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Kia Soul EV laid bare: LA Show

By Cameron Kirby, 30 Nov 2018 News

2018 LA Auto Show Kia Soul revealed with dual personalities news

Both combustion and pure electric drivetrains hide beneath the Soul’s funky bodywork

THE third generation of Kia’s funky Soul crossover has been revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the new Soul features boxy exterior styling, with wraparound rear lights, and sleek and slim headlight design.

Three exterior designs will be offered by Kia (x-Line, GT-Line, and EX Design Collection), while power in the combustion-powered variants comes courtesy of two powerplants.

The base offering is a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder producing 109kW and 179Nm, mated to either a six-speed manual or CVT transmission.

A more powerful 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 150kW and 264Nm is also available, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. This is the same engine fitted to the Hyundai i30 SR locally.

For the second time, Kia will offer a Soul EV for fully-electric driving. Where the original Soul EV had a 27kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack with a range of 190km, the new model is powered by a 64kWh battery.

This provides 150kW and 400Nm sent to the front wheels, however according to Kia the new battery is currently undergoing testing so no range is quoted.

The Hyundai Kona electric is fitted with the same powertrain, and has a claimed WLTP range of 470km.

WhichCar advice: Will WLTP put an end to fantasy fuel economy figures?

The Soul EV is available with two styling trims, EV and EV Designer Collection.

A Kia Australia spokesperson told Wheels that the Soul is still “under review” for Australia, however we aren’t holding our breath, with the funky crossover failing to set the sales charts alight during its years Down Under.