Kia Soul EV coming in 2014Tue, 12 Nov 2013
Kia introduced the new Soul EV on Nov. 11. The boxy hatchback, set to go on sale in 2014, will be the company’s first foray into zero-emissions vehicles outside of the Korean market.
The Soul EV takes design cues from the second-generation car revealed in New York in 2013. The only picture we have, for now, is this camouflaged cruiser doing high speed test laps. We’d guess we’ll see a reveal at the LA Auto Show, but no plans have been formally revealed.
“The new Soul EV will be at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program, which aims to provide environmentally friendly vehicles to our customers around the world when it goes on sale globally next year,” said Orth Hedrick, Kia Motors America’s executive director of product planning. “Although it is Kia’s first globally sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and significantly benefits from the in-depth knowledge gained during development of the Ray EV sold in Korea.”
Kia is targeting a range of 120 miles from the Soul EV, using a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which gains energy through coasting and braking. Kia says the Soul recharges fully in about five hours on a 240-volt outlet, or 25 minutes on a 100 kWh charger. A normal (120V) household outlet would take longer.
Output is rated at 109 hp but a hefty 201 lb-ft of torque. Juice is fed through a continuously variable transmission to the front wheels. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 12 seconds while top speed is “in the region of 90 mph.”
Due to the absence of engine noise to cover things up, Kia added special sound-proofing materials to keep the cabin quiet. Of course, if the car is going less than 12 mph, the company’s Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) emits an alert to inform preoccupied pedestrians.
Standard features include projection headlights, LED positioning lights and LED rear lamps. The wheels measure 16 inches. Inside, the Soul will have an 8-inch display screen, along with a selection of eco-friendly products.
Pricing and mileage equivalents are not yet available.
By Jake Lingeman