Kia Telluride Concept shows upmarket SUV


Kia has introduced a new concept of a full-size SUV at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The Telluride is a purely conceptual seven-seater luxury SUV positioned above the current Sorento and the concept suggests that Kia is considering taking a significant step into the premium sector.

“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, Telluride allows us to envision what a full-size seven-passenger SUV from Kia could look like.”

Health stats displayed

Telluride’s front doors and rear doors open in opposite directions (much like cabinet doors) to create easy ingress to the cabin. The large cabin allows the middle seats to recline nearly flat and include large fold-away footrests for even more comfort. All four seats (the third row is a bench seat) include a series of diamond-cut openings in the seatback, each of which is embedded with Smart Sensors to capture a passenger’s vital health information.

These vitals are displayed on the interior door panel screens, which then synchronize with a light-emitted rejuvenation system. This rejuvenating system utilises a sizeable wing-shaped LED panel mounted beneath the sunroof that displays a pattern of therapeutic light that is said to "treat jetlag and improve the passengers’ energy levels".

Another technology based feature of the Telluride is Swipe Command – a thin, touch-sensitive, interactive band mounted to the second row's centre console – which allows rear-seat passengers to quickly scroll and select desired media by simply swiping their hand. Up front, a compartment in the centre stack allows for wireless cell phone charging.

Much bigger than Sorento

At 1.8m tall, 2 metres wide and 5m long, Telluride is 1 170mm taller, 1 200mm wider, and a sizable 2 400mm longer than the current Sorento. Underpinning the Telluride is a modified Sorento chassis with a wheelbase stretched 302mm to 3 081mm. Topping off the premium look is a set of massive 22-inch five-spoke wheels.

Kia is also hinting towards a hybrid future with the Telluride featuring both petrol and electric power. Utilising a 3.5-litre petrol V6 engine and electric motor, the Telluride’s engine and electric drive combines to produce 298 kW (201 kW from V6 and 97 kW from the electric motor) while achieving 7.84L/100km in freeway conditions. Power is routed to all four corners of the Kia by an all-wheel drive system.

While there are currently no plans to put the Telluride into production, the concept signifies Kia's strong intentions to expand the brand into new territory...