A 150kW Kia Soul has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show next week.

THE KIA SOUL looks funky enough and now with a 150kW engine from the Kia pro_cee’d GT it might just be on the verge of becoming a cult car. Yes, big call, I know.

Running a 150kW 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine it is the most powerful Kia Soul the Korean car maker has ever produced. It will go on-sale in Europe directly after its debut in Paris next week. Besides the beefier engine, the new Soul gets styling tweaks and new safety and infotainment packs.

The Kia Soul Turbo’s engine is mated to a Kia/Hyundai produced seven-speed DSG and is quick enough to get to 100km/h in 7.8 seconds, puts out 156g/km of CO2 and drinks 6.9L/100km on the combined cycle. The new transmission comes with a drive mode selector allowing drivers to switch between Normal, Eco or Sport which tweaks the level of steering assistance.

The Soul Turbo gets bigger brakes than its garden-variety sibling and can now stop from 100km/h in 35.3 metres, down from 35.5 metres, or so the manufacturer claims.

The Soul 1.6 T-GDI is differentiated from other models in the line-up with a series of exterior modifications, including a bolder front bumper and air intake grille design, twin exhaust pipes at the rear, and its own 10-spoke 18-inch aluminium alloy wheel design. The model features the T-GDI engine badge on the tailgate, as well as a unique red Soul model logo. Completing the sportier appearance of the T-GDI model are red highlights to the front bumper and side sills.

On the insides, the Soul Turbo gets its own cabin colour scheme, with black cloth and leather upholstery paired with orange stitching. A D-shaped steering wheel and orange highlights throughout the cabin, including orange metal paint on the gearstick.

Buyers will be able to choose from either a 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.0-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system, which provide smartphone-style touchscreen control over the audio-visual navigation system, and is available with Apple CarPlay (for iPhone 5 or newer) and Android Auto (for Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer) for full smartphone integration. These new systems also offer a rear-view parking camera, while a new USB port has been added to the rear of the cabin, allowing back-seat passengers to charge mobile devices on the move. The front passenger seat is also now available with eight-way power adjustment, and drivers can benefit from new rain-sensing windscreen wipers and, in models equipped with 7DCT, the new Drive Mode Selector.

Safety is also improved in the Soul with the adoption of Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) for the first time, giving drivers better all-round visibility on motorways and during low-speed parking manoeuvres.

There’s no word yet whether the new Kia Soul Turbo will make it to Australia; we can only hope.


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