Kia will offer distributors selling its new Soul world wide three engines though not all will take the full roster.

Sales start in early 2009. There will be 1.6- and two-litre petrol engines and a 1.6 turbodiesel.

Both 1.6, I4, 16-valve, DOHC motors are similar to those used in the Slovakia-built Ceed model.

European markets won't get the two-litre motor - the larger unit is preferred in less CO2 emissions tax-obsessed countries, such as the US and Australia, where a much higher proportion of Kia's cars are sold with automatic transmission.

Kia will offer only a front drive, five-door hatchback 4,105mm long on a 2,550mm wheelbase, 1,610mm high and 1,785mm wide.

Production of this addition to the automaker's range begins in Korea next November after production versions are displayed at the Paris motor show in October. 'Concepts' first shown at Geneva are due at the London show next week.

Kia promises that buyers will be able to "individualise and match the new line to their own personality".