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Kia reveals near-production US-spec Telluride

Still no RHD production for eight-seat Kia Telluride SUV following revised styling

10 Sep 2018

KIA has unveiled a bespoke pre-production version of its eight-seat Telluride family SUV at the New York Fashion Week, however an Australian debut is still off the cards with the car-maker not announcing any plans for right-hand-drive production.
Revealed at a Texas-inspired runway show, the one-off Telluride was decked out in a number of off-road-oriented accessories, including a winch, driving lights, snorkel, wood/aluminium roof rack, side ladder, a rear wheel carrier and 265/50 all-terrain tyres wrapped around 20-inch black alloy wheels. 
The final production version is set to be revealed at the Detroit motor show in January, ahead of a North American release in 2019.
Underneath all the add-ons, the pre-production Telluride bears some noticeable differences compared to the concept first revealed at the 2016 Detroit motor show, with the headlights growing vertically and adding a new-look lighting signature.
Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille has been tapered more subtly with thicker horizontal chrome trim and a flat, honeycomb grille, while the word ‘Telluride’ is emblazoned above the grille in a similar manner to the Range Rover.
At the rear, the curved tail-lights are now more prominent, while ‘Telluride’ lettering also features on the tailgate, while the suicide doors of the concept have been replaced with regular rear doors.
Given its launch at a Texan-themed runway show, the Telluride features a number of touches saluting the Lone Star state, including tan leather trim on the door mirrors and handles, and leather straps on the rear wheel carrier, winch and front fascia.
The Texan theme continues inside, with tan leather adorning the upper dash, door trims steering wheel and gear shifter, while wood trim features on the dashboard.
Interior features include a large, landscape-oriented multimedia system, heated and ventilated perforated leather seats, digital instrument cluster display, dual-zone climate control and seating for eight occupants.
For the American market, the Telluride will be powered by a petrol V6, most likely the 3.5-litre unit shared by the Australian Sorento which outputs 206kW/336Nm.
Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) will not get its hands on the Telluride due to production currently slated for left-hand drive only, however in the past it has indicated a desire for a ladder-frame SUV to sit alongside a potential pick-up early next decade.
Speaking to GoAuto in June, KMAu product planning general manager Roland Rivero said if the brand were to build a pick-up, Australia would push for an SUV to be sold alongside it.
“With a light-commercial vehicle being a pick-up, we’re also not discounting the fact it could also become an SUV,” he said at the time. 
“So, get that ladder-frame platform, push for not only a dual cab, single cab and cab chassis, but we’d also look at a potential SUV in a similar vein to Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest.
“2020/2021 is where I would like it to be.”

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