Electric take on funky Kia Soul set to hit salesrooms
THE funky Kia Soul has been earmarked for some special and contrasting treatment by the Korean manufacturer.
It has been confirmed that a new all-electric version is to go on sale in export markets – including the UK – during the second half of 2014 and will be the company’s first electrically-driven, zeroemissions family car marketed outside Korea.
The front-wheel drive Soul EV prototype test cars are built on modified versions of the 2014 Kia Soul and are powered by an 81.4 kW electric motor, producing 285 Nm of torque. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit. Standstill to 60mph is predicted to take less than 12 seconds and top speed will be in the region of 90mph.
As with all electric vehicles, regenerative braking captures and recycles into the battery the energy generated while the car is coasting and braking.
Charging is accomplished by plugging the Soul EV into any standard household electricity supply. Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 240v or 230v household outlet, or 25 minutes on ‘fast’ charge with 100 kW output.
Because of its nearly silent operation, for the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV will be equipped with a VESS (Virtual Engine Sound System) that emits an audio alert at speeds below 12mph and whenever the car is reversing.
The news follows on from the Soul’s contrasting (loud) starring role in Las Vegas at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show earlier this month.
Five sound-blasting creations featured musicthemed builds including a DJ Booth Soul, an “Amped” Soul, the museum-like Music Memorabilia Soul, a Soul inspired by The Voice, which Kia has sponsored for four seasons, and a Soul highlighting the brand’s partnership with the Vans Warped Tour, pictured. All are one-offs and not destined for the UK roads any time soon.
“Since the Kia Soul first arrived on the scene in America in 2009, it has established a very real connection with music,” said Michael Sprague of Kia Motors America.
MAKING WAVES: Kia Soul electric, top and the Soul inspired by the Vans Warped Tour, a festival of punk music and skateboarding.