A range of upgrades for the Kia Soul have been announced.
A new 201bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine is set to be introduced, making this the most powerful version of the small SUV.
The engine comes from Kia’s sporty hatchback, the Pro c’eed GT. In the Soul it results in a 0-60mph time 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 122mph.
Power is transmitted to the front wheels via Kia’s new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which offers quicker gear changes and improved engine response.
All Souls equipped with this gearbox will receive a new drive mode selector, which gives the driver a choice of normal, eco and sport modes. These options change the level of steering assistance to allow for light or heavy steering depending on driver preference or road conditions.
Cars with the new 1.6-litre engine will also receive a number of exterior upgrades to make them stand out from the rest of the range. The bumpers and front grille have been redesigned, while new twin exhaust pipes have been fitted at the rear. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels and red highlights complete the model’s look.
The interior has also undergone extensive changes, with black cloth and leather upholstery paired with orange stitching exclusive to the trim. Further orange highlights have been splashed around the cabin, such as on the gearstick, while the steering wheel has been reshaped.
New safety equipment has also been added in the form of blind spot detection and an alert to warn of traffic crossing behind the car during low speed manoeuvres.
The new 1.6-litre engine option will be available at dealers from late 2016, and will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.