The Kia Soul EV Boardmasters 'surfs' on zero-emission, off-road goodies


Kia UK has revealed the Soul EV Boardmasters Edition, a recycled pre-production car saved from the crusher and made beach-ready. 

Made exclusively for surfers, the Soul EV Boardmasters Edition is a special one-off car created to mark the launch of Boardmasters 2021 in Cornwall, UK. Kia UK is the automotive partner for the major surfing and music festival. 

The zero-emission Soul EV fits closely with the Boardmasters ethos of sustainability and lessening one’s impact on the environment. The donor car’s 64kWh long-range battery pack and 201hp is standard


This beach buggy wears 16-inch bright white steel wheels and chunky 265/75 R16 Maxxis Bighorn sand tires, renowned for their use in cross-country competitions and rally raids. With each tire at 30 inches in diameter, this change alone necessitated significant reworking to the bulkhead and front foot wells.

The fully independent suspension also features new custom adaptors and modified struts, with a three-inch lift to accommodate the new wheels and tires. It also boasts a modest increase in track width, while ground clearance front and rear is raised to more than 300 millimeters. The suspension’s geometry has been adjusted. 

One of the more striking features is the Soul EV Boardmaster's custom-built steel roof rack. Constructed out of lightweight steel tubing, which can be easily recycled at the end of its life, the rack has been made to accommodate a pair of seven-foot Tahe Bic Malibu surfboards.

The rack’s shape and relatively low profile allows the car to avoid overhead height restrictors, while also enabling the tailgate to open fully to access the cargo area. 


The board rack is paired with a roof-mounted solar panel and a pair of Lazer ST4 Evolution LED spotlights. The spotlights provide a powerful source of light for early mornings and late evenings on the beach, and are in custom housings to protect them from the elements or potential damage when loading or unloading boards.

The solar charging system can also power a mini fridge or other auxiliary appliances with renewable energy while the driver is away from their car. The system operates independently of the car’s main battery pack so as to have zero impact on vehicle efficiency.

Fitted with a 12V leisure battery and mains inverter, it can power the LED lamp and other electrical devices without reducing vehicle range.

Modifications continue inside, with the removal of the Soul EV’s rear bench seats in favor of something more practical for tackling sea and sand.


With the rear seats removed, the Soul EV Boardmaster offers an expansive wooden deck up to the back of the two front seats. The desk was constructed out of PEFC-certified spruce, from forests managed sustainably in line with strict international standards.

Stained white was painted on to the deck to give a lighter seaside vibe to the cabin, the deck also protects the cabin from the wet. Its surface also traps grains of sand and prevents them from falling into hard-to-reach cracks between seats.

Opening the tailgate also gives access to a fold-out bench, an open-air seat made out of reclaimed wood to provide somewhere surfers can socialize. This is accompanied by a swing-out arm, which extends out of the tailgate from the roof of the cabin and provides somewhere to hang and dry a pair of damp wetsuits. Users can also hang a towel off the arm, to create a slightly more private changing area.


Photos from Kia UK

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