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What We Know So Far About The 2020 Kia Soul EV

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Kia wasted no time in revealing its 2020 Kia Soul EV as it was introduced at the same time that the new third-generation Soul crossover debuted. The Soul EV is, of course, based on the regular Soul.

The new Soul EV has the same distinctive look as the regular Soul but it now has a larger battery pack and a more powerful electric motor.

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The old Soul EV had a 30.0-kWh battery pack while the new one claims to make 64.0-kWh, more than double the capacity of the old model. In terms of horsepower and torque, the new Soul EV also has twice the power compared to the old Soul EV. Its front-mounted motor is rated at 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque, up from the previous generation’s 109 horses and 210 pound-feet of torque.

Kia has not released performance figures as of now but it claims that drivers of the new Soul EV “will feel like a virtual Aladdin” because of the new independent rear suspension that gives a “magic carpet ride” feel.

The new battery pack installed in the new Soul EV is still being tested by the EPA with the results expected to be available early 2019. But since the Soul shares its platform with the Hyundai Kona Electric, we can base some of our expectations from its EPA ratings—258 miles of range in total. The outgoing Soul EV is rated at 111 miles, so the expected increase is quite staggering.

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The Soul EV has four driving modes—Eco, Eco+, Comfort, and Sport. All these modes will adjust the car’s powertrain power and response, HVAC system, and many more to suit the driving conditions and maximize power efficiency.

Other things that make the EV model a standout from the regular Soul are the front and rear bumpers, a charging port, a more closed-off grille, LED lights in chrome front unibrow, and 17-inch wheels. Inside, it has a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with integrated features such as monitoring charging, scheduling charge times, and planning routes.

The Soul EV will go on sale next year though prices have not been announced. We’re also not sure yet if this will be available in all states. Remember that the outgoing Soul EV was also available in these states: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington.

 

2020 Kia Soul Gets Funkier, Thanks To A New Unilight Feature

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The third iteration of the Kia Soul will get a lot funkier as seen in the major changes brought about by its next-generation model. Since going on sale nearly a decade ago, this tiny box became a staple in Kia’s model lineup. In fact, a redesign back in 2014 infused additional features into the hatchback, paving the way for the Kia Soul Turbo in 2017.

Sure, the Soul was part of many “Best Trucks and SUVs” list back in 2017 and 2018 but the competition is getting tough in this segment and it’s time for Kia to bring out the big guns.

Aside from the roofline of the 2020 soul that still looks similar to the current generation, everything else has been altered to create an eccentric new look for the car.

Up front, Kia decided to let go of today’s traditional large headlamps and went instead for a pair of low-mounted units that could almost be mistaken for fog lights. The combination turn signals and LED daytime running lamps (the “unilight”) sit above the grille.

At the back, the D-pillar-mounted taillights now have a three-dimensional appearance and are merged into the liftgate. This just made the Kia Soul more identifiable on the road as it is before without necessarily losing its unique character.

The Soul will offer the same powertrains and platform as the Kona. The entry-level model would have a 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 147 horses. An upgrade would be a turbocharged 1.6-liter, though the output remains shady for now. We’re pretty sure it would exceed the Kona’s 175 horsepower and would instead stand closer to the Soul Turbo’s 201 horsepower.

The base model will be paired either with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. The Soul Turbo will use exclusively the brand’s seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. The Turbo would also have distinct features such as the mesh-style grille and center-mounted exhaust outlets.

Photo Source: CarAndDriver

Kia Plans To Introduce Turbocharged Kia Soul Hatchback

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Kia Soul has been highly popular the past years. Although I am personally not a fan of the bodystyle and there are extreme reactions to it among the auto industry experts, it was certainly one of Kia’s most popular models.

In fact, the only thing more popular than the Soul is the commercials Kia has produced for the incoming hatchback. Aside from the catchy hit songs that they used, the commercials also featured hamsters (which Kia tagged as Hamstars). Can anything be cuter than that?

The latest commercial is now out and it’s full of the same things—catchy song and Hamstars. But what specifically is being talked about right now is the “wink” at the end of the commercial, hinting of the possibility of a turbocharged Soul hatchback.

An overview of the current Soul lineup was also shown at the end of the video. The lineup included the regular gasoline-powered model, the electric model and a “turbo” version. Kia teased that all of these will be arriving just in time for Winter 2016.

We’ve heard rumors that Kia has been planning a turbocharged Soul hatchback for years. So far, this is the first evidence of those plans, and it’s just in time for a change in the Soul’s performance and power.

As for the bodystyle, many experts have always raved about the Soul’s standout styling, roomy interior and useful in-car technology. That’s not to mention that the Soul is nicely priced.

But what it does lack is more power and better performance on the road. The current Soul has either a gas-powered 130-hp 1.6-liter or a 164-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the latter offered only with automatic transmission.

What are we expecting? Kia currently has a 201-hp 1.6-liter turbo four on the Forte5. If that would be used to turbocharge the hatchback, we’re sure it will add a bit of pep, complete with either a manual or dual-clutch auto transmission.

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