Details were thin on the ground when Kia revealed plans for a Soul EV last month. The Korean carmaker has now shed a little more light on the first all-electric Kia that will be sold outside its home country.
With styling inspired by the 2012 Kia Track'ster concept, the Kia Soul EV retains the square-shouldered broad stance seen on its non-electric Soul-mate and builds on the experience gained from Kia's first electric vehicle, the Ray EV, which is only available in Korea.
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The Soul EV's final powertrain hasn't been announced, but the front-wheel drive prototype Soul EV test cars, which are based on the 2014 Soul, replace that car's ICE with a 109-hp electric motor outputting 210 lb-ft of torque that is married to a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit. The prototypes go from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in under 12 seconds, on the way to a top speed of around 90 mph (145 km/h).
The vehicle is powered by a battery pack that Kia says can be fully recharged using a standard 240 V outlet in five hours, or in just 25 minutes on "fast" charge with 100 kW output. The company is aiming to give the car a range of over 120 miles (193 km), which will be helped by a regenerative braking system.
Although engine noise is not a concern in the battery-powered Soul EV, Kia says the vehicle will be built using special sound-proofing materials to further ensure a quiet ride. Since stealth isn't such a plus when it comes to pedestrians, the car will come with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an audio alert when traveling in reverse or at speeds of under 12 mph (19 km/h).
When released, the Soul EV will be offered with projection type headlights, LED positioning lamps, LED rear combination lamps, and aerodynamically shaped 16-inch alloy wheels. Meanwhile, the car's interior will boast a "Supervision" instrument cluster and center stack with an 8-inch display and eco-friendly materials.
Pricing details are yet to be announced, but Kia plans to release the Soul EV globally next year.
Source: KiaView gallery - 8 images