What do you think of the Kia Soul? Is it an inspired piece of design, maybe even a potential future classic? Or something that could only appeal to American college students?
The first-generation model certainly split opinion, and the second-generation model unveiled at the New York motor show last week is sure to do the same.
The man behind its design, Tom Kearns, head of Kia's Californian-based design studio, is obviously a fan, but offered an interesting insight into just how bold and memorable he believes the design can be.
"We do harbour ambitions for this to become Kia's answer to the Mini or Beetle," he said. "We're attempting to create a legacy with this car. Maybe 40 years from now, the Kia design team could try and recreate what we've done here, much like the reinvention of the Mini and Beetle."
While this might sound far-fetched, a legacy has to start somewhere. Kia believes it is creating one right now with the Soul, and has stuck very closely to the design principles that made the first model such a success rather than opt for a design shift that ruins any chance of a legacy before it's even started. Think of what Nissan did to the Cube.
While the Soul might not be to European tastes, Americans can't get enough of it, and it was the first 'new age' Kia that really hit the sweet spot with a modern, edgy design. "It was a tough car to follow up as it's been so iconic for us," said Kearns. "Rivals have done cars like this and followed it up with something not as good. It's like a rock band doing a second album."
So, is Kia is on its way to creating a legacy with the Soul, or is the design too faddish to stand the test of time? Answers below, please...