Korean automaker Kia is expected to re-enter the SUV segment by the end of 2019 with the launch of its new eight-seater Telluride.
The new Telluride is the production model of its concept that was first unveiled in 2016. The upcoming SUV was showcased at the fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s event during New York Fashion Week. Reports suggest that the car will be supplied from Kia’s plant in West Point, Georgia.
If reports are to be believed, the Kia Telluride is expected to sport a V6 engine and would be several inches wider and longer than Kia’s CUV Sorento. Reports suggest that the model that was unveiled in New York has specifically tailored interiors with designs featuring several connections to Maxwell’s Texas roots. The interiors included a natural wood interior trim and saddle-inspired double-stitched leather surfaces.
On the outside, the model sported protective parts such as the skidplates and sidestep sill that might hint at the vehicle’s off-road potential. Reports suggest that the upcoming model is likely to be built on a new drive platform with a transverse mounted engine and an all-wheel-drive system. In 2016, the company unveiled the SUV on the sidelines of a hybrid model pairing a 3.5-litre V6 engine combined with an electric motor that would jointly put out a power of nearly 400bhp. However, it is not yet clear if the powertrain will make it to the production lines.
Kia’s sibling brand Hyundai, on the other hand, is working on an SUV of its own which is said to be based on the same platform as the Telluride. The upcoming SUV by Hyundai was previewed in June with the Grandmaster concept and is likely to be called as the Palisade, reports suggested.
The Telluride is, however, is not Kia’s first attempt to make a full-fledged SUV. The company pulled the plugs on its first SUV Borrego (aka Mohave) in 2010 after being on sale just for a few years. The prime reason for the conclusion of Borrego is thought to be the global financial crisis and a sudden surge in fuel prices.
However, if the August sales of auto companies have shown one thing, it is that Kia’s SUV might hold a different fate than the Borrego. The SUV will take on the Chevrolet Tahoe, Dodge Durango, Ford Expedition, Honda Pilot, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia.