• 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 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
(SEOUL) 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
“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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Specifications, features and trim levels in this release are for the
U.S. market. Product details for other regions will be made available
closer to their respective launch dates. Please check with your regional
Kia Motors headquarters or authorized distributor for technical specifications
and trims available for your market.
Please visit our Kia Multimedia Newsroom for more Kia Motors Corporation
stories, images and video at http://kia.synapticdigital.com/.
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.