When it comes to production of full-size SUVs, the name Kia never features. However, Kia wants a piece of this market and is planning a vehicle in the not so far future. Actually, the new SUV will not the first time the automaker has attempted to make inroads in the SUV segment. In 2009, Kia launched a full-size SUV christened “the 2009 Borrengo” but its flame quickly went off in the US market due to its not so luxurious interior and a poor suspension.
For over five years the automaker remained quiet on matters luxury SUVs until the recent Detroit Auto Show. During the show, Kia debuted a hybrid SUV concept dubbed the “2016 Kia Telluride concept” which the automaker said previews a future full-size SUV.
The 2016 Kia Telluride Concept is based on the current Sorento crossover SUV but it’s longer and has an extended wheelbase. The concept looks like a blend of the Chevy Suburban and Bentley EXP 9 F. Read along for more details;
2016 Kia Telluride Concept Exterior
Kia’s Design Center America took the current Sorento and stretched it in all directions to come up with this full-size SUV concept.
The Telluride is 196.9 inches long, 79.1 inches wide and stands at a height of 70.9 inches. These dimensions make it 9.5 inches longer, 4.7 inches wider and 4.4 inches taller than the Sorento. The vehicle is underpinned by a modified version of the Sorento chassis which sees the wheelbase stretched by 11.9 inches to121.3 inches. These dimension result in a menacing look for the Telluride.
The muscular look is enhanced by its flared fenders which stretch around its huge 22-inch, 5-spoke wheels. The wheels are wrapped in Hankook Ventus ST 275/45R22 tires. On the front, the concept features a large version of the automaker’s tiger nose grille which is flanked by recessed, quad-LED headlights and elongated LED indicator lights. Below the front bumper which is also huge is an aggressive skid plate made of polished metal.
At the rear, the vehicle features slim, vertical taillights which augur with the general design of the vehicle. Other features are mostly ready for production. They include normal size pillars and mirrors as well as body panels without many wild surface details.
2016 Kia Telluride Concept Interior
The 2016 Kia Telluride Concept is a big SUV meant to accommodate 7 passengers. The vehicle features captain seats on the first and second rows while the third row features a bench seat. All the seats are wrapped in a black leather trim. Second-row seats have fold-away footrests and the seats also fold flat to expand cargo space. Access to the rear seats is made easy since the SUVs rear doors are rear hinged (suicide-style doors).
The captain seats come with sensors embedded in their seatbacks. These sensors are used to monitor a passenger’s health and then display the information on the screens fitted on door panels. If they diagnose a passenger with low energy levels they activate a LED panel above the roof to provide the passenger with energy-boosting therapy. This system is referred to as Light Emitted Rejuvenation system.
The SUVs steering wheel, door panels and dashboard are built via 3-D printing technology which signals the next level of building modular parts in the automotive industry.
In terms of entertainment, the second row passengers where the boss usually sits get access to the new Swipe Command system. They are able to scroll and select their preferred media just by swiping the two silver arcs fitted in the console. If they select music, it is then played back either via the vehicle’s 7-speaker Harman Kardon sound system or through Harman Kardon headphones which recharge wirelessly when stored in the console.
Kia designers took time to craft its power-train which offers excellent power and efficiency. Its PHEV drive-train features a direct-injected 3.5 L, V-6 petrol engine rated at 270 hp which combines with a potent electric motor rated at 130 hp. The powertrain which is traverse-mounted combines to produce 400 hp.
The engine is estimated to deliver over 30 mpg on highway drives. Its power will be channeled to all wheels via an advanced AWD system.
Kia has confirmed that they have no plans to take the Telluride to production; rather, the model previews a future SUV. Although it is past the prime of large SUVs, there is still money to be made in his segment and surely Kia needs a bigger SUV in addition to the smaller Sportage and Sorento. I hope the automaker will feature most if not all styling cues of the Telluride concept on the Future SUV.