Kia TellurideKia has revealed a bold concept called Telluride at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show that it says “suggests styling of a possible future premium large SUV”.

A signal of Kia’s desire to move ever-upmarket, the Telluride could preview a Kia rival to the Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz GLS – and certainly has styling bold and striking enough to make an impact.

Kia Telluride

More broadly, it also signals a desire to evolve Kia’s overall design language now the much-heralded Peter Schreyer styling overhaul has run through the full range.

Despite calling it “purely conceptual”, Kia’s surprisingly open on what the Telluride represents: it’s a three-row, seven-seat, full-size SUV that would sit above the existing Sorento (its current range-topper) in the model line.

Fascinatingly, Kia even reveals it’s based upon an existing platform (a stretched version of the current Sorento).

“While there are currently no plans to bring the Telluride to production,” says Kia, it “has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear strong resemblance to preceding concepts, and Kia’s large SUV is anything but a utopian fantasy.”

That makes it pretty much odds-on to us.

Telluride inside

Kia Telluride

It’s unlikely the rear-hinged back doors would make production, but there’s little to suggest the rest of it is not viable. Purposefully bold and upright, the rectangular grille, bulging wheelarches and glassy windows would go down very well in its key U.S. market, we’re certain. After all, it was designed there.

Kia Telluride

Inside, there’s a tech-laden cabin with lots of infotainment screens in the front and a fancy ‘Swipe Command’ touch-sensitive band for the second row: swipe commands control the media played through the high-end Harman Kardon audio system (or Harma Kardon headphones).

And under the massive bonnet? Again a ‘near-future’ PHEV powertrain combining direct-injection 3.5-litre V6 and electric motor: 400hp is made up of 270hp from the engine and 130hp from the motor.

All seems to point quite clearly to a new Kia luxury SUV range-topper coming in a year or so…