On the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, Kia unveiled their latest volley into shifting their brand to a new strata of performance and luxury, a fastback sports sedan known as the Stinger.
Promising it will be the highest-performance vehicle the brand has ever produced, the Kia Stinger rear-wheel drive sport sedan is poised to re-define the image of the brand with new levels of precision handling, high revving performance and top-end luxury when it arrives late this year.
Based on the GT concept-car from several years back, the Stinger isn’t a replacement for any vehicle currently in the Kia showroom but will hold an entirely new place as the dream car the company just wanted to build. It was a fantasy for the car guys at Kia that is now coming to reality.
Looking immediately identifiable as a Kia, the Stinger looks much like an Optima sedan with a stretched front-end and kicked back three quarter view. Wheels are larger and more pronounced and it has a much more expensive air about it. That’s because it will be.
Unlike any Kia I have seen, its stance and details say performance more than anything. The big huge brakes behind the wheels, the massive exhausts, and the extremely low hood line say things that no front-wheel drive mode of transport from the brand has ever even whispered.
There will be time to talk about the interior with its available Nappa leather and it’s cockpit designed for business. There will be time to talk more of its highly detailed graphics and performance applications to be seen on its screens. But for now, we need to talk nuts and bolts.
Two of them will be available in the Stinger starting with a high-output 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. For those wanting more, a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 comes from the Genesis brand with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Kia says 0-60 will come in about 5.1 seconds with the latter.
Changing gears will be one transmission unfortunately, an eight-speed automatic. It can be shifted manually of course via steering-wheel-mounted paddles shifters. While the Stinger will be standard with rear-wheel drive, it will also be available with an all-wheel drive system featuring torque vectoring.
The chassis design was led by Albert Biermann who came from BMW three years ago specifically for this task. With a wheelbase of 114.4 inches and length of, 190.2 inches and width of 73.6 inches, it fits in the footprint of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Audi 4 and slightly overshadows them all by small amounts.
A MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension will be the first from Kia to be adjustable. Variable ratio power steering and the suspension will be fully controllable by the driver via several drive modes, as will be its available engines. Brakes come by way of Brembo on the V6 and feature quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers.
As with all new vehicles now high-performance or otherwise, the Kia Stinger will also be available with all the latest in groundbreaking driver assistance and emergency safety preventative measures – a list too long to….list.
The 2018 Kia Stinger goes on sale late this year with final specifications and pricing to come along closer to that time. On the pricing, expect more more than most Kia’s but less than the competition.