Futuristic Kia Telluride SUV Concept is on display at 2016 Detroit Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 15, 2016

Kia Motors America (KMA) has unveiled its Kia Telluride Concept at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), providing a glimpse of what might be the future of its full-size SUVs. The three-row, seven-passenger Kia Telluride is essentially a preview of how the brand would want its premium SUV to be like if it decides to ever offer one. Underpinned by an existing platform, the Telluride features a muscular stance while being laden with the latest vehicle technologies.

Both the interior and exterior of the concept were designed by the brand’s studio in California. The Kia Telluride measures 70.9 inches in height, 79.1 inches in width and 196.9 inches in length, making it 4.4-inches taller, 4.7-inches wider, and 9.5-inches longer than the current Sorento. It sits on a modified Sorento chassis with a wheelbase of 121.3 inches (11.9 inches).

Wrapped in Dark Pyrite green paint, the appearance of the Telluride is accentuated by 22-inch five-spoke wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus ST 275/45R22 tires. Up front, the concept SUV features a larger version of Kia’s signature tiger nose grille, as complemented by recessed quad-LED headlamps and pronounced horizontal LED indicator lights.

Completing the concept's front fascia is an imposing polished-metal skid plate placed below the bumper. On the opposite side, the concept features vertical taillights that match the SUV's contemporary design language. Moreover, the SUV features a number of styling cues on the front and rear door handles, dual exhaust tips and hood scoops.

Uncompromisingly, the Telluride features a powerful yet efficient PHEV powertrain that employs a 3.5-liter gasoline direct injected (GDI) V6 engine and an electric motor. This transverse-mounted PHEV powertrain could develop 400 hp -- 270 hp from V6 and 130 hp from the electric motor – delivered through all four wheels via an advanced all-wheel drive system.

Astoundingly, this PHEV system could return over 30 mpg on the highway. Although Kia currently does not plan to bring the Telluride to production, the brand is known for assembling production vehicles that strongly resemble past concepts.

Interior Design

Its interior is fortified with technologies that look after its occupant. The gateway into the cabin is represented by front doors and rear-hinged back doors swing that could open 90 degrees in opposing directions.

The first two rows were loaded with four black-leather captain’s seats that seem to float in front of a folded third-row bench. Amazingly, the cabin is large enough to allow middle seats to recline nearly flat. Likewise, the Telluride features large fold-away footrests.

All four captain's seats feature diamond-cut openings in the seatback, which each getting Smart Sensors that could detect an occupant's health information. These vitals are then shown on the interior door panel screens that systematically synchronize with a Light Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) system.

This system employs large wing-shaped LED panel mounted under the sunroof. Depending on the vitals of the passenger, the system will emit therapeutic light to treat desynchronosis (jetlag), thereby improving their energy levels.

Meanwhile, the Telluride features Swipe Command – a thin touch-sensitive, interactive band placed on the second row center console – that enables rear-seat passengers to select -- just by swiping their hand -- an audio file that would then be played a set of portable Harman Kardon headphones or the seven-speaker premium Harman Kardon audio system.

Interestingly, the headphones wirelessly charge while they’re stowed in the console. Likewise, wireless charging could be done in a compartment in the center stack. Morever, Kia has employed 3D-printed components to give the dashboard, door panels, and steering wheel some modern styling.

Press Release

KIA TELLURIDE CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT

Glimpsing a future that is grounded in reality but not bound by the present, Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled a cutting-edge vision for a full-size SUV at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The Telluride, a striking three-row, seven-passenger, luxury SUV concept features a modern and upright shape, muscular stance, and state-of-the-art technology to care for its occupants. Purely conceptual, the Kia Telluride is based on an existing platform and reveals the brand’s interest in potentially offering a premium SUV positioned above the current hot-selling Sorento.

“The Kia Telluride makes an aesthetic statement for the Kia brand as a bold, all-new luxury SUV with an abundance of advanced technology, focusing particular attention on the experience and comfort of second-row occupants,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center America (KDCA). “Longer, wider and taller than the recently redesigned Sorento CUV, Telluride allows us to envision what a full-size seven-passenger SUV from Kia could look like.”

Telluride’s front doors and rear-hinged back doors swing open 90 degrees in opposing directions, creating an expansive and inviting portal into the panoramic interior space and revealing a technological showcase. Four beautiful black-leather captain’s seats 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 sublime comfort. All four seats include a series of precise 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 synchronize with a Light Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) system. The LER system utilizes 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 unique technology introduced in Telluride is Swipe Command – a thin, touch-sensitive, interactive band mounted to the second row center 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 center stack allows for wireless cell 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.

Telluride’s interior and exterior were penned at the brand’s California-based studio, Kia Design Center America (KDCA). Finished in Dark Pyrite green paint, the tall stance is amplified by the overall size of the vehicle. At 70.9-inches tall, 79.1-inches wide and 196.9-inches long, Telluride is 4.4-inches taller, 4.7-inches wider, and a sizable 9.5-inches longer than the current Sorento. Underpinning the Telluride is a modified Sorento chassis with a wheelbase stretched 11.9 inches to 121.3 inches, giving Telluride a dominating presence. It’s modern and muscular appearance is accentuated by flared fenders stretching around massive 22-inch five-spoke wheels wrapped in Hankook® Ventus ST 275/45R22 tires. Telluride’s front fascia incorporates a much larger version of Kia’s signature tiger nose grille, and its menacing face brings an attitude all its own with recessed quad-LED headlamps, pronounced horizontal LED indicator lights, and an aggressive polished-metal skid plate below the bumper. In the rear, thin vertical taillights align with the modern design language of the SUV, while consistent styling cues across the front and rear door handles, hood scoops and dual exhaust tips enhance the vehicle’s solid appearance.

With an innovative combination of cutting-edge technologies, the Telluride’s powertrain is a near-future, no-compromises propulsion system, offering both power and efficiency. A finger-print activated push-button start unleashes Telluride’s tremendously potent yet extremely efficient PHEV powertrain. Utilizing a 3.5-liter gasoline direct injected (GDI) V6 engine and powerful electric motor, Telluride’s transverse-mounted powertrain combines to produce 400 horsepower (270 horsepower from V6 and 130 horsepower from the electric motor) while achieving more than 30 mpg on the highway. Power is routed to all four wheels via an advanced all-wheel drive system.

While there are currently no plans to bring the Telluride to production, Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear strong resemblance to preceding concepts, and Kia’s large SUV is anything but a utopian fantasy.

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