Kia creates one-off electric Soul for use on the beach at Boardmasters 2021

Soulful car, dude

KIA has taken the wraps off a special edition of the Soul electric car designed to tackle the beach at the UK’s Boardmasters 2021 event in Cornwall this month.

The Soul EV Boardmasters Edition is a one-off creation enabling Kia to rescue a pre-production vehicle from the crusher and give it a second life.

The compact crossover’s standard alloy wheels have been replaced by bright white steel rims covered in chunky Maxxis Bighorn sand tyres, usually seen in cross-country competitions and rally raids.

Kia Soul EV Boardmasters Edition

To accommodate the specialised tyres, Kia modified the Soul EV’s bodywork and added a three-inch lift to the suspension, while widening the track – the distance between the wheels on each axle – front and rear.

The result is a doubling of ground clearance, making this Soul suitable for more difficult terrain than the standard model could hope to tackle.

A custom-made steel roof rack has also been fitted, designed to accommodate a pair of Tahe Bic 7’9 Malibu surfboards without preventing opening of the rear hatch. Powerful LED spotlights are fitted to the front.

Following its modifications, the Soul EV Boardmasters Edition is 1,950mm high — 345mm taller than the regular Soul EV. The “Neptune Blue” paint colour is standard, though contrasting white ‘Boardmasters’ decals have been added for the event.

Designed for a life at the beach, the zero-emission electric powertrain of the Soul EV has not been modified. It features a 64kWh battery pack and 201bhp electric motor driving the front wheels. Kia UK does admit that the usual 280-mile electric range is likely to be affected by the exterior updates.

Kia Soul EV Boardmasters Edition

Inside the one-off beach car, the rear seats have been stripped out and replaced by a white wooden deck constructed of PEFC-certified spruce from forests managed sustainably.

There’s a fold-out picnic bench at the rear made from reclaimed wood and even an extending swing-arm onto which damp wetsuits can be hung.

Separate to the car’s high-voltage electric system is a solar-powered 12-volt circuit that powers the spotlights and a drinks fridge inside.

This is the second time Kia UK has given a pre-production vehicle a second life. It previously built the Stinger GT420, a powerful, one-off track car.

Boardmasters 2021 takes place in Cornwall on August 11-15, with live music in Watergate Bay and surf competitions on Fistral Beach.

As automotive partner to the surfing festival, Kia UK’s stand, called the ‘Inspiration Zone’, will feature surfing, yoga and fitness sessions, along with the Soul EV Boardmasters Edition for attendees to explore for themselves.