Joining the gasoline/electric hybrid fray at the Paris Auto Show, the world leader in derivative styling, Kia, boldly goes...where everybody else has. In a shocking twist, the Soul Hybrid Prototype looks quite unique, and features a cool roof line strongly reminiscent of Nissan's new GT-R
(OK, so maybe it does look a little like something else).
Based on the Soul compact not available stateside just yet, the Soul features the same 1.6-liter four but in this application, merged with the requisite electric motor. In the Soul Hybrid's case, the motor fortifies the gasoline engine to the tune of 20 horsepower and 77 pound-feet of torque, while also fortifying the fuel economy to the tune of 48 average mpg and commensurately low CO2 emissions.
Doing what Kia does best, the rest of the hybrid technology in the Soul is derivative. It features a CVT to merge gas and electric power to the ground, and employs regenerative braking to charge the vehicle's batteries. So that Paris show-goers may view the Soul Hybrid's battery pack and powertrain, Carscoop
reports that it will feature a "transparent bonnet and floor" for its world premiere.--Colin Mathews