Special Coverage

Geneva
Auto Show

GENEVA – Kia Motors Corp. provides early details of three concept versions of its Soul cross/utility vehicle, as well as green concepts of its Cee’d compact models, all debuting tomorrow at the Geneva auto show here.

The production-version Soul will go on sale in Korea in the year’s fourth quarter and in Europe in early 2009, a spokesman tells Ward’s

Kia says the Soul Diva, Burner and Searcher are three “fun” concepts created at its European design studio to showcase how buyers will be able to modify their vehicles.

The Soul Diva variant is aimed at young women who have a passion for fashion and see their car as an “accessory,” Kia says. The lounge-like interior is done in black, white and gold. Glossy black imitation leather seats resemble sofas, while the floor is covered in long-pile, “pony-hide” carpet.

Kia characterizes the Soul Burner as the “bad boy” of the three concepts, featuring glossy black dragon tattoos on the satin black exterior. The outer edges of the front bumpers wear L-shaped light-emitting diodes, while the rear bumper has vertical exhaust pipes.

The third Soul concept is meant to convey a relaxing feeling, Kia says of the Soul Searcher, which “sets out to capture the spirit of Korean and Far Eastern culture with a focus on achieving personal inner peace and creating a calm cocoon for the occupants.”

Unlike the loud interiors of the other Soul concepts, the Searcher has muted interior colors, with gray-beige felt covering the floor and seats, Kia says. A lived-in-leather look is present inside and out and includes the folding roof, dashboard, door panels and steering-wheel rim.

Kia also will feature two Eco_Cee’d concepts in Geneva it calls “green performance” models. One is based on the production 5-door Cee’d and the other on the production Pro_Cee’d model.

“Numerous small but significant modifications” will improve fuel economy and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, as much as 17% for the Pro_Cee’d, the auto maker says.

Kia has said the technologies used to achieve the emissions gains will make their way to production Cee’ds beginning in December 2008.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com