Kia Soul EV gets off-road concept with surfing theme
11 August 2021 - autocar
Raised ground clearance, sand tyres, surfboard rack and solar panel for festival-bound one-off
Kia has designed a surf-inspired off-road concept based on the electric Soul to celebrate its partnership with UK music festival Boardmasters.
The Kia Soul EV Boardmasters Edition has been ‘recycled’ from a once scrapheap-bound Soul prototype, and retains its 64kWh long-range battery pack and 201 bhp electric motor, along with Neptune Blue exterior paint.
The concept sits on 16in Maxxis Bighorn sand tyres and its ride height has been raised to 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 9in surfboards. The rack increases the Soul’s height to 1950mm – 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, supplying renewable power to a pair of Lazer ST4 Evolution LED spotlights as well as a mini fridge or 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. It has also 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 10-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system.
The Soul EV Boardmasters Edition the second pre-production car to be recycled, following from the track-designed Kia Stinger GT420 from 2019. Like that car, it is not destined for production, limited or otherwise.