Wonder why automakers did not think of this before?

Kia brought its flagship SUV, the Telluride, at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this week. The production model of the SUV did not grab a lot of attention; perhaps because we had already seen it at the New York Fashion Week and SEMA fitted with a cacophony of off-road accessories. However, what actually raised our eyebrows is that Kia is actually planning to offer something on similar lines as an off-road-ready variant itself.

Kia Is Thinking Out Of The Box

Kia Could Leverage the 2020 Telluride with SEMA-Inspired Accessories but it Could Go a Step Further
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When the Kia Telluride made appearances at earlier events with the off-road bits, little did we know Kia was actually considering the idea of launching it as a different trim altogether. When asked whether there were any plans to offer some of the SEMA concepts’ accessories to customers, Tom Kearns, the Telluride’s designer, told MotorTrend, "I can’t really speak to that right now, but we’re definitely interested in something along those lines, either for a trim level or accessories in the future."

The good thing is that the Telluride may be available as capable off-roader with all the necessary accessories fitted from the factory without having to worry about voiding the warranty!

For your information, the Telluride showcased at SEMA was dressed in monstrous off-road clothing, such as 32-inch off-road tires, straight-pipe exhaust, McPherson struts with remote reservoirs, linear bearings and three-way adjustable damping, and long-travel inverted WRC-spec shocks with similar adjustability for the rear suspension setup. Not to mention, the Tellurides displayed had some pretty wild paint jobs. We’re almost sure the off-road trim of the production Telluride will be toned down a wee bit to look more like a tamed family-hauler.

We Can’t Have It All, Can We?

Kia Could Leverage the 2020 Telluride with SEMA-Inspired Accessories but it Could Go a Step Further
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Coming to the engine, Kia is planning to offer the Telluride with a 3.8-liter, V-6 engine that develops 291 horses and 262 pound-feet of torque as the only option. If you thought Kia would offer it with the Stinger GT’s 3.3-liter, twin-turbo, V-6, well, you aren’t getting that. It would’ve been quite amazing to have 365 horses and 376 pound-feet of torque available, but it would be quite difficult to fit the longitudinal engine for a vehicle that would conquer unknown terrain.

First things first, the off-road trim will likely be offered a little later, given that Kia wants to establish itself as a passenger SUV with off-roading capabilities and not the other way round.

The Kia Telluride will take on the Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, Chevrolet Tahoe, and the Dodge Durango mano-a-mano. As for the seating, it will be offered in eight-seat and seven-seat configurations. The eight-seat option will be offered as standard, and the seven-seater will replace the middle bench with two captain seats.

Our Take

2020 Kia Telluride finally shows its production form in Detroit
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So, if you were planning to mod your new Telluride with the official off-road accessories, you may be in for a treat. It’s quite exciting to see an automaker offer such a trim from the launch of the model itself. This sets it apart from companies which offer off-road accessories as option and may thus be a strong selling point for Kia. The Telluride will be built at Kia’s factory in West Point, Georgia alongside the Optima and Sorento. The SUV is expected to reach the showrooms early next year. What are your thoughts on Kia offering a special off-road trim with the Telluride? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Further Reading

2020 Kia Telluride finally shows its production form in Detroit
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2020 Kia Telluride finally shows its production form in Detroit

2019 Kia Telluride Spyshots Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Kia Telluride.

2016 Kia Telluride Concept Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Kia Telluride Concept.

Source: Motor Trend

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