The KIA Telluride concept SUV released at the North American International Auto Show is both a glimpse into the future and a nod to the past.
The Telluride’s dramatic styling is a throwback to when SUVs actually looked like trucks, and it’s all the better for it. The bold, squared-off front end and long hood hearken back to SUVs of old but at the same time looks new and fresh.
Suicide rear doors give the concept crossover a pillar-less entry that opens up the interior space. Inside, the Telluride has four captain’s chairs and a third-row bench seat. Being a concept car, designers can take liberties without worrying about things like crash tests, so those suicide doors might not make it to the production car, should this eventually make it that far.
Under the hood is the company’s 3.5-liter, GDI V-6, but it’s combined with an electric motor that enables the full-size people-mover to operate as a plug-in hybrid. Combined horsepower for the gas and electric motors is 400 and KIA claims the big SUV can get 30 mpg on the highway.
One feature of the Telluride that can only exist on a concept car is the ability for the car to rejuvenate the passengers. All the seats have sensors that capture the occupants’ health information, and then LEDs in the panoramic sunroof emit therapeutic light to cure such things as jetlag. This sounds a bit like voodoo, but it’s definitely something unique.
There is also a thin, touch-sensitive strip in the console that allows back-seat passengers to scroll through music with a swipe of their hand.
One thing is for sure, though, the styling of the Telluride is outstanding, and if KIA uses it as the inspiration for future SUVs and crossovers, the future of the company looks good indeed.
This isn’t the first time a KIA concept has been shown at NAIAS. Watch the revolutionary KIA GT4 Stinger concept debut at last year’s Detroit auto show.