Spy Shots auto news

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2015 Kia Soul EV production model glimpsed before Chicago

02/03/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, Kia, Chicago Auto Show, Spy Shots

2015 Kia Soul EV Spy Shots

A few days before its on-stage reveal at the Chicago Auto Show, the production version of the 2015 Kia Soul EV has been spotted, tagged and bagged in this series of spy shots. On the EV captured by our photographer's lens, we can see unusual baby blue accents on top, on the mirrors and up front, as well as a closed-off "Tiger Nose" that is both taller and larger than the grille on the standard Soul. The special "Eco Electric" badge on the sides is useful for identifying the car in the picture, but we can't imagine it'll make the transition to showroom floor (at least, we hope).

The Soul EV's rear side is different, too, with the bottom lights moved lower and the design of the main taillights tweaked a bit (compare our spy shots gallery to the standard model here). The wheels get a fresh five-spoke design as well.

What lies under the new exterior? Some things we already know. The Soul is supposed to have a "class-leading" range of over 120 miles on a charge thanks to a 27-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The electric motor offers 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque to create a 0-62 mile per hour time of under 12 seconds and a top speed of around 90 mph.

What we can't see in these shots is a window sticker, but from what we've heard before, the Soul EV, "won't be priced to stimulate demand." Early predictions put the price at $35,000-$40,000 US - before government incentives - when the car launches in the US in the second half of this year. The gas-powered Soul starts at $14,400. We should learn more in Chicago later this week.

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Next-gen Mini E Coupe caught uncovered in Germany

12/21/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, BMW, MINI, Spy Shots

Mini E Spy ShotIt's no surprise that Mini is working on an updated Mini E electric vehicle. Just a few weeks ago, the automaker's brand manager, Peter Schwarzbauer, said an electric Mini "fits perfectly with the brand, and I am convinced that we will offer a suitable solution." After all, parent company BMW has been evolving the all-electric powertrain from the original Mini E to the ActiveE and on into the i3. It only makes sense that Mini gets some EV love back, right?

Right. So, say hello to the Mini E Coupe. Spotted in Germany, the uncamouflaged Coupe is proudly wearing a grey-yellow-white paint job reminiscent of the original Mini E. It even has a serial number under the side mirrors, just like the original Mini E. Only 450 of those were ever made, but this one sports the number 472, implying that there have been a few Mini Es kept in hiding over the years. You can see more of the car over on Motor Authority.

What these spy shots mean for the Coupe's future - we thought it may be axed soon - is unclear, since the car's uncovered appearance makes us think this thing is ready for some sort of public event instead of serving as a prototype mule. And, given the racing sports car features of this new Mini E - roll cage, racing seats, giant spoiler - Motor Authority wonders if this doesn't herald a new electric Mini attack on the Nürburgring. A gas-powered Mini John Cooper Works GP hit 8:23 on the 'ring in 2012 and a fossil-fueled Mini Coupe participated in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring event in 2011. And, most interestingly, a Mini E lapped the ring in 9:51.45 back in 2010. We have to believe a 2014 update could easily beat that.

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