South Korean car manufacturer Kia will be launching a new crossover vehicle based on a concept car that it displayed at the 2006 North American International Auto Show.

Reuters reports that the new vehicle will be called the Soul and it will enter production in 2008 as a 2009 model with the US being its primary market.


The Soul will be a small crossover style vehicle able to seat five occupants and will be powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed auto driving the front wheels. Design work was handled by Kia's design center in California but production will be strictly in Korea only.

Kia’s chief designer in the US Tom Kearns chose the name Soul for two main reasons: the concept was first showcased in Detroit, the home of Motown soul music, and secondly the company wanted to play on its Korean roots by copying the pronunciation of South Korea's capital, Seoul.