Maybe you don’t remember the Kia Telluride concept that was revealed this time two years ago, as part of Kia’s Detroit Motor Show stand. Maybe you didn’t see it at the time. Either way, you’re not likely to forget it now.
As it turns out, the large, seven-seat flagship SUV with the arresting front end is actually under development for the North American market, plus a few others, like Russia. It won’t be called the Telluride when it makes production, but the intention is definitely to bring it to market.
It’s massive; so big it would sit above even the sizeable Sorento in the range. Current estimates put it at just over five metres long, and it has a strange two-two-three seating layout, with the three seats on the third row. That all makes it ideal for the American market – but at the moment it looks unlikely to make right-hand drive production, and won’t hit Europe at all.
The concept ran a V6 plug-in hybrid drivetrain with 400bhp, four-wheel drive and predicted real-world fuel economy of 36.2mpg. Its doors opened to 90 degrees and the rears hinged at the back, like on a Rolls-Royce. It was full of technology that even went as far as monitoring the occupants’ well-being during a journey.
Speaking to Australian journalists at the Detroit Motor Show, Kia’s overall design boss Peter Schreyer said, quite blandly:
“Yeah, we are working on that car, actually.”
Fair enough, then.
Kia’s European chief designer, Gregory Guillaume, was a bit more forthcoming, saying:
“In Europe it doesn’t make that much sense. It is a more difficult segment for us. We are pretty good with Sorento [for] large SUV in Europe. I could imagine that there are other markets that would be interested in taking it … apart from America, so there could be other markets that are interested.
“For example, the one we used to have before the Mohave [large SUV]; it was pretty popular in Russia and those countries.”
No one was able to give a predicted on-sale date for the car, but if it was already in the works a few years ago, surely 2019 is realistic…
Source: Go Auto