Kia could add off-road trim to full-size Telluride SUV

2020 Kia Telluride, 2019 Detroit auto show

2020 Kia Telluride, 2019 Detroit auto show

Kia’s group of conceptual Telluride crossover SUVs shown at the 2018 SEMA show may influence an off-road-inspired version of the new full-size family hauler.

Following the model’s debut on Monday at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, Motor Trend reported that Kia could introduce an off-road version in the future, or at least offer accessories with inspiration from the SEMA concepts. Speaking with the magazine, Tom Kearns, the Telluride’s chief designer, didn’t confirm an off-road model but said Kia is “definitely” interested in something similar to the SEMA concepts as a trim level or accessory pack.

Custom 2020 Kia Tellurides for 2018 SEMA show

Custom 2020 Kia Tellurides for 2018 SEMA show

Such a model won’t likely be a direct copy of any Telluride shown at the SEMA show, however. Each crossover featured heavily modified exteriors with oodles of off-road gear and widened tracks. Also part of the concepts were 32-inch off-road tires, straight-pipe exhausts, and some pretty wild paint schemes for a family-oriented crossover.

McPherson struts with remote reservoirs, linear bearings and three-way adjustable damping were also present at the front of each concept SUV, while long-travel inverted WRC-spec shocks with similar adjustability graced the crossovers’ rear suspension setup.

2020 Kia Telluride Horizon Roamer

2020 Kia Telluride Horizon Roamer

For now, the Telluride, which arrives for 2020, will be a much more pedestrian offering. Kia will directly challenge the Chevrolet Tahoe, Dodge Durango, Ford Expedition, Honda Pilot, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia with its new crossover. Space for eight is standard, while a set of captain’s seats in the second row are optional. However, they remove space for one passenger, bringing the total capacity to seven seats.

The only powertrain planned for now is a 3.8-liter V-6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, and it will come mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. We could see a plug-in hybrid come eventually, but Kia has dashed any hopes for a more powerful engine without electrification. Thus, we won’t see the Kia Stinger’s 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 reporting for duty.

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