Power will come from an engine familiar to some Kia owners in Australia, with the 150kW/265Nm 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the Cerato Koup Turbo and pro_cee’d GT driving the front wheels.
A similar model was announced for the Soul-loving US market earlier this year, with styling influenced to a degree by the Kia Track’ster concept of 2013.
Only the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will be offered with the Soul Turbo in Europe, although US buyers may be lucky enough to be offered a six-speed manual version as well.
The 0-100km/h sprint takes 7.8 seconds with the seven-speed auto, while the top speed is rated at 200km/h. Fuel consumption measures 6.9 l/100km.
To identify it from the established non-turbo models, the new Soul Turbo gets a revised front bumper and air intake design, unique 18-inch alloys, twin exhaust pipes and unique badging - which changes the Soul badge to red and adds a ‘T-GDI’ badge to the rump.
Inside, there’s combined black cloth and leather trim for the seats with orange stitching, an orange-painted gear selector and a flat-bottomed steering wheel, while Kia’s Drive Mode Selector which adjusts the weighted feel of the steering (Normal, Eco or Sport) is also standard.
Buyers can choose to further strengthen the sporting credentials of the Soul Turbo with an upgraded brake package, enlarging the front rotors from 300 to 320mm and shaving 0.2 metres from the stopping distance from 100km/h.
Otherwise, the Soul Turbo heralds some updates for the rest of the Soul range overseas, including some new paint finishes (Mysterious Blue, Russet Brown, and Wild Orange) and wheel designs, a heap of new interior trim and colour options along with the addition of Apply CarPlay and Android Auto for the infotainment system.
Regular Souls also get a new bumper design both front and rear, while HID bi-function headlamps with LED daytime running lights join the options list.
Interior changes include a new electric seat for the front passenger and a USB port for rear-seat passengers. New safety tech includes standard rain-sensing wipers, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.
The 2017 Kia Soul Turbo goes on sale in Europe from next month.
In Australia, the Soul remains a single-model prospect for the time being, with local customers restricted to an auto-only, 113kW/191Nm 2.0 litre model.
Kia Australia's Kevin Hepworth told TMR an update for the Kia Soul is coming soon, but the turbocharged model is not currently on the cards for a local debut.
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