'ster. The front door-mounted speakers mirror the circular, high-mounted "floating" tweeters and utilize available LED-string light technology to create ripple-effect red-hued mood lighting. The steering-wheel mounted controls are housed in Soul-exclusive circular groupings along the lower spokes with the buttons for the audio system and trip computer falling readily to the thumbs, enabling the driver's hands to remain on the wheel at all times. "If you think about droplets falling into a still pond, you begin to visualize the inspiration for the all-new Soul's interior design," said Kearns. "The design is organic, like the human body, and we feel it makes the interior that much more appealing to the driver and passengers." Taking that appeal a step further is Soul's desirable list of standard and optional equipment. A Street Soul Named "Desire" An attractive package is a let-down if the contents don't deliver. Fortunately, the all-new Soul is set to delight right out of the gate. Most prominent in the new instrument panel is the available eight-inch touch screen – the largest ever offered on Soul – which houses Kia's second-generation telematics and infotainment system, UVO eServices , combined with Kia's first use of the Android-based operating platform. Launching with Soul, UVO eServices is now compatible with the iPhone and Android Smartphone. UVO eServices is optional and takes in-car connectivity and media interplay to the next level, integrating a number of other Kia firsts. Topping that list is the high-definition capacitive touch screen. Its wide viewing angle affords better visibility and allows the user to scroll with the stroke of a finger. Living side-by-side for the first time in a Kia vehicle, the audio/video and optional navigation controls are viewable on the home screen. Combining the most accessed ancillary controls on a single screen helps reduce driver distraction and improves overall functionality and ease-of-use. Additionally, the available larger Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD color screen found in the instrument binnacle now displays turn-by-turn directions from the navigation system, helping to keep the driver's eyes looking forward. Another first is the integration of Pandora internet radio, the revolutionary online radio network that allows the user to customize their listening experience. Users will no longer manage Pandora through their Smartphone. Instead, Pandora is preloaded into the headunit and accessible through the touch screen and Voice Command, displaying the artist, title and album cover art as well as allowing the user to conveniently skip songs, "like" the song with Pandora's thumbs-up rating system, or manage preferred stations. Arriving with a three month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™ Data Services and Travel Link, the all-new Soul has access to travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times, stock prices and fuel prices through the screen's graphical interface and electronic program guide. Better still, customers will continue to have All Access to both Sirius and XM channels for the price of one should they elect to continue a paid subscription after the three month trial period concludes. Making all of this available technology easy to use is the industry-first integration of on-screen quick guide videos. Easily accessed through the touch screen, users have the ability to view instructional videos that highlight all of the features and functionality of UVO eServices along with the Smartphone app and MyUVO.com, including MyPOIs, powered by Google Maps. Combined, UVO eServices represents one of the most powerful and comprehensive infotainment systems on the market today. Making UVO eServices even more impressive is that there is no cost to the owner. Technology aside, driver and passengers will enjoy a larger and significantly quieter cabin with incremental increases in front leg room (42.9 inches, 0.8 inches more than the current Soul), rear leg room (up 0.2 inches to 39.1), front headroom (increased 0.2 inches to 39.6) and front seat shoulder room (up 0.3 inches to 55.5). The all-new Soul also offers a 0.5-inch lower hip point and a step-in height that's reduced 0.2 inches, allowing for even easier ingress and egress. Overall cargo capacity is increased by a half cubic foot, to 24.2. Liberal use of expansion foam (replacing the previously used block foam) thoroughly fills body cavities, reducing outside wind and road noise. A reinforced isolation pad in the cargo area and poly-urethane-layered carpet helps reduce overall interior noise levels by approximately 3 decibels. The Base Soul comes standard with a long list of features that set it apart from the competition. Power windows, door locks and (heated) outside mirrors, a telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio unit are all standard. Bluetooth® hands-free wireless technology, SiriusXM™ satellite radio with three months complimentary service and USB/AUX inputs round out the Base Soul's impressive audio/infotainment equipment. Desirable options include remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and a six-speed automatic transmission. The Soul Plus takes a step up in standard and available optional amenities. Attractive 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 215/55R-17 tires, outside mirror turn-signal indicators, auto-on/off head lights and unique fender garnish distinguish the Plus from the Base exterior. Inside, the Plus benefits include a floor console stowage box with integrated arm rest, UVO eServices, Rear Camera Display and rear seat center arm rest. Options include navigation, an upgraded Infinity® audio system, string-LED front speaker surround mood lighting, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof – a Soul first – leather seating with segment-exclusive ventilated front driver and passenger seats, and seat heaters for all four outboard positions, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, leather wrapped and heated steering wheel and a leather-wrapped gear shift knob. The Soul Exclaim adds to the Plus as standard features 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/45R-18 tires, fog lights, body-color bumper "tusks," projector head lights, front LED positioning lights and rear LED "halo" lights. Open the door and standard amenities include a high-gloss piano-black center console, cooled glove box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment and auto-dimming rearview mirror. Optional equipment includes navigation, Infinity audio, front speaker LED mood lighting, panoramic sunroof, leather seating with front driver and passenger ventilation and heating for all four outboard positions. Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD screen, HID head lights, push button start and automatic climate control make the Exclaim the most premium Soul ever. Improved Driving Dynamics Built on an all-new chassis that is nearly 29 percent stiffer than before, the Soul's stout skeleton provides the base for a vehicle that places a premium on driving dynamics. Engineers put their efforts in strengthening the body at key connection points along the cowl, upper and lower B-pillars, cross members, and at the C-pillars. Fully, 66 percent of the chassis utilizes either Ultra High Strength Steel (35 percent) or High Strength Steel (31 percent). The A-pillar is 0.8-inches narrower, allowing for improved outward visibility, but through the use of Ultra High Strength Steel, it's lighter and stronger. The application of structural adhesive around the door openings and along the roof also helps improve torsional rigidity. Significant attention has been focused on improving the all-new Soul's ride and handling through heavily revised front and rear suspension set ups. The front subframe utilizes four bushings (none are used on the current Soul) to reduce ride harshness and impact booms over rough pavement. The stabilizer bar has been moved rearward on the McPherson strut front suspension, while the steering box has been moved forward, lending better balance and subsequently improved handling. Relocating the steering box has also yielded benefits to on-center feel. The new one-piece steering gear housing is stronger than the two-piece unit used on the current Soul, improving steering response and reducing impacts felt through the wheel. Optional is a new Flex Steer™ system, which allows the driver to select from three distinct steering settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport. The shock absorbers on the torsion bar rear suspension have been turned vertically (they were positioned at an angle on the current Soul) and lengthened. This arrangement allows for more suspension travel, improving ride comfort. Motivation for the Base Soul is delivered by a gasoline direct injection (GDI) 130-horsepower (at 6,300 rpm) 1.6-liter all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine. The GAMMA engine produces 118 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm. The Plus and Exclaim models enjoy the more powerful 2.0-liter NU power plant. For the all-new 2014 Soul, the engine is updated with GDI technology. Power is rated at 164 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 151 lb.-ft. of torque at a 4,000 rpm. Both engines have been tuned to provide more low-end torque (nine percent more torque at 1,500 rpm on the 2.0-liter; five percent more on 1.6-liter) for an improved around-town driving experience. The 1.6-liter engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or, optionally, to a six-speed automatic. The Plus model may be equipped with either transmission while the Exclaim is available exclusively with the six-speed automatic.

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