The 2015 Kia Soul has been spotted while on a photo shoot just before it was due to be unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show. It has been described as a Kia box in a hospital gown because it is all in white even with white wheel inserts and then with some baby blue contrasting trim, mirror caps and roof. There has been no information on whether this colour will actually be available to buy or whether it is just there for showing off purposes. The car has a closed off grille and it looks like there is a movable panel on the drivers side as well. There have been some changes to the body and lights and it is fully expected that this will remain on the production version even if the colours do not.
This will be the first Kia EV to be sold in the US, although there has been one sold in Korea before. It will allow Kia access into the US electric car market which is starting to take off. It is the very first vehicle to have got the UL Environment validation because 10 percent of the interior uses bio-based organic compounds such as bio-fabric, bio-foam, biodegradable plastic etc.
The Soul EV is based on the Soul and so the platform is the same as that. However, there will be more soundproofing because the road noises are very much louder when the engine is quieter, as it is with the EV, There will also be a sound system that will make noises on the outside of the car when it is moving below 12mph or in reverse.
It will have an electric engine capable of 109hp with 210lb.ft torque. There will be a constant ratio gear reduction transmission with a single speed to move the front wheels. There is a 27kwh battery that can be charged in 25 minutes when plugged in to the 100kw plug. There will also be a 110-volt plug which will take eight hours to charge and a 240 volt one that will take five hours. It will take twelve seconds to get from 0-60 mph and it will reach around 90mph as a top speed.
The main competition will be from the Ford Focus Electric, Chevrolet Volt, BMW i3, Fiat 500e, Nissan Leaf and VW e-Golf. It is expected that it will appear later in the year with a price higher than $30k.