DETROIT, Mich., January 11, 2009 Bringing a sunny beach feeling into Cobo Center on a cold day in January, Kia Motors America (KMA) arrives at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit with the Soulster open-air concept, a variation of the highly anticipated Soul, arriving at Kia Motors retailers this spring. With young buyers budgets in mind, the Soulster is an efficient front-drive car based on the production model Soul, recently introduced at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Soulster delivers something new, intriguing and relevant to todays buyers a fun, affordable convertible for active people who like to share good times with friends, said Tom Kearns, chief designer, KMA. Defying categorization and providing utility and practicality, the Soulster exhibits distinctive design cues and satisfies multiple consumer needs.
Stylin Soulr Yellow Design
A two-door concept with roadster roots, the brightly colored Soulr yellow Soulster projects a hip industrial look with screw borders, reminiscent of a rivet design found on a fighter jet. The windshield is shortened for a sportier and hunkered down appearance. A two-piece top enables passengers to expose the front and back seating areas independently, using elbow-grease technology. The roll bar serves a dual purpose and includes a place for the slider tracks, while providing protection not found in traditional convertibles.
With a unique face, Soulster has a tough but refined character. The toughness is expressed through details like the anodized skid-pad insert, which matches the fender vents, roll bar header and wheels.
Soulsters attitude incorporates lighting that shines through with an amber glow under the headlamps. The side vents, side-mirror turn signals, unique LED headlamps, fog and tail lamps incorporate blue shades.
The energetic, distinctive look carries from front to rear with dual chrome exhaust and polished aluminum exhaust tips featuring carbon-fiber interior sleeves. The large 19-inch, five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels perfect the Soulsters appearance. Regardless of Soulster being viewed from front, back or side, it offers innovative perspectives derived from the original Soul.
Once inside, Soulster takes even more progressive variations from Soul beginning with the new four-passenger seating design, a diversion from Souls five-passenger arrangement, lending spacious versatility for long summer weekends. The surprisingly flexible Soulster provides real seating for two in the front with comfortable seating for two more adults in the back. Fold-flat passenger and rear seats combined with ample headroom make this the perfect car for social outings outdoors and on the beach with friends. Making basic features hot, its crank-up windows are a purposefully key interior design element as are the dashboard-integrated audio speakers.
Adding to the edgy design scheme, the non-floor-mounted cantilevered seats project the illusion of being suspended in space when viewed from the side allowing for increased rear legroom. Storage compartments below each of the fold-flat rear seats, offer room for myriad cargo needs. In addition to the spacious cargo area, dual storage compartments also can be found in the rear and underneath the cargo hold area.
All Revved Up
With young buyers in mind, Soulster offers an agile, smooth and spirited ride. As with its Soul cousin, Soulsters can be made available with a myriad of engine choices depending upon each markets needs. A 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which produces approximately 120 horsepower. For those looking for a little more power, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is available with either the five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission, producing approximately 140 horsepower. Fuel economy for both engines is estimated at 30 or more miles per gallon. Other markets might choose the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing 124 horsepower or a 1.6-liter turbodiesel.
2009 Product Line
Kia Motors America offers a dynamic and diverse product line of 11 vehicles to meet the needs of all lifestyles. The 2009 vehicle line features the functional Rondo CUV and award-winning Sedona minivan along with a wide variety of popular passenger cars, including the refined Amanti full size sedan, purposeful Optima mid size sedan, versatile and compact Spectra and Spectra5, and sporty yet fuel efficient Rio and Rio5 subcompacts. The vehicle line also features the all-new and affordably luxurious Borrego, rugged Sorento and value-packed Sportage SUVs. The Soul will further complement the lineup when it arrives in dealerships this spring.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 640 dealers throughout the United States. For 2008, KMA recorded its 14th consecutive year of increased U.S. marketshare. Kia Motors subscribes to a philosophy of building high value, high quality, safe and dynamic vehicles. Kia Motors prides itself on producing vehicles that are exciting and enabling and evoke the Kia tagline The Power to Surprise.
Kia Motors America is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA. Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.
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