The Kia Stinger Proves Korea Can Build Sexy Cars
As a real a GT as you can ever imagine it to be
BY roger valberg | Aug 14, 2018 | News
The Stinger channels the spirit of historic grand tourers – powerful, elegant vehicles capable of moving their owners in style, at speed. At every stage of development, the Stinger has been designed and engineered to be the perfect gran turismo. The car features a head-turning aesthetic, ample room to accommodate five occupants and their luggage, a stable, unruffled ride, and nimble handling with engaging, rear-biased power delivery. In its transition from concept to production, Kia’s GT Concept was renamed ‘Stinger’, inspired by the GT4 Stinger concept revealed at NAIAS 2014. While the car is a true GT in nature, the Stinger name evokes speed and excitement, two key characteristics found in the production car.
Turning a concept into a production car is no small feat. Kia’s European design studio in Frankfurt – birthplace of the 2011 GT concept – has brought the Stinger to life, overseen by Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors, and Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Kia Motors Europe. Guillaume comments, “The Kia Stinger is a true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving. It’s not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace. The Kia Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey. It’s about passion.”
From its sleek frontal section, through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence. Key to its road presence are its rear-wheel drive proportions – a long bonnet and short 830 mm front overhang, an extended wheelbase (2,905 mm) to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang (1,095 mm) with strong, broad shoulders. The Stinger’s stance, proportion and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than aggression and brutality. The Stinger measures 4,830 mm in length and 1,870 mm in width, making it longer and wider than many sport sedans, and allowing for a spacious cabin and cargo area. With a 406-litre cargo capacity (VDA), the Stinger’s boot can accommodate two full-size suitcases or golf bags, or four or five weekend bags for short trips away.
Malaysia will be getting two variants - the 2.0 GT-Line and the full on GT. The GT-Line will have the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder ‘Theta’ engine produces 255 ps at 6,200 rpm. Its maximum torque output – 353 Nm – is available from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm. The Stinger GT gets the most powerful engine which is a 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 ‘Lambda II’ gasoline engine, with peak power of 370 ps arriving at 6,000 rpm, and 510 Nm torque accessible from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm. The car features the second-generation of Kia’s electronic eight-speed automatic transmission, which is fitted as standard with all engines. Designed in-house, the eight-speed transmission rewards drivers with immediate shifts and optimum fuel efficiency.
Kia has sought to create a car with driving dynamics that live up to its stunning design. To fulfil this brief, the Stinger’s ride and handling were honed at Germany’s infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife, under the watch of Albert Biermann, Head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development. A gran turismo by design and by nature, the Stinger’s test regime was established to make it capable of taking every kind of road in its stride. Comprised of 55 percent Advanced High Strength Steel, the Stinger’s bodyshell provides an ultra-stiff foundation for the car’s suspension components, and contributes to reduced noise and vibration for a quiet cabin. The MacPherson strut front suspension system has been tuned to optimise feedback to the driver, as well as maximise steering response and stability in all conditions. At the rear, a multi-link suspension setup aids handling responses, with a reinforced anti-roll bar for high stability and minimal body vibrations.
The Stinger reflects Kia’s focus on offering the latest infotainment systems and driver technologies. A height-adjustable Head-Up Display (HUD) enables the driver to see key driving information reflected on the glass of the windscreen, including speed, turn-by-turn navigation guidance, audio, cruise control and Blind Spot Detection information. Resting within the centre console is a wireless smartphone charging pad, while Bluetooth integration is standard across the Stinger line-up. Long distance travel is a hallmark of the gran turismo driving experience and the Kia Stinger has been to stand up to a century's worth of legacy.