It only sells in tiny numbers in Australia, but in the USA the Kia Soul is a big hit, registering healthy sales while acting as a halo model for Kia, thanks to its distinctive boxy style.
That’s why American buys will be treated to a new turbocharged model, adding a sporting twist to the practical yet funky Soul.
The Soul is offered to Australian buyers in a single engine and specification, with a choice of three set colour combinations, whereas buyers in the Land Of The Free have three engines to pick from, including an electric variant, three specification levels, 11 exterior colours, plus a range of interior decors.
Set to arrive towards the end of the year, the Soul Turbo looks set to follow in the footsteps of 2013’s wild Track’ster concept, which itself offered a glimpse of the current Soul’s styling, just don't expact the wild guard flares or three-door form to see the light of day.
Where the current 2.0 litre Soul delivers 113kW of power and 191Nm of torque, the Soul Turbo looks set to adopt the 1.6 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine from the Cerato Koup Turbo and Pro_Cee'd GT.
If that is the case, expect something close to the 150kW and 265Nm generated by the Koup Turbo, with the Soul most likely to offered with both a six-speed manual and Kia’s seven-speed dual clutch automatic.
The Soul Turbo hint gets dropped at the end of Kia USA’s latest ad campaign (check it out at the bottom of this page), which yet again trots out the Soul’s anthropomorphic hamster brigade, and takes a shot across as many facets of pop culture as possible in the shortest amount of time.
The final screen states “Gas, Electric, Turbo (Winter 2016)” and is the first official mention of a more powerful variant of the Soul - that’s Northern Hemisphere winter too, in case you were wondering.
So, will a sporting Soul make its way to Australia? With just 25 sales to its name in the first four months of 2016 and even more niche Soul variant seems absolutely frivolous, so it’s safe to say this one won’t stray beyond American shores.
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