Kia has finally put their GT sports sedan concept into fruition in the form of this 2018 Kia Stinger, and from the looks of it – Kia might be planning to take over the segment.
After several teasers, Kia promised us a production model of the GT and they finally delivery ahead of the Detroit reveal where the 2018 Kia Stinger will make its world premiere. The 2018 Kia Stinger takes on a rather interesting exterior and interior design direction that sort of revitalises the brand’s current stale and outdated image. Lead by ex-Audi designer, Peter Schreyer – the Stinger feels very sporty with a low profile aided by sleek subtle lines and an aggressive front and back end designs. The greenhouse is pretty big too.
If you ask me; i see a bit of Jaguar XF in the profile, a mix of Mercedes-AMG GT in the front and a rather interesting rear that manages to mash a Fisker Karma, an Alfa Romeo giulia quadrifoglio and a 16′ dodge Charger in one of the most controversial rear-ends i’ve ever seen. The car would be perfect if it was a bit lower and didn’t have that pointless annoying rear light strip that stretches to the rear sidewall.
I’m not a fan of comparing styling as I feel it stifles creativity and innovation, I’m just pointing out how the Stinger might have visually similar ques with those cars. The brand is new and it might be struggling to get an identity amongst key players, but let’s not forget that the Korean brand is ranked 4th globally around the world.
The Stinger was aimed at cars like the Audi A4, A5, the BMW 3-Series, 4-Series Gran Coupe, Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50. The car measures in at 114.4 inches (2,905) which makes it one of the longest wheelbases in the segment. It’s also wider than the competition with a 73.6 inch (1,869mm) width and 190.2 inch overall length. This translates into a very spacious cabin and cargo area.
North America receives two petrol engines while Europe gets extra diesel options as well – more on that during the release at the Geneva Motor Show.
The first engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter with 255-hp and 260 lb-ft of torque (352 NM), then there is the range-topping Stinger GT with a 3.3-liter twin turbo V6 engine that produces 365-hp and 376 lb-ft of torque (494 NM). When equipped with the V6, expect the 2018 Kia Stinger GT to do 0-62 mph in 5.1 seconds and top out at 167 mph (269 km/h). AWD is optional and an 8-speed automatic transmission is standard on both models.
An aftermarket ECU tune could easily give you 400+hp from a stage 1 tune, with some bolt-ons and a stage 2 ECU tune you could be well into the 450hp mark.
To develop the Chassis, Kia sent out a team of experts from Hyundai/Kia which was lead by Albert Biermann (who previously headed BMW’s M division) to the Nürburgring for some proper dynamics and suspension tuning. This means the stinger is about to sting its German rivals who expected a sporty body with nothing to back it up.
Biermann confirms this is not the case here: “I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is like a special event,” he also mentioned the surprise factor of such a car in the segment; “Because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It’s a whole different animal.”
If all of this works out well and the price is affordable; the 2018 Kia Stinger could be one of the hottest cars in the segment during that year and it will indeed feature electronically adjustable suspension (Dynamic Stability Damping Control), adjustable ride-damping and a five mode adjustable electric power steering.
If it gets more power, the stinger is a winner in my book especially with such an attractive price bracket. The 2018 Kia Stinger should go on sale next summer.