What you see here is Kia’s concept of a surf-inspired off-road vehicle based on the Kia Soul EV. Although not destined for production, the Kia Soul EV Boardmasters Edition celebrates the brand’s partnership with UK music festival Boardmasters. More importantly, this concept has been created or rather ‘recycled’ from a once scrapheap-bound Soul prototype.
- One-off concept gets serious off-road hardware
- 64kWh long-range battery pack and 201hp electric motor retained
- Second pre-production car to be recycled after the Kia Stinger GT420
Kia Soul EV Boardmasters Edition – what is it?
Kia has thrown in some heavy off-road hardware onto this Boardmasters Edition. The concept sits on 16in Maxxis Bighorn sand tyres with the ride height raised to over double its standard ground clearance, from 153mm to 310mm at the front and 320mm at the rear.
The car has gained a custom-built steel roof rack, constructed out of lightweight steel tubing with space for two, roof-mounted 7ft 9-inch surfboards. The rack increases the Soul’s height to 1950mm, which is 255mm taller than the Kia Sorento, the largest Kia on sale in the UK.
An independent solar panel is fitted to a 12V leisure battery and is positioned above the surfboards, to power a pair of Lazer ST4 Evolution LED spotlights as well as a mini fridge and other auxiliary appliances.
Inside the car, the rear bench seats have been removed and the boot has been expanded to feature a wooden deck made from PEFC-certified spruce behind the driver and passenger seats. This has been stained white to add a “lighter seaside vibe into the cabin,” and a swing-out arm can be used to hang a pair of wetsuits or towels.
The front of the cabin remains the same as the standard Soul, with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system.
The Boardmasters Edition concept, however, retains the standard 64kWh long range battery and 201hp electric motor from the standard Soul EV. We will also admit that the Neptune Blue paint shade with contrasting white wheels, accessories and decal makes this Soul EV really stand out.
Kia in India
Kia had showcased the current third-gen Soul in its EV guise at the 2020 Auto Expo and has even registered the Soul name in India. The company had donated one unit of the Soul EV to the Andhra Pradesh government back in 2019 and while they were evaluating the model for India, there are no launch plans as of now.
Earlier this year, Kia introduced updated versions of both the Sonet and Seltos SUVs. The South Korean carmaker does not have any major launches coming up this year. However, Kia is gearing up to introduce an all-new MPV. This new model (Codename: KY) will see a market launch sometime in early 2022.