Kia has released first pictures of the KCD-II, also known as the "Mesa", a new sport utility vehicle (SUV) scheduled to be unveiled next week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The Mesa, headed for a market segment not currently addressed by Kia in the US, encapsulates the Korean automaker's vision of an "exciting and enabling" new SUV and has been specifically designed with the requirements of the North American market in mind.

COO Yong-Hwan Kim, said: "The Mesa exemplifies the future of the SUV market and is a good glimpse into the dynamic exterior designs to come from Kia Motors."

The Mesa is the second Kia concept vehicle to be developed by the firm's California design centre in Irvine.

The new vehicle is a modern, rugged body-on-frame SUV that features three rows of seats, dual full-length sunroofs and a 116-inch wheelbase.

Interior features include a rear passenger entertainment system with DVD player and 9-inch LCD monitor, a high-end low profile speaker sound system in the headliner instead of door speakers and a full-length sunroof.