Kia’s new flagship SUV has been spotted ahead of its debut next year.
Back in 2016, Kia unveiled the gorgeous Telluride concept at the Detroit Auto Show previewing a future three-row flagship crossover from the Korean automaker. Two years later, photos of the production model have leaked online via The Korean Car Blog, confirming reports that it will closely resemble the concept when it debuts next year. Like the concept, the production Telluride adopts a muscular design, resulting in an SUV that looks unlike any other model in Kia’s current line-up. At the front is a large rectangular grille, vertical headlights replacing the concept’s wider headlights and lower intakes.
The sides look virtually identical to the concept, though the chrome trim surrounding the door handles appears to have been removed. At the back, the concept’s vertical taillights have been retained, but they look slightly wider and shorter on the production model. Sadly, the concept’s split dual exhaust system hasn’t carried over.
With room for up to eight passengers, the production Telluride promises to be Kia’s largest and most luxurious SUV yet. We still don’t know what the cabin will look like, but the concept’s interior was heavily inspired by the Mercedes S-Class. The platform and powertrain is also still a mystery. In the concept, a plug-in hybrid setup featured a 270-hp 3.5-liter GDI V6 engine paired with a 130-hp electric motor.
Reports suggest the production model will ride on the front-wheel drive platform underpinning the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe. Given its hefty size, the 3.3-liter V6 will likely be the only engine option. Hyundai is also currently working on a full-size SUV rumored to be called the Palisade, so both models should share the same platform.