Kia Motors Corp. releases the first official photos of the production version of the Kia Soul, set to debut at the Paris auto show in October.

The upcoming cross/utility vehicle retains the name of the concept initially rolled out at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and spun into three more styling exercises for the Geneva auto show in March.

“Reaction from the media and public to the three Soul concept cars first unveiled at the Geneva show has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Lee Hyoung-Keun, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer for Kia’s international business division.

“This reaction, plus the fact that both physically and emotionally the Soul concept cars are so closely related to the new Kia Soul production car, made it a natural choice to retain the evocative name.”

The Geneva concepts were developed by Kia’s European design team led by Gregory Guillaume, under the guidance of Kia’s top designer, Peter Schreyer.

“Because the new Kia Soul is not a replacement for an existing vehicle and is destined to play a unique role within the Kia global lineup, it can be a bit of a rebel,” Guillaume says of the production model that will debut in Paris.

“The trio of Geneva concepts were ‘appetizers’ for the new model introduction in Paris,” he adds. “You can be certain the new Kia Soul model will retain the core DNA of the three exciting concepts.”