The Kia Soul truly surprised us. By now, 8 years after its initial launch, we understand that the Soul is not just a bundle of personality with four wheels and a drivetrain; between its cargo capacity, punchy engine, and nimble handling, the Soul puts its rivals to shame without breaking a sweat.
But when we first laid eyes on it back in 2008, we assumed it would drive and handle like the other vehicles that share its boxy design language. A customer’s first time getting behind the wheel of a Soul is usually a lot like ours: full of the best kind of surprise.
Well, if the Soul was surprising before, it’s about to become downright astonishing.
Who would you take in a drag race: a Kia Soul, or an 70s-era air-cooled Porsche 911? If you answered “My money’s on the Soul,” you’re not delusional – you’re just anticipating the release of the turbocharged Soul, which borrows its unnaturally-aspirated powerhouse from the Kia Forte and can reach a top speed of 122 miles-per-hour while outpacing (50-year-old) German sports cars.
The announcement of the turbocharged Soul was no less surprising than the Soul itself: there we were, happily watching a new Kia advertisement featuring Nathaniel Radcliffe and a panoply of soulful musical hamsters, when they dropped the turbo bombshell on us.
The newer, zippier Soul variant is expected to arrive at showrooms this winter, but lovers of the old drivetrain need not fear: the conventional, naturally aspirated Soul will still make up the bulk of the Soul lineup.
So until we first get our hands on the newest member of the Soul family, we’ll leave you with this: the turbocharged Kia Soul will have more horsepower (and a better power-to-weight ratio) than a 2004 base-model Ford Mustang. That is all.