We recently received a tip that Kia made an announcement at the past KMA Dealer Show which confirms the launching of two new variants of its extremely popular Kia Soul for the year 2016. We asked Kia Motors Corporation General Manager, Michael Choo, to comment about the information.
[ads id=”0″ style=”float:left;padding:5px;”]The answer was something unexpected: “While we are considering both a 4×4 KiaSoul variant and an addition of a Turbo engine, neither of these are confirmed at this time”, he said. According to our sources, Kia will launch a production version of the Trail’ster, and the car was showed at the KMA Dealer Show, offerering a rugged exterior look, but the production Trail’ser will offer more than a 4×4 look, with an available All-Wheel Drive system and will be designed by Kia US Design team.
The rumors started a few years ago, when Autoblog was talking with some Kia Executives, at the time the Kia Soul beated records in the United States, and the biggest problem was the Soul’s demands far exceeded supply, and the factories couldn’t keep up. The Koreans have offered great efforts for the Soul to succeed in Europe, but they haven’t been able to accomplish and that’s the reason there is no space available in the factory to produce more Soul and the meet demand but also a new AWD or a new enhanced three-door variant with Turbo, even if the market asks for it.
But fortunately, this will change soon, Kia is just one year away to open its newly Mexican plant, where can respond to the demand of the Rio, Forte and Sportage models from the North and South American markets and this will benefit the addition of new range of models.
Kia Executives told to Autoblog that they’d love to see the 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter T-GDi in the Soul’s engine bay, but according to KMA’s Executive Director of Product Planning, Orth Hedrick, the problem is about price, and according to Mr. Hedrick, that such a model would likely have to cost around $2,500 more from a normal Soul, and the automaker isn’t sure people want a Soul like that.
But finally Kia green lighted the Turbo model as well as the All-Wheel Drive model but still not confirmed the engine and could arrive with a decaf 177 hp 1.6-liter T-GDi engine, like the used on the new Tucson.