The car now features a new 'cutting-edge' liquid-cooled lithium-ion polymer 64 kWh battery pack, which offers increased range compared to the outgoing model. A Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge, fitted as standard, means shorter stops and rapid battery charging, which also means owners will need less daily charges. So far Kia isn't telling us what that improved range is, but it promises that we'll know by early next year.
The uprated powertrain means the Soul EV now produces 201 bhp and 291 lb-ft of torque. There has also been numerous improvements to the car's handling characteristics, helped by the adoption of new fully-independent rear suspension and a range of driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+ – all of which automatically adjusts power output to the traction motor and controls the air conditioning and heating settings, as well as controlling the level of regenerative braking on offer.
The novel regenerative braking system is operated via paddle shifters behind the steering wheel which provide the ability to slow the car and captures more kinetic energy which adds extra range.
Kia says that it has completely redesigned the exterior of the new Soul EV, and it has, although it still retains the distinctive character of the old car. The new model has restyled front and rear bumpers, a solid insert in place of the conventional Soul’s front grille, unique LED headlamps integrated into the upper part of the front of the car, finished with unique fog lamps and unique five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.
There's also a plethora of safety features included. The Soul EV comes equipped with Kia’s advanced driver-assistance systems, and a long list of standard and optional equipment, including a high-tech 'shift-by-wire' rotary shifter, up to seven airbags (dual front air bags, dual front seat-mounted side air bags, side curtain air bags with rollover sensor, and a driver's side knee air bag), as well as a suite of vehicle safety systems, including anti-lock braking, traction control, electronic stability control, hill-start assist control, pedestrian warning system and a tire pressure monitoring system. Available safety systems on the Soul EV include Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Blind Spot Collision Warning (BSW), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (available) and Reverse Parking Distance Warning.
Inside there's also an infotainment system is based on a 10.25-inch colour touchscreen with rear-view monitor and parking guidance. The infotainment package is supported by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth wireless connectivity with voice recognition. It is paired with a six-speaker audio system with USB input and steering-wheel mounted audio controls.
Two trim levels will be available, the Soul EV and the Soul EV Designer Collection when the car goes on sale next year. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but you can expect it to be around £29,000, which is the price of the outgoing Soul EV.