Kia's Soul SUV concept unveiled at Detroit
9 January 2006

Kia has joined the Detroit motor show launch frenzy by unveiling its Soul concept car, a ‘crossover utility vehicle’ with distinct 4x4 styling traits.

The chunky design, completed in a joint venture between Kia’s studios in California and Korea, features a wraparound windscreen, widely-flared wheelarches and a two-piece glass roof that Kia is cheekily calling a sun/moon roof. For access, the Soul lacks B-pillars and uses Mazda RX-8-style ‘suicide' doors at the rear. Inside, the Soul is bristling with techy gadgets, including a notebook computer and video game monitor in the glove compartment. Its multimedia system harnesses Bluetooth and MP3 technologies, as well as USB ports and Wi-fi. Rear seat passengers get their own screens, too.

The Soul’s underpinnings are rather less interesting than its interior and trendy body shape. It’s powered by a two-litre four-cylinder engine, driving the front wheels only, and features a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift override and adaptive cruise control.

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