Boxy electric crossover drops fake body panels and gives us a better look at its profile.
The next-generation Kia Soul EV has been spied again this week on the streets of Europe, minus the black sheets and false body panels shielding previous prototypes.
While the body is still wrapped in a swirly black-and-white disguise, we can see the overall shape of the new Kia Soul won’t change drastically from the current model, meaning it should still appeal to current fans.
Noticeable changes, however, include the slim headlights up front, and hockey-stick style tail-lights extending toward the centre of the tailgate – contrasting with the current version’s vertical motif.
The closed grille and yellow stickers on the windows, along with the ‘E’ suffix on the number plate, also indicate that this is the all-electric version, which will be sold alongside the combustion-powered model depending on market.
It’s likely that the new Soul EV will have a lot in common with the recently-revealed Niro EV, which was detailed at the Busan motor show in June.
Power in the all-electric Kia Niro comes from the same 150kW/395Nm electric motor that drives the Hyundai Kona Electric, hooked up to a 64kWh battery in its highest grade.
The new Soul should also pick up the latest in Hyundai and Kia’s driver assistance systems, too, meaning technologies like autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop&go, lane-keep assist, and a semi-autonomous highway driving assistant that can follows the vehicle in front and keeps the centre of the lanen at speeds between 0 and 130km/h.
We reckon the new-generation Kia Soul will be revealed either later this year or early next, with the EV to either be presented alongside the core range or follow in the months after the initial reveal.
The Kia Soul has been a rather slow seller Down Under, shifting just 22 units last month and sitting at 246 year-to-date as of the end of August.
However, even if Kia ditches the regular Soul in the next generation, the brand has committed to bringing at least two electric vehicles to market by 2021.
It’s likely these two models will be the Niro EV and Soul EV, as it’s expected Kia Australia’s first electric vehicles will occupy the small SUV and small passenger car segments.