Kia to Premier Euro-spec Electric e-Soul at the Geneva Motor Show
The Geneva International Motor Show is quickly approaching – and with it, comes the debut of the new, Euro-spec Kia e-Soul. While the redesigned, third-generation Soul won't be released in the U.S. until 2020, the battery-electric version goes on sale in Europe during the first quarter of 2019. And the debut model packs a list of upgrades, including two electric powertrain options and an impressive range.
Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, commented: "Since its inception, the Soul has been a true pioneer for Kia, and for the wider market. A decade ago, it established the urban crossover segment, and when we launched the Soul EV it became the first fully-electric crossover. The new e-Soul breaks more ground, as we launch it in Europe with an extended-range electric powertrain as standard – without the option of an internal combustion engine."
Outside, the e-Soul has a boxy look that's similar to its predecessor, despite the fact every exterior panel is 100% new. The fresh take on a classic design includes highlights like available LED lighting and a smoothed-over grille. There's also an optional SUV package that adds rugged accessories such as skid plates, wide wheel arches and body cladding.
The interior, which has also been redesigned, features what Kia calls an "acoustic-inspired" theme, complete with an available Sound Mood Lighting System that pulses to whatever music plays through the audio system.
In Europe, the new Kia e-Soul will be sold exclusively as a pure-electric vehicle with two distinct powertrain options. The first is the standard-range variant, with a 39.2 kWh battery pack and 100 kW (134 hp) motor, that's good for a range of 277 kilometers (172 miles). Buyers looking for additional driving distance can opt for the long-range variant with a 64 kWh battery, 150 kW (201 hp) motor and 450-kilometer (280-mile) driving range.
Both standard-range and long-range versions come with a Combined Charging System (CCS) port. Either can be recharged from 20% up to 80% capacity in as little as 42 minutes with a 100 kW DC fast-charger.
Noteworthy energy-saving features include a heat pump system, which retrieves waste heat from the electronics cooling system, and steering wheel-operated regenerative braking.
The e-Soul is the first Kia in Europe to be offered with the UVO Connect telematics system. Further connectivity is provided through a 10.25-inch touchscreen media center with integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A thin film transistor (TFT) LCD instrument cluster provides vehicle information to the driver.
Like most new vehicles, the e-Soul comes with advanced driver assistance equipment. Typical features – such as Smart Cruise Control and Blind Spot Warning – are bundled together in Kia's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) suite. Kia's ‘level two autonomy' technology, Lane Follow Assist (LFA), is also available. The system uses camera and radar sensors to control acceleration, braking and steering in certain situations at speeds of up to 130 kph (80 mph).
With level two autonomy and an impressive all-electric range, the Kia e-Soul should be a worthy contestant in the fiercely competitive EV race.
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