The Kia Telluride Debuts Looking More Like a Concept Than a Production Model
This doesn’t look like a production modelby Kirby, on
Kia finally pulled the covers off of the Telluride, giving us our first look at the automaker’s full-sized SUV. The debut took place at fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s event during New York Fashion Week. In keeping with Maxwell’s Texas-themed Spring Summer 2019 collection, the Telluride was dressed up in rough, off-road specification, complete with custom bumpers, skid plates, and an aluminum and wood roof rack.
It’s not often that you see a production model make its debut by wearing a lot of extra equipment. One look at the Kia Telluride that showed up at Brandon Maxwell’s fashion show in New York and you’d think that it was a dedicated go-anywhere off-roader. While it can fulfill that role in some respects, the Telluride is, first and foremost, a full-sized, three-row, mainstream SUV.
But let’s not rain on Kia’s parade, either. The Korean automaker chose a unique event to unveil a one-of-a-kind version of the Telluride that embraces the spirit of the Wild West. It wears a deep green body color that’s similar to the one used in the concept version when it was unveiled at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.
The muscular SUV also received a number of functional components that were added to showcase its go-anywhere functionality.
Custom bumpers and skid plates were installed. There’s a pair of rally spotlights on the SUV’s massive front grille. Even the roof was fitted with a customized aluminum and wood roof rack with leather straps. Speaking of leather, the SUV’s door handles and side mirrors are also covered in the material. There’s nothing “normal” or “standard” about the Telluride that was unveiled at Brandon Maxwell’s fashion show. It even has a snorkel on the front-passenger side, and it sits on a set of 20-inch wheels wrapped in Burly 265/50R-20 off-road tires.
The bespoke additions continue in the interior where the one-off Telluride is covered in natural wood trims and saddle-inspired double-stitched leather. There are more leather details on the dashboard, door panels, and grab handles. Even the cargo area is swimming in metal and leather trim.
It’s incredible to think that Kia would use this approach to debut the production version of the Telluride. The SUV’s actual public debut will take place at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, but it’s hard to imagine being anymore surprised when this one-off creation is already around. Perhaps this is Kia’s way of creating an apt synergy between the customization potential of the Telluride with the spring collection of Brandon Maxwell’s fashion label. If that is the case, consider the plan a resounding success.
Kia’s plans for this one-off Telluride are unclear, but don’t be surprised if it ends up in an auction house in the near future.
Given the way it looks and all the extra content it has, there’s no other place it could end up in. Wherever it goes, this one-off Telluride is already one for the books. You don’t even see an automaker take this approach when its debuting a model as important as the Telluride, but it did. And here we are, talking about it like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Kia Telluride.
Read our full review on the 2016 Kia Telluride Concept.
Read more Kia news.