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SEMA 2014 Preview - Smitten Ice Cream Soul EV

Hand Churned Goodness: Smitten's Kia is Set to Bring the Heat and Sling the Cream

John Naderi
Oct 27, 2014

Smitten Ice Cream Kia Soul EV Preview Details:
  • Kia and Smitten Ice Cream creating 2015 Ice Cream Soul EV, aka The Slinger
  • Gallagher Designs commissioned to create rolling ice cream parlor
  • Will be swathed in Smitten Red w/ white accents | Interior by Bright Auto Upholstery
  • Other features include Rockford Fosgate sound system and McKenna Metal custom trailer

The annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas brings about rides designed to capture the casino-glazed gaze of a hundred thousand over-stimulated conventioneers, peppering them with a healthy overdose of glitz, glamour and glitter - the latter slathered on everything from blackjack tables to body parts.

Front three quarter.JPG Photo 2/35   |   The 2015 Soul EV is about to "recharge" the ice cream truck game. Ha, get it?

SEMA feature vehicles scream for your attention even more desperately than a bathroom selfie girl, and a car that is more than a car is always a good thing (much like a properly-attired bathroom selfie). Mutating SEMA cars morph into Zen gardens, zombie hunters and more. While you can never have enough zombie defense measure preparation, not every build needs stanced wheels, sticker-bombed bike racks and zip tied body kits either.

Wood paneling.JPG Photo 3/35   |   Custom Hemlock wood paneling separates the driver's compartment from where the magic happens - that sweet, creamy magic. We're still talking about ice cream, right?

Kia gets this, which is why it hooked up with Smitten Ice Cream to create this 2015 Ice Cream Soul EV (aka The Slinger) for the SEMA Show. The 2015 Soul EV is straight outta the future, with a synchronous AC motor rated at 109 hp and three different ways for you to get your charge on.

Liquid nitrogen tank enclosure.JPG Photo 4/35   |   Your sub enclosure game is weak. Liquid nitrogen tank enclosures are the new hotness.

Kia also got with Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits to produce a second build - a 2015 Sedona beer wagon (soccer moms rejoice!) It doesn't get much better than an ice cream truck, unless you add another one that serves beer (which truly makes everything better). We're talking about ice cream AND beer together - there is a god. Kia's collabs with these two disruptive companies celebrates the fine art of creating and crafting something as opposed to the more common manufacturing and assembly approach.

Slide out countertop.JPG Photo 5/35   |   Slide out cup holders won't get the job done here. If you really want to sling ice cream in style, you'll need a slide out countertop.

Much like the way Ballast Point got its start, Smitten founder Robyn Sue Fisher wasn't satisfied with the way mainstream ice cream was made with preservatives and other more nefarious sounding unpronounceable ingredients. She hooked up with a nerd herd of engineers to create the Brrr system, which uses liquid nitrogen to create the creamiest ice cream, made-to-order, from scratch in minutes. Robyn took her Brrr to the streets of San Francisco in a Radio Flyer wagon and the Smitten story was born.

Stainless rear.JPG Photo 6/35   |   The Soul EV has split-folding rear seats and class-leading cargo space. The Slinger has a Smitten ice cream parlor. Your move, conventional wisdom.

Gallagher Designs in Portland, Oregon was tasked with creating the Smitten Slinger. Gallagher specializes in large and small scale installations for such notable clients as Nike and vehicle builds that include menacing big rigs and fire trucks with basketball hoops projecting from all sides.

Custom wagon.JPG Photo 7/35   |   Smitten Ice Cream started from the back of a Radio Flyer Wagon. This custom deal promises much less speed wobble on the highway.

The lead designer on the Ice Cream Soul, Gallagher's Matt Geiger, wanted to incorporate Smitten's initial identity of Robyn and her little red wagon into the build. The Ice Cream Slinger is more than an ice cream truck. It's a rolling ice cream parlor that creates each scoop from scratch. While the Soul EV is much smaller than Gallagher's prior builds, Matt describes it as no less ambitious. "I would say the complexity of this is as good as anything we've done in the past."

Couterrop rails.JPG Photo 8/35   |   The countertop will extend from the trailer on these rails. If it were up to us, it would shoot out like the arm sword of a mecha anime creature. Good thing it isn't up to us.

Gallagher proposed that the Soul tow a trailer, in a nod to Robyn's original little red wagon. The crew at McKenna Metal fabricated a custom trailer, a necessity given the unique demands of the build. Those classic teardrop trailers that are enjoying a hipster renaissance as of late inspire the look. The Soul EV also lends itself to this classic theme. While the EV technology is all 2015, its whimsical design helps serve up the fun.

Custom waffle cone speaker housing.JPG Photo 9/35   |   Custom waffle cone speaker housing shape was made with concentric rings serving as a jig. We would have used real waffle cones for purposes of authenticity... and laziness.

The Ice Cream Slinger will be swathed in Smitten Red with white accents and a Rockford Fosgate sound system will announce the wagon's arrival via custom roof-mounted waffle cone speaker enclosures. Once parked, the Slinger coverts into a real ice cream machine with countertops bridging the gap between the Soul EV and the custom trailer. The Brrr System and liquid nitrogen tanks are housed in the rear of the Soul EV and the back of the trailer contains a fixins bar (because good ice cream is nothing without the fixins).

Rockford Fosgate audio.JPG Photo 10/35   |   Rockford Fosgate sound system is especially challenging to implement into the Soul EV's architecture. Shocking, isn't it?

Check out the pictures to see the incredible level of workmanship that is going into this build and stay tuned for the debut of this one at the 2014 SEMA Show. You may even scream. We know we'll scream. In fact, let's all scream for ice cream.

Custom upholstery.JPG Photo 11/35   |   Bright Auto Upholstery carried the colorway to the interior. Careful, ice cream can stain. Just ask our pants.
By John Naderi
34 Articles



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