Kia is readying a new version of the quirky Soul mini SUV-cum-hatch. Our spy shots, taken in California's Death Valley, show an all-new design for the Soul's cabin.
What's new in these Kia Soul spy shots?
Under the front and rear covers we can see the latest design of lights peeking through - they featured on the Kia Soul's mid-life facelift which arrived at the end of 2011. The camo also masks tweaks to the bumper styling. What's of more interest here, however, is the brand new cabin design.
The air vents have morphed into bulbous pods atop the dash, and there are more chrome flourishes to lift the somewhat drab cockpit of the Soul.
A taped-up centre stack suggests there's a new look for the infotainment controls too, bringing the Soul into line with Kia's latest offerings, such as the Rio supermini and Sportage crossover.
When will we see the new Kia Soul?
Kia will likely launch the latest Soul in the US, where the car has found much favour among young buyers.
That explains why the profile of the car in these shots is so similar to the current car: Kia doesn't want to go alienating the style-conscious buyers who've made the Soul such a Stateside hit. Keep your eyes peeled at the Chicago or New York motor shows in 2013 for the new car.
Any more Kia Soul news?
Lots actually. CAR hears that the new Soul will be joined in the coming years by two new versions: a three-door hot hatch and an open-top pick-up. Wondering why the idea sounds familiar? That's because Kia already showed concept versions of both of those ideas, but now they're considering giving them the go-ahead thanks to US demand.
We'd be unlikely to see a production version of the Soulster convertible even in convertible-loving Britain, but a 250bhp showroom-spec Track'ster? That's a different matter...
The UK has always been a happy hunting ground for hot hatch sales, so Kia could bring a souped-up, squatted-down three-door Soul to our shores, bringing a touch of SUV bluffness to the performance supermini sector. Watch this space in 2014 to see if Kia takes the bait with the new Soul.