Last month, we reported that the new Kia Soul EV would be arriving in U.S. showrooms sometime next year. While the automaker isn't quite ready to comfirm a model year or offer a full download on its first-ever electric-powered model to be marketed outside of Korea, Kia has released these factory blessed images of a disguised Soul EV undergoing on-track testing as well as some additional facts about what we can expect to see when this ultra-green alternative does go on sale.
The new Soul EV variant will be based on the fully redesigned 2014 Soul platform and retain a front-drive configuration. Although a bit coy on final output specs, Kia admits that the prototypes being tested are fitted with a 109-horsepower electric motor that cranks out a healthy 210 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a single-speed transmission. That combo reportedly will send the Soul EV scrambling from 0-62 mph in less than 12 seconds and give it a top end around 90 mph. The motor is fed by a 27kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery pack that can hold enough juice to let the Soul EV travel up to 120 miles on a single charge. In addition to on-the-fly replenishment done while the vehicle is in coasting or braking modes, the battery can be brought back up to full capacity in about five hours on a 240V outlet or in 25 minutes using a dedicated commercial fast charger.
Beneath that black cladding, the Soul EV reportedly features styling inspired by the 2012 Kia Track'ster Concept and will offer projector-type headlamps, LED daytime running lights/taillamps and unique 16-inch aero-designed alloy wheels in addition to its distinctive "ECO electric" badging. Inside, the cabin will have much of its trim made from a variety of recycled materials and feature a bespoke Supervision instrument cluster plus an 8.0-inch center display screen. No word yet on when we might see the Kia Soul EV in final production form, but it could come as early as the Detroit Auto Show in January.
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