What does a South Korean automaker do to shed its image as a cheap, compromising alternative to Honda and Toyota? Improve build quality? Check. Improve design? No problem. Enlist the help of Lotus to improve ride and handling? If you’re Kia, absolutely.
According to CAR, Kia will work with Lotus to improve the ride and handling characteristics of its vehicles. A Kia spokesman told CAR that all Kia cars sold in Great Britain will benefit from a “Lotus treatment”, starting with the Soul. “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 the bumps,” said the source.
One can only hope that the tips Lotus gives Kia will somehow benefit Kia’s products stateside as well. While Hyundai, Kia’s partner, has several products helping to eliminate its boring image (including the Hyundai Veracruz and Hyundai Genesis), Kia’s transformation is just beginning with the upcoming Soul. This new partnership with Lotus can only mean good things for the ambitious automaker’s future products.