Being Kia's flagship SUV, the production model is expected to pave the way for a new design language for high-riding models.
Kia expressed its intentions towards coming out with a model larger than the Sorento early 2016 at the Detroit show where it unveiled the Telluride concept. Looking substantially different than the rest of the company’s SUVs, the showcar was confirmed for production at the same event back in January this year. It has been spied already, but with the prototypes being covered in heavy camo, there wasn’t much to say about its exterior appearance, other than its sheer size.
A new report sheds some light about the Telluride, with Motor Trend saying it will inherit most of the concept’s design cues, which will eventually trickle down to smaller SUV models. Because of its higher position in the lineup, the model is expected to feature some bespoke styling tweaks to make it stand out from the lesser Sorento.
Serving as a spiritual successor of the forgotten Borrego (Mohave in other markets), the Telluride was shown in the Motor City with four captain's chairs and a folding third-row. The production model will have eight seats, while a more luxurious version might come with a seven-seat arrangement featuring captain’s chairs for the second row to boost comfort.
Despite rumors of being based on a rear-wheel-drive platform, the road-going Telluride will reportedly be a front-wheel-drive SUV benefiting from the new HTRAC all-paw system developed by Hyundai and Kia and implemented recently on the 2019 Santa Fe. We won’t be too surprised if the large-and-in-charge SUV will be offered strictly with AWD.
Being big and heavy, it wouldn’t make much sense to offer a puny four-cylinder engine, which is why the biturbo 3.3-liter V6 is a safe guess and will probably be hooked up exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The list of standard goodies should be quite extensive, with everything from a 360-degree camera to an electrically folding third row.
It’s unclear at this point when it will come out, but we do know it will have a sister model from Hyundai rumored to be called Palisade if a recent trademark filing is indeed linked to the big SUV. That one too has been spotted testing carrying the production body, so the two models could both be out around the end of the decade. For something fancier from the South Koreans, you’ll have to wait for the Genesis GV80.
Source: Motor Trend