KIA has introduced the Telluride seven-seater luxury SUV, but don’t hold your breath for production to start soon.
Instead, it showcases the direction Kia will most likely take with future production models.
The Telluride SUV, revealed at the ongoing Detroit motor show, is a striking concept based on an existing platform and reveals the brand’s interest in potentially offering a premium SUV positioned above the current Sorento.
At the heart of the Telluride is an extremely efficient PHEV powertrain — 3.5-litre petrol direct injected (GDI) V6 engine and powerful electric motor.
The transverse-mounted powertrain combines to produce 400 horsepower (270 horsepower from V6 and 130 horsepower from the electric motor) while achieving more than 30 mpg on the highway. Power is routed to all four wheels via an advanced all-wheel drive system.
“The Kia Telluride makes an aesthetic statement for the Kia brand as a bold, all-new luxury SUV with an abundance of advanced technology, focusing particular attention on the experience and comfort of second-row occupants,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center America (KDCA).
“Longer, wider and taller than the recently redesigned Sorento CUV, Telluride allows us to envision what a full-size seven-passenger SUV from Kia could look like.”
Telluride’s front doors and rear-hinged back doors swing open 90 degrees in opposing directions, creating an expansive and inviting portal into the panoramic interior space revealing a technological showcase.
Four black-leather captain’s seats appear to float within the spacious cabin in front of a folded third-row bench.
The large cabin allows the middle seats to recline nearly flat and include large fold-away footrests for great comfort. All four seats include a series of precise diamond-cut openings in the seatback, each embedded with Smart Sensors to capture a passenger’s vital health information.
Once obtained, these vitals are displayed on the interior door panel screens, which then systematically synchronise with a Light Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) system. The LER system utilises a massive, wing-shaped LED panel mounted beneath the oversized sunroof that displays a pattern of therapeutic light to treat desynchronosis (jetlag) and improve the passengers’ energy levels.
Another unique technology introduced in Telluride is Swipe Command – a thin, touch-sensitive, interactive band mounted to the second row centre console – which allows rear-seat passengers to quickly scroll and select desired media by simply swiping their hand.
The selected media is then played either through the seven-speaker premium Harman Kardon audio system, or via a set of portable Harman Kardonheadphones that wirelessly charge when stowed in the console. Up front, a compartment in the centre stack allows for wireless cell phone charging, and Kia’s first use of 3D-printed components add a distinct, modern design element to the dashboard, door panels, and steering wheel.
The car is 70.9-inches (180cm) tall, 79.1-inches wide and 196.9-inches long, Telluride is 4.4-inches taller, 4.7-inches wider, and a sizable 9.5-inches longer than the current Sorento.
Underpinning the Telluride is a modified Sorento chassis with a wheelbase stretched 11.9 inches to 121.3 inches. Flared fenders curve around massive 22-inch five-spoke wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus ST 275/45R22 tires.
Telluride’s front fascia incorporates a much larger version of Kia’s signature tiger nose grille, and its menacing face brings an attitude of its own with recessed quad-LED headlamps, pronounced horizontal LED indicator lights, and a polished-metal skid plate below the bumper. In the rear, thin vertical taillights align with the modern design language of the SUV, while consistent styling cues across the front and rear door handles, hood scoops and dual exhaust tips enhance the vehicle’s solid appearance.
There are currently no plans to bring the Telluride to production, but Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear strong resemblance to preceding concepts.