Kia's Soul bared to all

Kia's Soul bared to all

The design gurus at Kia have been creating like crazy in recent times, and are showing the fruits of their labour at the British Motor Show.

In total, there's an impressive roster of five concept cars, none of which have been seen in this country before.

Perhaps the most immediately significant are the Soul trio (Soul Burner, Soul Diva and Soul Searcher), which give clues as to how the company's forthcoming lifestyle 4x4 will look when it goes on sale early next year.

Why three? Well, they all have different 'personalities'.

Searcher has rugged, outdoors looks, with a raised body, extended wheelarches and a fabric sunroof.

Burner is the sporty, urban-cool version and has a lower body, aerodynamic add-ons and dragon tattoos on a satin-black paint finish.

Diva is the more feminine option, finished in white with 19-inch wheels, patterned tyres, unique lamps and grille, and a different interior capped with a panoramic sunroof.

Oh, and despite its 4x4 looks, it will be front-wheel-drive only.

Then there's the Kee coupe, a two-plus-two sports coupe which isn't just designed to hint at a potential future production car, but also to dictate the design direction that Kia will be following over the next few years.

Finally, there's a convertible called Ex_Cee'd, which is based on the three-door Pro_Cee'd hatch due here next year.

Unlike many of the latest crop of drop-tops - Peugeot 207 CC, Vauxhall Astra Twintop, VW Eos - the Ex_Cee'd cabrio forgoes the folding metal roof in favour of a fabric top.

There's no commitment to building the Ex_Cee'd, although officials say there are several design cues on the car that will be incorporated on future Kias.

Also, don't panic if you are in the market for a car now, rather than someone's vision of the future: Kia has plenty examples of its entire range on view, too.