GENEVA â€“ Kia Motors Corp. provides early details of three concept versions of its Soul cross/utility vehicle, as well as green concepts of its Ceeâ€™d compact models, all debuting tomorrow at the Geneva auto show here.
The production-version Soul will go on sale in Korea in the yearâ€™s fourth quarter and in Europe in early 2009, a spokesman tells Wardâ€™s
Kia says the Soul Diva, Burner and Searcher are three â€śfunâ€ť 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 â€śaccessory,â€ť 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, â€śpony-hideâ€ť carpet.
Kia characterizes the Soul Burner as the â€śbad boyâ€ť 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 â€śsets 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.â€ť
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_Ceeâ€™d concepts in Geneva it calls â€śgreen performanceâ€ť models. One is based on the production 5-door Ceeâ€™d and the other on the production Pro_Ceeâ€™d model.
â€śNumerous small but significant modificationsâ€ť will improve fuel economy and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, as much as 17% for the Pro_Ceeâ€™d, the auto maker says.
Kia has said the technologies used to achieve the emissions gains will make their way to production Ceeâ€™ds beginning in December 2008.