Kia will add an electric version of the next-generation Soul to its lineup from mid-2014. Kia’s European Marketing President, Benny Oeyen, gave confirmation that Kia’s all new Soul will arrive in Europe as an electric car. He spoke at the launch of the facelifted Kia Sorento in Barcelona. In addition, Oeyen confirmed that the Soul will be an entirely new car, not just a facelift, when it is launched in 2013.
The next Soul will be subjected to subtle styling revisions to cope with the demand from the US market where a larger number of younger people buy the Soul.
The traditionally-powered Soul will be launched at either this February at the Chicago show or it could be slightly delayed due to better television coverage of the New York Motor Show in March.
Soul will serve as Kia’s first mass-exported electric car, coming after the electric Ray, which was revealed at the Paris Motor Show.
Ray is equipped with a 50kW that boasts an 86-mile range. Kia has yet to make a decision on whether it will produce convertible and GT versions of its next Soul. What’s sure though is that the Pro_cee’d GT will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013.
The latest 2014 Soul model is no exception to Kia Motor’s goal of producing models with a very close link to its concept vehicles. The 2012 Track’ster concept pushed Soul enthusiasts and specialists to urge Kia to make this fantasy turn to reality.
After 18 months, the latest Soul model debuts a new dramatic design in its production vehicle. The Chief Designer of Kia’s California studio Tom Kearns associates the Track’ster with a bulldog and such theme is established in almost all angles of this new version.
Kearns added that designing this new version is one of their team’s hardest assignments as the car’s design is balanced with the Track’ster concept’s bold proportions and its stance is “daunting.” Nevertheless, it went out as an actual collaborative effort guided by Peter Schreyer of Frankfurt and aided by Kia’s studio in Korea. Eventually, Soul’s essence is kept and at the same time infused with added presence from the inside as well as the outside.
It features as well distinctive fender flares, squared shoulders and a perpendicular stance common to Soul models. It also has a combination of 101.2-inch wheelbase (making it 0.8 inch longer), a broadened overall width of 70.9 inches, and a maintained 63.4-inches height, which gives it a more aggressive look.
Other unique features to this new version include hallmark design elements of a high-mounted set of tail lights, wraparound greenhouse and lean overall height. It also shares the same design language with its Soul siblings such as the 2014 Forte and 2014 Sorento CUV as it highlights premium touches like the LED front lights and halo lights as well.