Update – Kia’s local arm has confirmed the turbocharged Soul won’t be coming to Australia, though exterior and interior revisions will be part of a 2017 update coming soon. See article for details.
The 2017 Kia Soul will soon have, dare we say it, a bit more soul – but not for our market, it seems.
The Korean brand has just announced that it is updating the Soul crossover range in overseas markets, with a new 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine being the headline act.
The 1.6 T-GDI engine is the same seen in the defunct Kia pro_cee’d GT warm hatch, with 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque: but unlike that car, the Soul turbo model will have a standard seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
According to Kia, the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI (wow, that rolls off the tongue…) is the most powerful Soul yet, and it will sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.8 seconds. Top speed? 200km/h. Fuel use? 6.9 litres per 100km. Sounds pretty enticing!
There’s also a new steering mode selector, with normal, eco and sport modes to choose from. These modes adjust the electric steering response. The brakes have been upgraded to deal with the extra grunt, too.
Those aren’t the only changes to the Soul, with some updates to the styling if the new sportier model including a new-look front bumper and grille, not to mention twin exhaust outlets and unique 18-inch alloy wheels. There’s a T-DGI badge, a Soul logo in red, and red highlights on the bumper and sills.
Inside, the Soul 1.6 T-GDI gets its own colour scheme with black cloth and leather trim and orange stitching. A flat-bottomed steering wheel is fitted, and there are other orange highlights in the cabin, too.
Other changes to the Soul range include three new exterior paint colours – Mysterious Blue, Russet Brown and Wild Orange – and all models in the range will be available with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay phone connectivity.
There’s an additional USB point in the second row, the front passenger seat can be had with electric adjustment, and rain-sensing wipers have been added, too.
The 2017 Soul also gets safety upgrades, with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert available.
A release from the brand said that the new Soul will be on sale in Europe from the beginning of October.
Kevin Hepworth, general manager for corporate communications at Kia Australia, told CarAdvice that the company’s local arm currently has no plans to introduce the turbocharged engine to the Soul line-up, though a forthcoming update will see some revisions inside and out. Sad face.