Kia charges on with

new Soul EV

Kia Soul EV, 2019, front
Kia Soul EV, 2019, side
Kia Soul EV, 2019, rear

KIA is continuing its electric offensive with the introduction of a new Soul EV which will have a range of up to 280 miles on a single charge.

The new Soul will have its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5 and will be on the road in the next few months.

Pricing for the third generation Soul has still to be announced but the newcomer will be electric only and powered either by a long range 64kWh system or a standard 39.2kWh set up which gives the car a range of 172 miles under the new WLTP tests.

With 39 per cent more torque than the previous Soul EV the higher powered model has a 0 to 60 time of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 104mph.

The standard powertrain is rated at 9.6 seconds with a maximum of 97mph.

The new Soul retains the boxy looks of the two previous models but is slightly more rounded in design.

It is covered by Kia's seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty which also includes the electric motor and battery pack.

As before, the interior has a youthful take and can be fitted with an optional ‘sound mood' lighting system which pulses in time with the beat of the music being played through the audio system.

The car is also available with a wireless phone charger, heated and ventilated front seats and a head-up display system which projects relevant driving information on to a small glass panel behind the steering wheel.

The new Soul also marks the debut of Kia's new UVO Connect telematics system which gives access to live traffic information, weather forecasts and information about charging point location and availability.

The system, which will be rolled out on other Kia cars in the future, also includes App-based functions which can be used from smartphones to keep users in touch with their car.

Emilio Herrera, chief operating officer for Kia is Europe, said: "A decade ago, it established the urban crossover segment, and when we launched the Soul EV it became the first fully-electric crossover. The all-new Soul EV breaks more ground, as we launch it in Europe with an extended-range electric powertrain as standard - without the option of an internal combustion engine.

"The market has changed significantly in recent years, and in 2018 - the outgoing model's final year on-sale, Kia sold more of the zero-emissions Soul EV in Europe than petrol and diesel versions combined."

He said that electrified models accounted for one in eight Kia cars sold in Europe in 2018, up from one in ten in 2017, and the Soul EV is expected to build on that alongside the e-Niro EV which was launched late last year.

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