Here’s our first look at Kia’s new upcoming full-size SUV.
At the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, Kia unveiled the Telluride concept, a full-size three-row SUV with striking looks and suicide doors. Happily, the Korean automaker has since confirmed that a production version is in development, though it may adopt a different name. Coincidentally, a full-size SUV has now been spotted by our spy photographers wearing a Kia badge that looks a lot like the Telluride Concept. Beneath the thick layers of camouflage appears to be a production prototype body, suggesting it will break cover sooner rather than later.
While the camouflage does a good job of concealing the styling details, we can see that the production model will retain the concept’s boxy exterior. The headlights appear to have a different shape, but the slender taillights have a similar L-shape to the concept. Sadly, the suicide doors have been replaced with a more conventional layout. Based on the Sorento platform, the Telluride Concept boasted a combined output of 400 horsepower, thanks to its 270-horsepower V6 and a 130-horsepower electric motor. Kia claimed it would provide 30 mpg with all-wheel-drive. An electrified version of Kia’s full-size SUV is possible, but it’s more likely to launch as a gasoline-only model.
Chances are it will be powered by the Sorento’s naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V6, which delivers 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque in the current model. America has an unrelenting appetite for full-size SUVs, so this of course will be Kia’s primary market for the production model. Inside, the concept featured a modern, minimalist interior, but we don’t have any spy shots of the production version’s prototype yet. Kia Europe’s chief designer Gregory Guillaume has previously said it could be sold in other markets outside the US, but it won't be coming to Europe since there is little demand for large SUVs. Hopefully Kia’s new full-size SUV will be revealed sometime this year.