Kia’s got both heart and Soul

Their new Soul 4x4/MPV has incredibly sold 1,000 in just 100 days since it went on sale in the UK — with 4,000 snapped up worldwide.

It proves how cool they have become under the guidance of former Audi TT designer Peter Schreyer and his team in California.

With the No3 concept mini-MPV — which we exclusively tested in Motors last week — on the way, Kia are clearly a firm to watch.

But the Koreans are also showing that their heart is firmly on becoming more eco-friendly.

Kia are ready to launch a three-step plan to reducing CO2 emissions to ZERO by 2020. First is the Cee’d ISG (Idle, Stop and Go) which is basically the Stop/Start system already on some other small cars, which cuts the engine automatically when the car is stationary.

Kia have also formed a partnership with tyre firm Michelin, whose new silica energy-saving tyres can cut fuel consumption by another 20 PER CENT. Using these tyres, the Cee’d 1.4-litre petrol ISG will reduce emissions from 145g/km to 130g/km.

Then the Cee’d 1.6-litre petrol hybrid, which uses ISG and an electrical management system which gives the car extra power during acceleration, will cut emissions to 114g/km. That car is not due until next year.

Finally Kia are testing a fuel cell vehicle which will produce ZERO emissions. It is powered by electric and hydrogen.

They’ll help the Cee’d and Kia to grow more.
First drive: KIA CEE'D ISG

KIA are planting green seeds for their entire range — with an eco-friendly Cee’d!

Once upon a time driving an eco-friendly car was akin to throwing your credibility down the toilet.

But the Kia Cee’d ISG changes all that. It oozes class and makes green motoring a lot more attractive.

BMW M Concept Envisions Audi R8 Rival

A '3D automotive artist' has rendered his own imagining of what a BMW M competitor to the Audi R8 would look like. Of course, this is an entirely speculative rendering that has nothing to do with BMW itself.

The artist is Idries Noah, formerly employed by GM Holden's design team in Australia. Noah says he grew tired of waiting for BMW to develop a competing model to the R8 and so came up with one his own.

His main influence, other than the R8, he says came from water. According to Noah, design details were "inspired by what's called in surfing terms 'a Barrel or Tube'. It's where the wave is hollow when it breaks." This concept of rushing water is evident in the curves that round over the wheels and the styling cues on the doors which flow into the side air intakes. Those intakes sitting boldly on the protruding rear wheelbase.

Noah writes that the design for such a model has to be "Aggressive, Sleek, Agile and totally different from anything on the road today." Consistency with BMW's design paradigm is maintained by the "the trademark grille and hockey stick pillar."

Under the hood Noah envisions an amped-up version of the 5.0 liter V10 currently found in the M6.