The long-rumoured Kia Soul EV has been spotted testing on public roads for the first time.
CarAdvice's spy photographers captured the partially camouflaged Kia Soul EV prototype near the South Korean manufacturer's European headquarters in Germany, revealing a number of the upcoming electric small car’s unique design features.
The reshaped bonnet, revised headlight assembly, and more aerodynamic upper grille and front bumper distinguish the Kia Soul EV prototype from the second-generation hatchback that debuted at the New York auto show in March, while the absence of an exhaust pipe confirms the test car’s zero-emission constitution.
The Soul EV is set to become Kia’s first widely available electric car following the compact Ray EV, which is sold exclusively in the brand’s home country. The Soul EV will be sold across China, Europe and the US, joining the growing ranks of electric models designed for urban buyers.
Reports speculate the Kia Soul EV will draw its power from a lithium-ion battery capable of providing a driving range of approximately 200km. Accelerating to 100km/h will reportedly take less than 12 seconds, while its top speed will be limited to 140km/h.
With Kia’s development and testing of the new model believed to be nearing completion, the Soul EV is tipped to go on sale in select markets during the first half of 2014.
While the electric model isn't expected to make it to our shores in the near future, the second-generation Soul will reach local showrooms in the first half of 2014.