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by Tim Beissmann

The Kia Soul has been revealed in European specification for the first time ahead of its debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.

Originally unveiled in US-spec at March’s New York auto show, these images give us a clear look at how the second-generation hatch will appear when it reaches Australian showrooms during the first quarter of 2014.

The Euro-spec Soul gets subtle headlight tweaks but otherwise largely follows the design of the North American model, which evolves the look of the first-generation small car’s square shoulders, upright stance, wraparound greenhouse and vertical pillar-mounted tail-lights.

The two cars on display at the German show will wear a distinctive SUV Styling Pack comprising piano black bumper trim, side skirts, wheel arches and a black painted roof. Three different roof colours – black, red and white – will be offered to contrast 11 body colours.

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The 2014 Kia Soul also gains a brand new interior that takes inspiration from the Korean brand’s Track’ster concept, incorporating higher quality materials and a more driver-focused design.

The second-generation Soul sits on an all-new platform based on that of the Cee’d small car. A stiffer body shell and upgraded suspension promise improvements in ride and handling, while the new model also boasts increased cabin and cargo space and better soundproofing.

The Euro-spec Soul will be available with the choice of 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions – both carried over from the outgoing model and enhanced to offer improved efficiency and lower emissions.

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Depending on the trim level, the Euro-spec Kia Soul will come with LED daytime running lights and rear LED ‘halo’ lights, xenon headlights, keyless entry with push-button start, climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery, ventilated and heated front seats and heated rear seats, and a panoramic glass sunroof.

Australian specification and pricing details will be released closer to the Soul’s local launch.

The 2013 Frankfurt motor show kicks off on September 10.




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