Telling us its a glimpse into the future not bound by the present, the Kia Telluride is a design study of a large three-row crossover SUV that would be positioned above the brand’s largest current offering, the Sorento.
And while it looks from its proportions to be a rear-wheel drive based chassis architecture, it rides on a modified version of the Sorento’s platform but its wheelbase is stretched nearly a foot to 121-inches. This makes it 196 inches long and 71 inches tall, about the size of a Ford Explorer give or take.
It looks more in proportion similar to something up market like a Range Rover with its long nose and square silhouette. It has a larger version of Kia’s “Tiger Nose” grille design with some decidedly different inset LED headlights.
Out back its thin LED light-bar style tail lamps give the three-quarter view a pretty vertical look, and the 22-inch wheels seem nicely sized for the thing. It’s recessed door handles are joined at the center of clam-shell or “suicide” side doors that while cool would never make it to production for many reasons. Safety being the big one.
They do open nicely to show off the interior though. And here the style and vibe comes across as a modern take on the 1950’s and 1960’s with its sweeping forms and metal embellishments. The floating instrument cluster dash design particularly fits this mold.
Kia’s press materials tell of a host of techno-goodies like seats that read your vial signs and LED screens that give you a therapeutic light show to help get rid of your jet-lag. And this makes sense since we see our vehicles as mobile massage parlors.
For those who might actually enjoy driving the Telluride to the mountains for a ski trip, its 400 horsepower plug-in hybrid powertrain shows us that at least Kia is bound the present in some ways. We still have CAFE standards after all.
The powertrain that’s actually quite likely production intent uses a transverse-mounted 3.5 liter V6 with an electric motor between it and is conventional automatic transmission. From there, power goes to all four-wheels through an advanced, but conventional all-wheel drive system with axles and shafts.
All-in, Kia says this fantasy of form would be good for 30 mpg highway, which is actually somewhat low given the present Volvo T8 Plug-In Hybrid with similar power is expected to exceed that.