Soul to be presented at the 2008
Mondial de l'Auto.
27 May 2008.
Following the production of its
200,000th European cee'd in Zilina, Slovakia, Kia
Motors has also confirmed that its all-new production
model will retain the name of the SOUL concept cars
shown earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, and
the first SOUL concept debuted at the 2006 North
American International Auto Show.
The three SOUL concept cars – SOUL
Burner, SOUL Diva and SOUL Searcher
– were meant to reveal a new ‘fun’ side to the
South Korean brand.
Kia trio of Soul concept cars: Burner,
Diva and Searcher.
Designed by Kia’s European design
team led by Gregory Guillaume, under the guidance of
Kia’s Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, the
concepts cars were developed from the original SOUL
concept car designed jointly by Kia’s California and
Korea design studios, before being unveiled at the
2006 NAIAS in Detroit.
Speaking about the choice of name
for the original 2006 Detroit concept car, Tom Kearns,
chief designer of Kia Motors America said that in
addition to what it means in English, “...Soul also
is a homophone for the home city of Kia Motors
headquarters, in Korea so it’s a fun play on words.”
Searcher (foreground), Diva (white)
and Burner concepts.
Kia's trio of concept cars were
each designed to appeal to different consumers, with a
clear potential for personalisation.
As the name suggests, the Kia SOUL
Diva concept targeted women with a glamorous
expression, a bit flashy but playful and fun. Turning
the cabin into a stylish lounge, the seats were
upholstered and trimmed to look like sofas. The cabin
floor presented a tactile treat, with black long-pile
months after start-up, Kia's new
vehicle manufacturing facility
in Zilina, Slovakia, celebrated
the production of the 200,000th
cee’d last Friday.
its C-segment /lower medium cee’d
expansion and a 7-Year/ 150,000
km warranty, Kia's european
sales are rapidly growing.
productivity terms, the flexible
Zilina plant has set a string of
new records for Kia, with 915
units made in a single day
(Monday 21 April), 4,474 units
in a single week (week starting
7 April) and 19,300 units in one
month (April). The staff of
2,748 are currently building, in
two shifts, more than 50
derivatives of three Kia cee’d
models – 5-door hatchback,
5-door wagon and 3-door pro_cee’d
– plus 10 different versions
of Sportage SUV models,
simultaneously on six final
the cee’d’s launch in Europe
(Dec 2006), the cee’d family
won 5-Star EuroNCAP safety
standards and other titles
including 10 national ‘Car of
the Year’ awards in its
category. It was voted ‘Family
Car of the Year’ in Sweden,
‘Car of the Year’ in Greece,
‘Fleet Car of the Year’
(Compact Class) in Poland, ‘ING
Business Class, Lease Car of the
Year’ in Belgium and ‘Best
Car of the Year’ (C-segment)
in the Czech Republic. Similar
awards were won in Romania, the
Canary Islands, Lithuania and
With its nastier looks, the SOUL
Burner concept took the ‘bad boy’ character,
a ‘show-off’ complete with dragon tattoos. The four
individual sports seats and entire cabin trim are
divided horizontally. Above the split, everything is
finished in a rich matt red, below all is deep black.
Away from both brothers, the Kia SOUL
Searcher concept moves towards tranquillity...
even within the urban hassle, searching for the spirit
of Korean and Far Eastern culture.
Looking ahead to the 2008 Paris Motor
Show, Kia say's that it's production Soul model is not a
replacement for an existing vehicle. It is destined to
be a bit of a rebel within the Kia global line-up,
retaining aspects from the three concepts.
To be made in Korea from September
2008, the new Soul production car will make its world
premiere at the Paris Motor Show October 2008.