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2020 Kia Telluride Debuts In New York City

Reveal / 19 Comments

Kia aiming to get back into the large SUV segment with this bold, boxy rig.

With the help of famed fashion designer Brandon Maxwell, Kia just unveiled a custom-outfitted version of its largest and most luxurious SUV in the heart of New York City ahead of its early 2019 arrival in showrooms.

Kia took to the world-renowned New York Fashion week in order to debut the 2020 Telluride four months ahead of its scheduled global unveiling at the North American International Auto Show this coming January. As a result, we're still left without many of the technical details about Kia's new player in the large SUV space.

We do know that the production version of the eight-passenger Telluride will be assembled at Kia's manufacturing facility in Georgia, and it will pack at least one V6-powered option. It's noticeably longer and wider than the company's next closest product, the seven-passenger Sorento, but is still expected to share its underpinnings with the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe.

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The bespoke Telluride that appeared on the runway drew its influence from Maxwell's roots in Marfa, Texas, and wears many ranch-inspired custom touches. Accents you won't find on the production model include saddle-inspired leather wrap on the exterior door handles and mirrors, custom front and rear bumpers, skid plates, sidesteps, a snorkel, a hidden winch, and beefy 265/50R-20 off-road tires wrapped around black alloys.

To complete the look, Maxwell added a custom wood and aluminum roof rack with a beautiful custom leather tow strap and relocated the spare tire to the rear hatch. Moving inside, there's natural wood trim, more double-stitched saddle leather on the dash, door panels, and grab handles, along with a metal- and leather-trimmed cargo area.

But there was a second part to the announcement as well. Together with Maxwell, Kia will donate substantial funding to the public school system of Marfa, Texas. "My Mom drove me to school in East Texas in a Kia Sedona, and my adoration for the brand runs deep," said Maxwell.

"When I left Marfa, Texas, where I designed my SS'19 collection, I started talking with Kia. I wanted a partner who could help fill a need in Marfa's public school system and Kia was looking to create a unique integration for their new Telluride. It was a natural fit as Kia has a long history of philanthropic initiatives that support education. Kia is not just funding necessary technological purchases and educational programming to give the children of Marfa the quality education they deserve, but also providing a vehicle for local teachers' use. I am honored to collaborate with Kia Motors."

Look for more in-depth details about engines, trim levels, features, and pricing to become available once the Telluride makes its global debut in Detroit next year.