The Kia Soul has always caught the eye of car buyers looking for something different. Sure, it may be boxy, but that’s part of its appeal. It begs to differ from the usual capsule shapes roaming our streets today.
But for all its coolness, the Kia subcompact crossover lacked performance. Yes, it had adequate thrust, but drivers wanting a bit more oomph had to look elsewhere. All this is about to change, however, as the Korean carmaker is set to unveil the newest, most powerful variant of the Soul lineup: the Kia Soul 1.6 T-GDI.
The name alone hints at what lies under the hood. A potent 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injection engine packing 201hp gives the little Kia more than enough go to sprint from a standstill to 100kph in just 7.5 seconds. The crossover goes on to reach a top speed of 196kph. All that power is handled by a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with drive mode selector. This nifty feature allows drivers to easily switch between eco, normal, and sport modes on demand.
Of course, the Kia Soul isn’t just about going faster. The already cool looks are now even more chic thanks to such enhancements as bolder front bumpers, red accents on the side sills and bumpers, larger air intakes, and exclusive 10-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. The cabin also receives a few niceties in the form of black cloth and leather upholstery, a D-shaped steering wheel, as well as orange highlights on various interior bits.
The Soul also tries to capture the young crowd even more with a slew of tech and safety features. Buyers can choose between a touchscreen infotainment systems fitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This allows occupants to safely connect to the rest of the world even while on the move. And stuff like larger 17-inch ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes, blind spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert are just some of the gear that help keep things in check.
The new Kia Soul 1.6 T-GDI will make its world debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show later this month. Here’s hoping our local Kia distributor gets the hint that we wouldn’t mind a Soul with a lot more, er, soul.