Kia has pulled the covers off its new Telluride SUV.
Revealed at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) the concept is a three-row, seven-passenger, luxury hybrid SUV featuring an upright shape, muscular stance, and state-of-the-art technology to care for its occupants. Based on an existing platform, the concept shows the brand’s interest in ‘potentially offering a premium SUV positioned above the current Sorento’.
The Telluride’s front doors and rear-hinged back doors swing open 90 degrees in opposing directions revealing four black-leather ‘captain’s seats’ that 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 added comfort.
All four seats include a series of 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 new technology introduced in concept 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 Kardon headphones that wirelessly charge when stowed in the console. Up front, a compartment in the centre stack allows for wireless mobile 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 Telluride’s ‘modern and muscular’ appearance is accentuated by flared wheel arches stretching around huge 22-inch five-spoke wheels. A front fascia incorporates a much larger version of Kia’s tiger nose grille, as well as quad-LED headlamps, pronounced horizontal LED indicator lights, and a polished-metal skid plate below the bumper.
The concept is powered by an ‘extremely efficient’ PHEV powertrain, activated by a finger-print push-button start. Utilising a 3.5-litre petrol direct injected (GDI) V6 engine and powerful electric motor, the SUV’s transverse-mounted powertrain combines to produce 400 horsepower (270 horsepower from V6 and 130 horsepower from the electric motor) while achieving more than 30mpg on the motorway. Power is sent to all four wheels via an advanced all-wheel drive system.
While there are currently no plans to bring the Telluride to production, Kia says it has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear strong resemblance to a preceding concept.