Kia's all-new production model, Soul, will be shown at the upcoming Paris Show and has been earmarked for local introduction in 2009.
Soul is a boxy five-door front-wheel drive hatchback that has been shown in various concept forms since 2007.
It may be hard to gauge the vehicle's size from images, but its dimensions are quite compact and it is similar in size to Nissan's Livina. It has a wheelbase of 2 550 mm and an overall length of just 4 105 mm.
Soul will not replace an existing Kia model and the Korean manufacturer expects it to play an important role in the brand's global line-up, defying conventions and appealing to the young and young-at-heart.
The manufacturer has confirmed production of the Soul will commence in Korea from November this year.
Three engines have been identified for global markets - a 2.0-litre petrol and 1.6-litre petrol and turbodiesel units - although the smaller capacity petrol is likely to be offered in South Africa.
It goes on sale in Europe from February 2008, before being unleashed on the US and the rest of the world from April. Expect to see the Kia Soul here from the third quarter of 2009.