Kia knows how to pull off a fashion-forward debut. It surprised everyone recently by debuting its new 8-passenger SUV, the 2020 Kia Telluride, during New York Fashion Week, ahead of its official reveal at the North American International Auto Show
2020 Kia Telluride
The V6-powered 2020 Kia Telluride will be built in Georgia and is based on a concept version
unveiled two years ago. It’s several inches longer and wider than Kia’s seven-passenger Sorento.
Its surprise debut came via a special one-off model inspired by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s Spring Summer 2019 Texas collection.
“Telluride summits Kia’s SUV lineup and forged a surprising new path with its runway debut at New York Fashion Week,” said Saad Chehab, vice president of marketing communications, Kia Motors America. “Only a brand as forward-thinking as Kia could collaborate with Brandon Maxwell to launch the Telluride ahead of its official debut at the North American International Auto Show in January.”
The collaboration with Kia was a uniquely personal one for Maxwell as well.
“My Mom drove me to school in East Texas in a Kia Sedona, and my adoration for the brand runs deep,” said Maxwell. “When I left Marfa, Texas, where I designed my SS’19 collection, I started talking with Kia. I wanted a partner who could help fill a need in Marfa’s public school system and Kia was looking to create a unique integration for their new Telluride. It was a natural fit as Kia has a long history of philanthropic initiatives that support education. Kia is not just funding necessary technological purchases and educational programming to give the children of Marfa the quality education they deserve, but also providing a vehicle for local teachers’ use. I am honored to collaborate with Kia Motors.”
The one-of-a-kind Telluride includes several nods to Maxwell’s Texas roots, including natural wood interior trim and saddle-inspired double-stitched leather adornments on the dash, door panels and grab handles. Similar leather details cover the outside rearview mirrors and door handles. Outside, the Telluride’s deep green paint reflects the color of the concept vehicle that debuted in Detroit two years ago.
Custom front and rear bumpers, skidplates and sidestep sills exude a ranch-ready look that’s backed up with a hidden winch and a snorkel for deep-river fording. Burly 265/50R-20 off-road tires wrap around flat-black alloy wheels and the spare tire has been custom mounted to the rear hatch, which opens to a metal- and leather-trimmed cargo area. A custom wood and aluminum roof rack with a beautiful custom leather tow strap tongue provide the perfect finishing touches.
Look for the Telluride in showrooms in early 2019.
Photo Credit: Kia