The Kia Telluride Concept represents what the automaker calls its “cutting-edge vision for a full-size SUV.” While not intended for production in its current configuration, Kia execs admit the Telluride reveals the brand’s interest in broadening the lineup with a premium full-size 7-passenger sport-ute. Beyond making a distinctive visual statement, the Telluride also showcases new technology intended for production, including Kia’s first use of 3D-printed components in the interior and a plug-in hybrid powertrain.   

Sorento-based platform

Based on a modified Sorento platform and finished in Dark Pyrite metallic paint, the Telluride was penned at the Kia Design Center America (KDCA) in Irvine, California. Roughly 10 inches longer than the Sorento and with nearly a foot greater span between the axles, this imposing one-off further amps up its presence with a bolder take on the firm’s signature tiger nose grille, aggressively edgy bodywork and full LED lighting set off with polished metal skid plates and huge 275/45 Hankook Ventus ST tires on custom 22-inch alloy wheels.

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Both the conventional front and rear-hinged rear doors on the Telluride swing open a full 90 degrees to permit easy access to its tastefully rendered cabin awash in rich black leather and alloy accents. While the fold-down third row bench features a conventional design, each of the four captain’s chairs in the first two rows are fitted with a series of Smart Sensors that monitor health data of their occupants. The information can be displayed on panels in each door and then synchronized with a Light Emitted Rejuvenation system which  interprets that information and tosses off a therapeutic light pattern from a large LED panel mounted beneath the sunroof. Kia claims the lights can help individuals recover from jetlag as well as boost a person’s overall energy levels.

Other trick touches include 3D printed elements in the dash, door panels and steering wheel and prominent display screens for the main instrumentation and infotainment setups. The Telluride also has wireless front/rear charging capability and introduces a touch-sensitive Swipe Command strip that allows second-row passengers to select program media which can be played on a 7-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system or through wireless headphones that charge when stowed in the console.

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The Kia Telluride Concept is fitted with a production-ready plug-in hybrid setup that pairs a 3.5-liter V6 making 270 horsepower with a 120 horse electric motor. That power is shipped to all four wheels by an advanced all-wheel drive system. The Telluride is expected to return over 30 mpg when running on the highway.


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