Kia teases potential full-size SUV with Telluride Concept

After releasing a teaser image last week, Kia unveiled a full-size SUV concept at the Detroit auto show dubbed the Telluride that offers a glimpse into "a future that is grounded in reality but not bound by the present."

In sticking with that theme, the Kia Telluride Concept is a bit of a mixed of fantasy and reality as it "reveals the brand's interest in potentially offering a premium SUV positioned above the current ... Sorento."

A three-row, seven-passenger SUV, the Telluride is a bold design departure for the brand, with a boxy shape that still finds a way to fit in with the rest of Kia's lineup, including the new-look 2016 Optima.

Based on an existing platform, the Telluride is 4.4-inches taller, 4.7-inches wider, and a sizable 9.5-inches longer than the current Sorento.

"The Kia Telluride makes an aesthetic statement for the Kia brand as a bold, all-new luxury SUV with an abundance of advanced technology, focusing particular attention on the experience and comfort of second-row occupants," Tom Kearns, chief designer at Kia Design Center America, said in a release. "Longer, wider and taller than the recently redesigned Sorento, Telluride allows us to envision what a full-size seven-passenger SUV from Kia could look like."

With that in mind, the concept features front doors and rear-hinged back doors that swing open 90° in opposite directions, creating, as Kia puts it, "an expansive and inviting portal into the panoramic interior space."

A plug-in hybrid, the Telluride is powered by a 3.5-litre gasoline direct injected V6 engine and an electric motor of an undisclosed size, though Kia said the total system output is 400 horsepower—270 of which comes from the gas engine, and 130 from the electric motor.

"While there are currently no plans to bring the Telluride to production," the automaker said, "Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear strong resemblance to preceding concepts, and Kia's large SUV is anything but a utopian fantasy."

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When the Kia Telluride concept was unveiled at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show in 2016, the Korean manufacturer evoked the possibility of producing a large SUV that would bear a similar design. It took two and a half years to confirm its intention. The production version will also be called …