Thursday, June 2, 2016

Kia Brings Back the Hamsters and Teases Soul Turbo in Wild Video

Far and away the most polarizing vehicle in Kia’s lineup is the Soul, and with its funky looks come equally quirky commercials featuring human-sized hamsters. 

Well, the hamsters are back in a new, wilder-than-ever ad for the Soul, and it’s in this ad that Kia confirms our long-running suspicion that a hotter version of the funky hatchback is forthcoming.

At the end of the commercial—the 1:45 mark—you can see “Turbo (Winter 2016)” below the “2016 Soul” text. Apparently, Kia has been quite sneaky lately and has been quietly testing out a boosted version of the Soul.

The biggest question in my mind is what kind of power will this turbocharged engine crank out. Thinking back, Kia had the Track’ster and Trail’ster concepts that both used 1.6-liter turbo powerplants with 250 and 185 horsepower, respectively, but I doubt those engines are prepped for production. Additionally, given the Soul’s lower price point, it’ll likely recycle one of the existing 1.6-liter engines, which produce 175 to 201 horsepower in their various states of tune.

The other issue at hand is whether the introduction of a boosted engine will also usher in optional all-wheel drive. Logic leads me to want to say yes, as the added torque of a turbo-four would be best put to use through an all-wheel-drive system. However, Kia has resisted it thus far, so it is arguable.

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