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Kia unveils all-new 2014 Soul at New York Auto Show


    --  Born from the Track'ster concept, the all-new 2014 Soul
        enhances Kia's urban utility vehicle offering
    --  With increased 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 /CNW/ - 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 
113(th) New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). The signature Soul design is 
instantly recognizable yet thoroughly fresh, with more than a passing nod to 
the cutting-edge 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 Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) levels. Increased torque and 
significant suspension upgrades make the 2014 Soul a nimble and agile 
companion in congested urban environments. Pricing will be announced closer to 
the Soul's launch date in the third quarter of this year.

"Introduced in 2009, the Soul began Kia's design-led transformation and played 
a vital role in the evolution of the Kia brand," said Robert Staffieri, 
Director of Marketing, Kia Canada Inc. "Its iconic design exemplifies Kia's 
commitment to deliver a combination of innovative styling, along with enhanced 
driving dynamics and functionality."

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 the Soul a joy to drive. Starting with a solid foundation 
was a key factor, and the new body enjoys a significantly increased 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."

Premium touches such as available LED front positioning lights and rear LED 
lights help connect Soul to siblings within the Kia lineup that share similar 
design cues, such as the 2014 Sorento and 2014 Forte sedan(i).

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 colour panel inset into the lift gate has its roots 
based in the Track'ster as well. Subtle enhancements include a wider (by 
61mm over the previous Soul) opening for the lift gate, allowing Soul to 
swallow more stuff.

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, centre 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 
centre 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 centre is the triple-circle instrument cluster with deeply recessed 
gauges. Along the door panels, sculpted circles incorporate the power 
windows and door locks. The centre 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. 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.

Improved Driving Dynamics

Built on an all-new chassis that is significantly 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 per cent of the chassis utilizes either Ultra 
High Strength Steel (35 per cent) or High Strength Steel (31 per cent). The 
A-pillar is 20mm 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-centre 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. Kia's FlexSteer™ system, which allows the driver to 
select from three distinct steering settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport, is 
also found in the all-new Soul.

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) 
1.6-litre all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine. Other available Soul trims 
will enjoy a more powerful 2.0-litre GDI power plant. Both engines have been 
tuned to provide more low-end torque for an improved around-town driving 
experience.

About Kia Motors Corporation:

Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) - a maker of quality vehicles for the 
young-at-heart - was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of 
motor vehicles. Over 2.7 million Kia vehicles a year are produced in nine 
manufacturing and assembly operations in five countries which are then sold 
and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering around 150 
countries. Kia today has over 47,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues 
of US$42 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an 
official automotive partner of FIFA - the governing body of the FIFA World 
Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan - "The Power to Surprise" - 
represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing 
exciting and inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

About Kia Canada Inc.:

Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca - www.facebook.com/kiacanada) a maker of quality 
vehicles for the young-at-heart is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation 
(KMC) which was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality, class 
leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 
181 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 162 people in its Mississauga, 
Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada, with an all-new 
state-of-the-art facility in Montreal. Kia's brand slogan "The Power to 
Surprise" represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by 
providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

(___________________________________ )
(i) 2014 Forte Sedan expected Q2 2013.

Cathy Laroche Public Relations Manager Kia Canada Inc.

C:514.554.0843 E:claroche@kia.ca

Daniel Ponzini Public Relations & Events Coordinator Kia Canada Inc. 

T:905.755.6415 C:647.462.8986 E:dponzini@kia.ca

SOURCE: KIA Canada Inc.

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2013/27/c8750.html

CO: KIA Canada Inc.
ST: New York
NI: AUT NP SHOW 

-0- Mar/27/2013 15:11 GMT