For the third generation of its Soul crossover, Kia has decided that only the EV version would make it to Europe.
While North-America will also get two gasoline-powered Soul versions, European markets will only get the Soul EV. As with the US-spec model, the Soul EV for Europe features a new lithium-ion polymer 64 kWh battery pack offering “a vastly improved range over the outgoing model.” However, Kia didn’t provide a number as the Soul EV is currently undergoing testing.
The automaker said it would announce the overall battery range for Europe in early 2019. The claimed longer range is doubled by the standard-fit Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge which will enable shorter stops and rapid battery charging.
The all-new Kia Soul EV features a new electric motor that delivers 204 PS (201 hp) and 395 Nm (291 lb-ft) of torque –the same with the Hyundai Kona EV-, allowing the car to accelerate “even more strongly” than its predecessor. However, Kia hasn’t released any acceleration figures yet.
The automaker claims the latest Kia Soul EV offers “much improved” handling and driving dynamics as well, thanks to the adoption of a fully-independent rear suspension. The crossover will offer four drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Eco+) which automatically adjust power output to the motor.
They also control the dosage of regenerative braking, air conditioning, and heating settings. The driver can operate the regenerative braking system via paddle shifters as well. There are three levels available (0 to 3), depending on the desired driving smoothness, enjoyment, and efficiency. The brake regen system also features a “Brake and Hold” function that allows drivers to bring the car to a full stop using the paddle shifters.
In Europe, the electric vehicle will offer two trim levels, Soul EV and the Soul EV Designer Collection. The latter adds stuff like a two-tone paint scheme, gloss-black mirror caps, a 10-speaker Harman-Kardon premium audio system with external amplifier, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats upholstered in Sofino artificial leather, and more.
Kia will build the new Soul EV at its Gwangju plant in Korea and start shipping it to Europe in the first half of 2019.