Kia unveils the Telluride concept at Detroit Auto Show.
The 2016 Detroit Auto Show is now in full swing, which means dozens of concept and new production cars have the automotive press in a frenzy. The Kia Telluride concept is one of the cars making the press go nuts. So, what do we have here? Kia Sorrento platform that has been injected with growth hormones. The Telluride is 4.7 inches wider, 9.5 inches longer, and 4.4 inches taller than a base Sorrento resulting in a rather large Kia.The Telluride sits at 79.1 inches wide, 70.1 inches tall, and 196.9 inches long.
The wheelbase has been extended to 121.3 inches and there's five-spoke 22-inch wheels clad in some Hankook Ventus tires. Propulsion comes by way of a 3.5-liter direct-injection V6 coupled with an electric motor good for a combined output of 400 horsepower. Despite the vehicle's large dimensions, Kia is insistent that the Telluride concept will return 30 miles per gallon when driven on the highway. The transversely mounted V6 routes its power through all four wheels via an all-wheel-drive system. The technology -laden Telluride concept features front and rear (suicide) doors that open a full 90 degrees for easy egress and ingress (entry and exit).
The cabin was designed at Kia’s California-based Kia Design Center America (KDCA) and features a ton of luxury amenities and new technology. Four leather-wrapped captain chairs are present as is a foldaway third-row bench. The rear passenger seats have the ability to recline and there's a footrest for added comfort. Interestingly, Kia went a tad “Sci-Fi” as each seat features a series of “precise diamond-cut openings in the seatback, each embedded with Smart Sensors to capture a passenger’s vital health information.” This information is then displayed on screens embedded in the interior door panels which then synchronize to a roof-mounted Light Emitted Rejuvenation system.
This LER system is housed beneath the sunroof and is designed to display a “pattern of therapeutic light,” in a bid to combat jet lag and improve passenger energy levels. Additionally, the Telluride features Swipe Command (no this is not Tinder) which allows passengers in the rear of to control in-vehicle media. This is all attached to wireless headphones so as not to disrupt the driver. What makes the Telluride stand out is not its “therapeutic light-spa” nor paint scheme (we’ll reserve colorful commentary) but the design aesthetic. Kias of late have been fairly good looking and the Telluride furthers that notion. “Telluride allows us to envision what a full-size seven-passenger SUV from Kia could look like," said Tom Kearns chief designer at KDCA.
The aggressive design hints at a future production model that may feature a more restrained design, though Kia is currently adamant that the Telluride is unlikely to go into production.