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Kia has unveiled the Telluride SUV concept at this week’s Detroit auto show, where it will gauge audience reactions before deciding on a potential market launch.

Green in more ways than one, the big Telluride packs a hybrid drive system that sees a 3.5-litre petrol V6 matched with an electric motor to produce a combined 298kW.

Power goes to an all-wheel drive system, and Kia says the hybrid setup has the potential to deliver fuel consumption figures of 7.8L/100km on the highway.


Although packaged with all-wheel drive, the Telluride is most certainly not a four-wheel drive: based on the smaller Sorento, the concept is intended for the road only.

With looks that appears inspired by the Bentley and Rolls-Royce styling guides, the Telluride may also be a preview of Kia’s next-generation design language – if only for upmarket models like this big SUV and the large K900 sedan.


Standout styling features include a broad new squared-off take on the Kia ‘tiger nose’ grille, sunken LED headlights, a boxy glasshouse with opposing-hinged doors, and tall low-set tail lamps.

The Telluride sits on a 3081mm wheelbase, giving it a footprint 302mm longer than the already larger Sorento offered in Australia. It’s also 177mm wider, and looks it.


If this concept goes to production, it would enter the market as a road-only successor to the Mohave (Borrego in the US), which was built on a more capable – but ultimately less comfortable on the road – ladder-frame chassis.

The Telluride’s proportions would make it a rival to the new Mazda CX-9, along with models like the Toyota Kluger (Highlander in the US) and Subaru’s Tribeca replacement.


An Australian debut for such a model would be unlikely – if only because the Carnival fills the company’s people-carrying needs here, but also because right-hand drive production is not expected.

MORE: Kia Sorento news, reviews, pricing and specs