Kia’s new all-electric Soul EV has made its European debut at the Geneva motor show. Alongside an updated design and new technology, it borrows a significantly uprated powertrain from the e-Niro crossover.
Previously shown at the Los Angeles motor show in November, the new Soul’s exterior design is an evolutionary step on from the old car. The familiar boxy profile from the previous generation remains, but new front and rear-end designs, with fresh lighting signatures at both ends, mark out the Mk3 Soul.
Visual differences from the US-only petrol-powered variant include smoother and more aerodynamic upper designs, a blanked-off grille and LED headlights with an altered look. As with the old car, it also receives unique five-spoke 17in alloy wheels used for their aerodynamic properties, while the charging port has been integrated into the Soul’s front bumper.
The long-range 64kWh Soul EV borrows its electric motor and battery pack from the top-spec variant of the larger e-Niro. That means a power output of 201bhp and 295lb ft, which is 81lb ft more than the outgoing Soul EV. Range is a claimed 280 miles from a single charge on the WLTP cycle.
A less powerful variant, making use of a 39.2kWh battery pack coupled to a 134bhp electric motor, produces 291lb ft and can cover up to 172 miles on a full charge. Energy consumption is rated at 4.29mi/kWh for the standard model, compared to 3.96mi/kWh for the long-range variant.
All Soul EVs are fitted with CCS DC fast-charging capability, meaning both variants can be charged from 20% to 80% capacity in 42 minutes from a 100kW fast charger.
Unlike the old Soul, all variants make use of new fully independent rear suspension, which is claimed to greatly improve handling and ride. Four drive modes allow the driver to balance maximum power with maximum range, while smart regenerative braking can be adjusted via paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The system can also adjust the amount of regeneration based on a vehicle detected in front of the car.