Holy blasphemous basketballs, Bron-Bron! Yes, it’s true: NBA superstar LeBron James is officially selling Kias. Or designing them, anyway. That might seem like a bit of an odd combination, but fundamentally, Kia and new-money ballers like LeBron have a lot in common. From humble roots and reputations (both good and bad) mad on the mean streets, both have had their ups and downs. Both have made success almost overnight by taking their games to new levels, challenging the old guard and making a name for the new. Granted, only LeBron’s actually reached Hennessey Chalice status at this point — but Korea’s working hard to hitch their wagons to his platinum star.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Kia K900 King James Edition.
2014 brought the first major redesign of the Kia Soul, but the South Korean automaker treaded carefully and didn’t meddle with the car’s styling too much. A wise decision, if you ask me. Not only because I like the Soul’s unique design, but it also didn’t make sense for Kia to change one of its best-selling models drastically. Sure, I don’t expect all of you to rave about its boxy styling, but the new Soul is quite rewarding when it comes to cargo and interior room, all backed by a comprehensive engine lineup. And it’s highly customizable too for a vehicle in its segment. Which brings me to the latest Soul-related news I want to share with you; the compact just received a couple of new models. These models carry the Mixx and Maxx names and come as high-specification versions of the familiar hatch.
The bad news is that Kia will only sell them in the United Kingdom, with no U.S. availability on the horizon. Still, this is further proof of what Kia is capable of nowadays and we can only hope the Soul range will soon grow in North America as well. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what the Brits have in their showrooms as of September 2014.
Click past the jump to read more about the Kia Soul Mixx And Maxx.
Do you remember the Tracks’ter Concept Kia unveiled at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show? Apparently it create such a buzz among customers that Kia decided to offer a special-edition Soul with elements inspired by the concept.
The new limited edition, which Kia dubbed the "Red Zone" Soul, is based on the 2014 Soul + and features a series of upgrades to the exterior and interior. The Red Zone is painted white combined with a number of red accents, just like the concept, and features an aggressively styled body kit.
The interior also offers a nice combination of black with red stitching and accents.
Under its hood, the Soul Red Zone comes with a 2.0-liter, gasoline direct injected (GDI) four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 164 horsepower and mates to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The new Kia Soul Red Zone Edition goes on sale in the first quarter of 2014 and is limited to only 2,000 units.
Click past the jump to read more about Kia Soul Red Zone Edition.
The latest installment of Kia’s superhero lineup was finally unveiled at the New York Auto Show.
This time, DC’s Wonder Woman was the recipient of the Korean automaker’s superhero-themed vehicles.
The Sportage Wonder Woman is actually the seventh of an eight-vehicle partnership between Kia and DC and for what it’s worth, it’s one of the better ones we’ve seen come out of the unique collaboration.
The exterior of the Sportage features a truly unique aerodynamic look with a red and blue exterior scheme that comes accented with the same stars Wonder Woman has in her get-up. Notice also the gold trim found throughout the vehicle; that’s a nod toward the heroine’s golden lasso. On the front, Wonder Woman’s famous eagle chest plate is prominently featured and integrated into the Sportage’s grille with matching blue headlight beams representing her eyes.
Rounding out the exterior modifications is Wonder Woman’s tiara, which is clearly visible on top of the Sportage’s windshield. The chrome side panels on the vehicle that serve as graphical interpretations of her invisible jet and the five-spoke wheel design complete the wonderful work done on the exterior to pay homage to DC’s resident super heroine.
Moving inside, Kia continued the Wonder Woman-inspired theme with red upholstery and dash pieces, as well as blue LED lighting to match the exterior treatment. There are also custom seats bearing Wonder Woman’s costume with embroidered logo prominently featured. Last but not least is the cargo area of the Sportage, which has a see-through panel displaying Wonder Woman’s full list of crime fighting accessories, including her tiara, bracelets and a glowing Lasso of Truth.
Kia is celebrating the launch of the new pro_cee’d GT with a special 1st Edition. This special edition will be limited to only 500 units and will bring a series of updates to both the exterior and the interior.
The new pro_cee’d GT 1st Edition will be distinguished by a series of unique features, like: high-gloss door mirror housings, stainless steel scuff plates with red illuminated GT badging and unique numbering. Additionally, this special edition will be offered with 18-inch wheels painted in high-gloss.
On the interior, customers will get red foot-well lighting and premium-quality velour floor mats with red double stitching. The list of standard equipment will include: adaptive xenon headlights, automatic air conditioning, satellite navigation and a large sunroof.
The new Kia pro_cee’d GT 1st Edition will be making its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and will be put on sale in May 2013; prices will be announced closer to market launch.
British customers will enjoy a new addition to their already very impressive Kia Soul Originals collection. The new addition, the Soul Shaker will be offered in both petrol and diesel engine variants and will carry a relatively low price.
The model sits above the "2" specification version and shares some high-tech features with other models in the Soul Originals range, including iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and air conditioning.
When compared to other Soul models in the lineup, the new Shaker edition will be distinguished by an exclusive paintjob, a new set of alloy wheels, and premium interior in a new unique ’Houndstooth’ design.
Kia also paid intensive attention to the car’s safety level and equipped the new Shaker with technologies like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, vehicle stability management and hill-start assist control.
Hit the jump to ream more the 2013 Kia Soul Shaker.
Kia’s partnership with DC Entertainment to raise awareness for the latter’s We Can Be Heroes campaign against hunger in the Horn of Africa apparently extends further than the recent Optima "Batmobile" we saw a week ago.
Turns out, the Korean automaker has another superhero-inspired model headed to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show. Together with the fellas over at West Coast Customs, Kia brought the Forte Koup "Flash" at Las Vegas.
Considering that there’s no car in the automaker’s entire line-up that can really give justice to The Flash and his lightning speed super powers, we’re not going to hold it against Kia. After all, the Forte Koup Flash actually looks sizzling. The red, orange, and yellow airbrushed exterior color is a trademark of Flash’s costume. The hood also bears the iconic Flash logo with a cutout right in the middle, allowing everybody to see the kind of engine this bad boy packs. A custom coil over suspension was also added, effectively improving the Forte Koup Flash’s handling while a new set of 20" Asanti color-matched wheels wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires.
Inside, the Forte Koup Flash’s seats have been reupholstered in black nappa leather with contrasting red suede and yellow stitching. Character artwork has also been embroidered into the seats. Likewise, the headliner also gets black suede upholstery with custom stitching and custom-painted pieces. West Coast Customs also installed two, 10" sub woofers and two sets of coaxial component speakers with a Quart four-channel amp. Finally, a pair of 7" Rosen Entertainment monitors plays a "We Can Be Heroes" campaign video in the front headrests.
Kia UK has just added a new top of the line version to its Sportage line-up. The new Sportage KX-4 features a higher output turbodiesel engine alongside the most luxurious level of specification. The model is on sale starting July 2nd, 2012 at a price of £27,195 (about $43,000 at the current exchange rates).
The new KX-4 is powered by a 2.0-litre CRDi "R" engine that delivers a total of 181 HP at 4,000 rpm and 282 lbs-ft of torque delivered from just 1,800rpm to 2,500rpm. When mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the new Sportage KX-4 will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 9.4 seconds and up to a top speed of 120 mph (121 mph when equipped with an automatic gearbox).
The list of standard equipments is quite impressive and includes: a full leather upholstery, 18" alloy wheels, privacy glass, seven-inch touchscreen satellite navigation system with EU mapping, Xenon lights, automatic lights and wipers, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats, cruise control, iPod connectivity, colour reversing camera and a seven-speaker stereo complete with external amplifier and sub-woofer.
Kia has officially confirmed today the launch of the new special edition Soul Red Rock. The model has been inspired by the beautiful rock formations found in the Southwest United States. The new model is now on sale at a starting price of just $20,600.
The model will be distinguished by a number of unique features designed to set it apart from other Soul variants. These particular elements will start with a Canyon exterior color and continue with a high-gloss black front fascia and mirror housings. The interior is adorned with exclusive black leather trim and brown cloth seats. Standard amenities include automatic climate control and heated front seats.
"The wildly popular Soul has been a game-changer for Kia since it arrived in 2009, and our series of special editions over the past three years have added individualism and exclusivity to an already fun and youthful vehicle," said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing and communications, KMA. "Style and flair are key to Soul’s success, and the Red Rock Special Edition, which has plenty of both, will help drive sales into 2012."
Kia has brought a new range topping Optima to the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The special Optima SX Limited will go on sale in March and will be offered exclusively in three exterior colors: Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl, and Titanium Metallic.
The special edition Kia Optima SX Limited will be distinguished by LED daytime running lights, a chrome-accented rear spoiler, lower door sills, wood interior trim, and a new set of uniquely designed chrome 18-inch wheels. The interior has been dressed up in black or white Nappa for the leather seats, door panels, center console armrest, and center fascia trim for a premium feel. All of these elements are combined with wood accents on the steering wheel, interior door trim, and shift knob, and a black tricot fabric lends a premium feel to the headliner, sun visor, and A, B, and C pillars.
The Kia Optima SX Limited is powered by the vehicle’s usual 2.0-liter turbo GDI V6 engine that delivers a total of 274 HP and achieves 22/34 mpg city/hwy.
In addition to the Kia Soul Hamster unveiled earlier, Kia has brought another concept from the 2010 SEMA Auto Show to production form: the Soul White Tiger Concept. This new special edition will join not only the Hamster, but also the Denim, Ignition, Shadow Dragon, and Ghost Souls. It will go on sale in late May 2011 at a starting price of $20,695.
The new Kia Soul White Tiger Special Edition will be distinguished by a bright white exterior with gray graphics, color-keyed bumpers, a sporty rear spoiler, 18" black alloy wheels, black fender exits, a rear bumper applique, and door alloy fuel. The interior was not left untouched as it received black leather seats, heated front seats, a leather steering wheel and shift knob, a smart key to press the start button, illuminated sill plates, automatic climate control, and front fog lamps.
It seems Kia is taking the Soul’s popularity to a whole new level with as many special edition models as the public can take. Haven’t they ever heard of too much of a good thing?
Kia’s highly popular ’Hamster’ campaign drew some rave reviews from a lot of people when it began airing a couple of years ago. It’s become so popular that Kia actually developed a special edition Soul late last year, which it previewed at SEMA last October.
What we didn’t know and what the Korean automaker recently announced is that they’re in the process of releasing a special edition Kia Soul called the ’Hamster Edition’ in the very near future. Details behind the special edition model have yet to be announced, but there have been whispers saying that the Hamster Edition will come with black exterior graphics, a rear spoiler, and a set of 18" alloy wheels outside while its interior will boast of a push-button ignition, automatic climate control, black leather seats, and special edition floor mats commemorating the car’s exclusivity.
It’s very rare that a commercial can be so popular that it leads to a special edition car being built to celebrate it. Kia’s "This or That" ads paved the way for the Soul Hamster Edition, proving that the auto industry won’t hesitate on riding a popular campaign and milking it for all its worth.
Note: Photos are of the 2010 Kia Soul Hamster Concept.