The Kia Soul is going back on sale in Ireland this time as a high spec, high tech EV with a range of 452kms and is more distinctive, dynamic and innovative than ever. Whilst available with ICE power plants globally, in Europe the 3rd generation Soul will be powered in Europe exclusively by electric energy. Kia Motors Ireland is offering the e-Soul with two trims and just the long range (64kw/452kms) powerplant. Both trim levels are generous both featuring 10.25” touchscreen AV/Nav display and 7” supervision cluster and safety features including Lane Keep Assist ,Smart Cruise Control and Front Collison Avoidance. Additional features on the K2 include full leather trim, Harmon Kardon Sound System, Heads Up Display and Blind Spot Detection. The K2 comes on the market at €35,995 and the K3 at €37,495 and both prices include VRT relief along with the government grants.
“Kia Motors Ireland are delighted to launch both the e-Niro and e-Soul into the Irish market.There is built up demand in the country for a wider range of EV vehicles to choose from and public reaction for these new cars has been tremendous. Already demand for 192 cars has exceeded demand and we are now seeking interest for 2020“ , commented Kia Motors Ireland, Managing Director, James Brooks. “We are also happy to offer customers the choice of a Plug In Hybrid variant of Niro and this choice will widened early next year with the arrival of the new xCeed PHEV “
The e-Soul retains the strengths that have characterised earlier generations of the model, offering outstanding value for money, a roomy interior for five occupants, and high levels of space and versatility. Like all Kia models, the new e-Soul is sold as standard in Europe with Kia’s quality promise: an unrivalled 7-Year, 150,000-kilometre warranty, which also covers the car’s electric motor and battery pack. Fresh, funky and distinctive, the new e-Soul celebrates the iconic design and playful character of the first- and second-generation Soul models. With newly-sculpted lines, sharp details, and technical lighting elements, the new e-Soul is the most futuristic, youthful and innovative iteration yet.
Every exterior panel on the e-Soul is new, yet it remains instantly recognisable by staying true to its boxy origins. Its urban crossover design has been enhanced with sharp full-LED headlamps integrated into the upper ‘brow’, which extends across the front of the 1,800-mm wide car. The front and rear bumpers, and a solid panel in place of a grille, give it a smooth, aerodynamic appearance. The charging socket is housed behind a small panel at the front of the car. Strake-style LED foglamps beneath the headlights replace the round lamps found on the previous Soul EV. Since the Soul’s inception, music has been an overarching theme behind its design. In its third generation, this continues to be a core attribute of the car’s persona. For the new model, designers and engineers have ‘turned up the volume’ on the interior, drawing inspiration from the visualisation of sound.
The e-Soul’s interior space is finished with acoustic-inspired shapes and textures, creating a full sensory experience. The new Soul retains the signature ‘tweeter’ speakers which bookend the dashboard, a feature of the previous-generation Soul which exemplified the car’s combination of cool design and ultimate functionality. The new Kia e-Soul will be sold in Ireland exclusively as an electric vehicle with the long range 64kw battery with a range of 452 kms as standard. The long-range 64 kWh battery pack is paired with a 150 kW (204 ps) electric motor, making it 84% more powerful than the outgoing Soul EV (up from 81.4 kW / 110 ps). The long-range 64 kWh e-Soul can travel up to 452 kilometres (280 miles) on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle, with energy consumption of just 157 Wh / km – 24% more efficient than Europe’s current best-selling electric vehicle. On the WLTP urban cycle, energy consumption for the long-range e-Soul is as low as 109 Wh / km.
With the powertrain’s maximum 395 Nm torque available from a standstill, the long-range 64 kWh e-Soul will accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in just 7.9 seconds. A Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charger is fitted as standard to both models, enabling shorter stops for charging. Both battery packs can be recharged from 20% up to 80% capacity in just 42 minutes from a 100 kW DC fast-charger. The e-Soul is fitted with a range of energy-recuperation technologies to maximise driving range. This includes Kia’s energy efficient heat pump system, which scavenges waste heat from the car’s coolant system. It also features Kia’s innovative individual ventilation and air conditioning system, which shuts off cabin ventilation at the source to all seats except the driver’s – unlike other systems, which merely divert air to open passenger cabin vents.
The e-Soul is also equipped as standard with Kia’s innovative smart regenerative braking system, operated by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. The system provides drivers with the ability to slow the car and recuperate kinetic energy to maximise its driving range and efficiency. Drivers can choose from five regenerative braking levels (none, 1 to 3, or ‘single pedal’ mode), depending on the level of energy recuperation they desire from the brakes. The system’s ‘single pedal’ driving mode also allows the car to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes, and even enables the driver to bring the car to a gentle halt without necessarily needing to push the brake pedal. The smart regenerative braking system can also automatically adjust the braking level if it detects the car in front slowing down, creating smoother coast-down driving – especially on a steep downhill road. A Smart Eco Pedal Guide display on the driver’s instrument cluster also keeps the driver aware of real-time battery usage based on accelerator pedal input.
The new e-Soul is the first generation of the Soul to feature fully-independent multi-link rear suspension. This replaces the torsion beam rear axle on first- and second-generation models, making the car more engaging, responsive and comfortable to drive. The suspension is tuned to deliver high stability and engaging handling responses, and filter out small vibrations at higher speeds when traveling over poor surfaces. The car’s electric powertrain packaging means it benefits from a lower center of gravity than many combustion-engine vehicles. The flat battery pack is located beneath the cabin, giving the e-Soul a center of gravity more akin to that of a sedan or a hatchback. Combined with a slightly wider stance than its predecessor, the e-Soul provides maximum stability and driving enjoyment on winding roads, with minimal body-roll under cornering. The battery pack’s location means the majority of the powertrain’s weight is located between the axles, enabling a relatively equal distribution of weight. This helps to prevent understeer and enables linear and predictable handling.
In addition, the e-Soul’s Drive Mode Select system lets drivers adapt the car to their preferred style or the road conditions. Drivers can choose from ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’, Eco+’ and ‘Sport’ mode. The two Eco modes are tuned to maximise vehicle range with certain power-saving measures, while Sport mode increases responses from the steering and electric motor to maximise the dynamic driving feel of the car. Normal mode provides a careful balance between each. The e-Soul is refined and quiet at low speeds thanks to its all-electric powertrain. Wind noise reduction is aided further by flattening the underside of the car, with the battery’s new aluminium housing reducing drag and wind ‘roar’ beneath the body. Compared to its predecessor, more sound deadening material has been applied beneath the cabin floor, in the rear pillars and around the wheel arches. Road noise is reduced by increasing steering knuckle stiffness, and applying of anti-vibration pads on the floor panel and lining the wheel arches with new sound-deadening Thinsulate material.
A range of passive and active safety systems ensure that occupants remain as well protected as possible on every journey. Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving. Available technologies include Forward Collision-avoidance Assist (FCA), Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Blind-spot Collision-avoid Assist-Rear (BCA-R), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop & Go, and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). Kia’s ‘level two autonomy’ technology, Lane Follow Assist (LFA), controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the vehicles in front. Between speeds of 0 and 160 kph, LFA uses camera and radar sensors to maintain a safe distance from the car in front, while monitoring road markings to keep the e-Soul in the centre of the lane. In addition, the e-Soul features a Rear View Monitor (RVM) with Parking Assist guidance and Rear Cross-traffic Collision-avoidance Assist (RCCA).
As for passive safety features, the e-Soul is fitted with up to six airbags (dual front airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags with rollover sensor), as well as a suite of electronic vehicle safety systems. These include Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management system as standard, incorporating traction control and electronic stability control.