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Discussion Starter #1
After lots of comments throughout this forum on this subject, I thought I'd better start a new thread about the Lotus modified suspension fitted to UK Souls. Some UK owners don't even realise this. Others have been told by the salesman that their car has it, but this is not the case as it is not fitted to the first 3 months supply of UK cars.

Some press releases:

CAR magazine said:
Kia is to work with renowned chassis experts Lotus on all future models to improve ride and handling. The new Soul will be first to receive the fettling from the experts in Hethel.

The new strategy will ensure that future models will get a suspension set-up geared specifically for UK roads. The Soul will have higher compression and rebound rates, plus adapted bump stops to prevent the car bottoming out on the large potholes that cash-strapped local councils are so reluctant to fix.

Kia-Lotus: the technical partnership

A Kia spokesman told CAR that all future Kia cars due for release in Britain will benefit from Lotus treatment. 'The changes are designed to stop harshness getting into the cabin, while giving improved steering feel on high frequency undulations. They also give the car more poise, and prevent the car using the whole suspension range over bumps.'
There is a website that gives more detail of the Lotus modifications, but I can't find it now. I'll keep looking.

From what I've read (and confirmed by our local Kia dealer manager) is that the Lotus suspension wont start appearing until three months after the launch in the UK. So cars arriving now might possibly now have the modified suspension.

My only gripe about the Soul is the suspension. It is awful on bumpy rural roads. The suspension bottoms out so you get a crashing through the car and it is worse if there are adults sitting in the back - and they complain too!

What I'd really like to know is if I can get the modified parts fitted to my Soul. Does anyone have access to the Kia parts diagrams to see what component changes there are?
I've read that it may only be modified dampers and bump stops, but there may be more to it than that.

Here's my (worldwide standard) suspension....

Rear


Front

 

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Discussion Starter #2
And another press release....
See Kia World article here

The new Kia Soul, on sale in the UK at the beginning of March 2009, is the first Kia to have been developed specifically with UK roads and drivers in mind.

Detailed work to create a bespoke ride and handling package was completed by Lotus, the renowned automotive consultancy, based in Norfolk, East Anglia.

Kia Soul has been secretly on test in the UK during late 2008 and the constant evaluation has been fed back to the factory in Korea as well as the research and development teams in Europe.

The work undertaken by Lotus on the ride and handing package has resulted in changes to the overall suspension settings and bump stops. These changes have allowed the Soul to become more compliant with UK roads, adding a touch more refinement to the ride, yet allowing the dampers to do more ‘work’ under the chassis.

The result is that the Kia Soul is now one of the most complete cars Kia has ever produced as it is available with specific suspension packages for Europe, the US and UK.

Paul Philpott, Managing Director, Kia Motors UK, said: “Soul is a very exciting product for Kia and for our customers. It has a unique look and style and will bring something fresh to the UK market with several innovations. We firmly believe that customers who have never considered a Kia before will look at Soul and see it as a viable option when it comes to buying a new car.”

He also added; “The result of our partnership with Lotus is a more composed ride which we think is much more suitable to what our roads can throw at Soul, and additionally, it is also a more exciting car to drive.”
 

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Hey Matt... Thanx, top thread

BUT --- That last post seems to contradict the first.. I.E

>>The new Kia Soul, on sale in the UK at the beginning of March 2009, is the first Kia to have been developed specifically with UK roads and drivers in mind.


That says, to me at least that, basically, 'all UK Souls have the Lotus mod' and TBH without comparing part numbers it would be difficult to tell one way or the other... I wonder if the part No is stamped on the McPhearson Strutts and bump stops????

That way we could compare a UK vs, say, US model.

Interesting
 

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Actually... re-reading

That first Car article was from Jan 2009.... The Soul was not even released Worldwide at that time (apart from Korea methinks).

3 months from Jan was about when the Soul was released. We had on of the first ones I think (March)
 

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Actually... re-reading

That first Car article was from Jan 2009.... The Soul was not even released Worldwide at that time (apart from Korea methinks).

3 months from Jan was about when the Soul was released. We had on of the first ones I think (March)
Mine is March also - what is your VIN? I understand that the VIN contains no specific model trim information - and so all SOULs were numbered serially. I do not yet know where the Chassis Serial Numbers started for the SOUL's.

If the car was produced in March - it most likely did not arrive in the showroom here in the US until May or Jun. Total Soul sales in the US only totalled 16,027 by the end of July.. So I'd guess that the serial numbers produced indicate world wide sales.

Mine is #7042855 Is it possible that they produced over 42,855 by March of the world? Is there any way to know what VIN's were sent to G.B.?

Edit - Found the answer to my own question at Kia World..as of the end of July:
"BTW, so far this year, Kia sold more than 58,000 Souls across the globe; 11,500 units in South Korea and 46,500 units abroad. Pretty impressive number, don’t you think!?"

So the US has taken about a third of the exports, and it is possible that mine is the 42,855th Soul produced.

FWIW,
Carl B.

FWIW,
Carl B.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well mine was new on 19th June 2009, so I guess it was built around early May. My VIN is ends in 97050593 so by your reckoning mine is about the 97,000th made.
 

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hi d2matt:
Well then my reckoning must be WRONG. I was going by what the Dealer told me - so that must be mis-information.

No need to guess at the Date of Manufacture here in the US - all our cars have the Date of Manufacture affixed to them. We have a sticker on the drivers door jamb that lists the Date of Manufacture as required by our Federal Laws.

Do they not have that on the cars sent to the UK? Looks like cars sent to the UK may have a completely different chassis Serial Number series assigned. Maybe we need a new thread on that subject -

thanks for the feedback..
Carl B.
 

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hi nitrosportman:
Well - it looks like the SOUL Plus, Exclaim and Sport A/T's for the US Market do all share the same VIN's and chassis serial numbers.. But my SOUL is not a 1980 Model

So now we need some people to enter their VIN's from outside the US to see what it says...

The report follows:
980 KIA
SOUL +/!/SPORT
VIN:
KNDJT2A21A7042855

World region:
Asia

Manufactured in:
Korea

Year:
1980

Make:
Kia

Model:
SOUL +/!/SPORT

Body style:
Wagon 4 Door

Transmission:
4 Spd Automatic

Drive type:
FWD

Cylinders:
4 Cylinders

Standard options:
Air Conditioning, Power Steering, Power Brakes, Power Windows, Tilt Wheel, ABS (4-Wheel)

FWIW,
Carl B.
 
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