Here's A First Look At The Eccentric 2019 Kia Soul EV

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The new Kia Soul EV is expected to share the Hyundai Kona Electric's battery and platform, which should improve its range considerably.

The last time we saw a prototype of the all-new 2019 Kia Soul, it was undergoing winter testing in the snow. Despite the copious amounts of camouflage, it was clear that the next-generation model will still retain its predecessor's eccentric looks, sporting a familiar boxy shape and upturned rear window. Our spies have caught another prototype out in the wild as Kia prepares to put the new Soul into production, only this time we're looking at the new Soul EV.

It's still heavily camouflaged, but the EV is easily identifiable thanks to the charger socket at the front. According to our spies, the license plate is also a giveaway since EV cars in Germany have an "E" at the end of the plate. Like the combustion-powered Soul, the new EV has adopted a split headlight design similar to new Hyundai models.

The new Electric Soul will most likely have the same battery and underpinnings as the Hyundai Kona Electric, which is very good news if true. The Kona Electric comes in two flavors, including an entry-level model powered by a 133-horsepower electric motor providing 291 lb-ft of instant torque, while a 39.2-kWh battery pack provides a maximum range of 186 miles as per new European WLTP regulations. 0-62 mph takes 9.3 seconds before the small electric SUV tops out at 104 mph.

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As for the 64-kWh battery model, the EPA recently confirmed the range-topping 201-hp version will last 258 miles on a charge, beating its current competitors such as the Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3, and Nissan Leaf. Top speed is identical to the base model, while 0-62 mph takes 7.6 seconds. Let's hope the latter option carries over to the 2019 Kia Soul EV, because it would offer a significant improvement over the current model's 111-mile range.

The new Kia Soul is expected to break cover either at the end of this year or at the beginning of 2019, but it isn't clear if the EV version will be revealed at the same time.

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