The Kia Soul EV may not be available in North America anymore, but it’s still going strong in places like Europe. From the UK comes probably the best-looking Soul EV we’ve seen in a long time, if not ever: a one-off concept called Boardmasters Edition.
Created to highlight Kia’s partnership with the Boardmasters 2021 surfing and music festival, this unique Soul EV is a “recycled” pre-production car saved from the crusher to live out its days on the beach instead.
Imagined as a surf mobile, it adopts a rugged, muscular appearance. The most obvious modification is the dramatically raised ride height, which makes the Soul EV look like a proper SUV. The project comes fitted with chunky rally raid tires mounted on bright white 16-inch steel wheels.
The latter replace the stock 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and feature chunky 265/75 R16 Maxxis Bighorn sand tires. Since each tire grew to 30 inches in diameter, this change alone required significant reworking to the bulkhead and front foot wells.
Furthermore, the fully independent suspension now features new custom adaptors and modified struts, with a three-inch (76-mm) lift to accommodate the new wheels and tires. The track width has grown slightly, too, and the suspension’s geometry has been adjusted to suit.
Gallery: Kia Soul EV Boardmasters Edition One-Off Concept
As a result of these changes, the ground clearance more than doubled, from 153 mm (6 inches) to 310 mm (12.2 in) at the front and 320 mm (12.6 in) at the back.
Other exterior upgrades that are easy to notice include the roof-mounted Lazer ST4 Evolution LED spotlights, custom-built steel roof rack able to accommodate a pair of 7ft9 Tahe Bic Malibu surfboards, and bright white decals highlighting the Soul EV’s lines and Neptune Blue paint.
There’s also a solar panel on the roof that can power a mini fridge or other auxiliary appliances like the spotlights. Fitted with a 12V leisure battery and mains inverter, it operates independently of the car’s main battery pack, so it doesn’t reduce vehicle range.
Inside, the rear seats have been removed and replaced with wooden decking, with other unique accessories including a swing-out arm to hang damp wetsuits and a beach bench made of reclaimed wood.
While the donor car’s 64 kWh long-range battery pack and 150 kW (201 hp) electric motor remain stock, Kia UK reckons the changes made to the Soul EV Boardmasters Edition are “likely to affect the standard car’s official 280-mile electric range.”
“However, thanks to its 64 kWh battery pack and efficient motor, the Boardmasters Edition car is still likely to offer greater driving range than certain other electric vehicles at a similar price point to the standard road-going Soul EV.”
Optimistic statement aside, you should know the unique car will be on display at Boardmasters 2021 from August 11 through August 15 at two locations on the Cornish coast.