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Kia unveils hybrid and concept SUVs at Detroit

Full-size, 400bhp 'Telluride' concept sits alongside hybrid Niro

A couple of new concepts from Kia at the North American Auto Show, both interesting. First up is a teaser for the all-new Niro, what Kia is referring to as an ‘HUV’ or Hybrid Utility Vehicle.

Obviously the words ‘sporty’ and ‘versatile’ are used to describe the vehicle - pretty much standard vocabulary these days - and the design is supposed to be ‘sleek and aerodynamic’. Albeit as sleek and aerodynamic as an HUV can be, when it’s shaped like a swanky brick.

More interestingly, the Niro is aiming for sub 90g/km C02 efficiency, thanks to a new, downsized petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, and will be the first car on Kia’s new dedicated eco-car platform. We’ll see the final version at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2016.

Not half-hidden by moody lighting is Kia’s Telluride Concept, a full-sized, seven seat SUV. With more than a hint of Volvo XC90 in the bluff lines, the Telluride has three rows of seats, big, solid styling and potentially sits in an as-yet untapped - for Kia, at least - luxury SUV niche.

Based on a modified Sorento chassis, the Telluride would sit above the current Kia range-topper, but probably wouldn’t feature the concept’s suicide rear doors and 22-inch wheels. We’re also pretty certain that it won’t feature a massive, wing-shaped light in the back that deals with desynchronosis - jetlag, to you and me - via the Light Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) stystem. But we can’t guarantee it.

The Telluride also features zeitgeisty tech in terms of a rear-seat swipe command centre console and 3D printed trim - which are a bit more real-world.

Power comes courtesy of the usual PHEV powertrain, with a  3.5-litre V6 bolstered by an electric motor, and total power output weighs in at 400bhp combined, driven through all four wheels and capable of around 30mpg on the combined cycle.

It’s big, bold and interesting. Cut price XC90, then?

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