Kia has revealed the first official image of the upcoming Sorento, codenamed XM, which is scheduled for release in its home market of Korea shortly after its official unveiling at the Seoul Motor Show in April.
The Korean carmaker has also revealed various technical details for the new model, revealing that this new Sorento is more than simply a refresh of the current model.
Even from the single, dark teaser image, we can see that the exterior design has come in for some serious work. The image below shows the outgoing Kia Sorento and demonstrates how the new model will have a much more refined, modern appearance.
At this stage we know that Kia will offer a 2.2 litre four-cylinder diesel engine making 150kW (200hp) and 435Nm (320lb-ft) of torque, a 2.4 litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a 3.8 litre V6 petrol mill, the latter producing a touch over 200kW (270hp).
More diesel and petrol engines are also expected but we'll have to wait until the car's unveiling for further info, although Kia says it plans to introduce a 2.7L LPI (Liquefied Petroleum Injection) engine for the Korean market.
Fuel economy for the 2.2 litre diesel is expected to be around the 7L/100km mark, making it even more frugal than the smaller Sportage compact SUV.
A new six-speed automatic, jointly developed with Hyundai, will feature in the new Sorento and will also make its way into various Kia vehicles in the future.
One of the biggest changes to the Sorento is the move away from a body-on-frame architecture to a unibody configuration. This will improve ride, handling and fuel economy, but will likely sacrifice some towing capacity and off-road capability.
We should have more details on the 2010 Kia Sorento closer to the car's unveiling at the Seoul Motor Show in April, so stay tuned.