Kia have officially unveiled the all-new Kia Stinger GT at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show - the five-seater fastback sports sedan is the most-powerful production vehicle in the company’s history, and is poised to challenge the likes of the BMW 4 Series GranCoupe and Audi A5 Sportback.
Orth Hedrick, Vice President, product planning, Kia Motors America adds, “Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world. From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning,”
The Stinger started as the GT concept, first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show – the design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his team of designers in Frankfurt.
Keeping with the ethos of a GT car – the Stinger’s stance and svelte proportions are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than boy-racer aggression.
The wide front and rear track, along with the recessed contours along the doors, enhance the visual power of the Stinger’s shoulder line as well as its fastback silhouette. The functional elements of the exterior design such as the front air curtains, wheel arch gills, near-flat underbody, and integrated rear diffuser – aid its aerodynamic efficiency. At the front, Kia’s trademark ‘tiger-nose’ grille creates an imposing greeting, fixed between the sleek LED headlamps.
On the inside, the seats are wrapped in Nappa leather and the driver’s seat has been designed with air-cell bladders in the seatback and bolsters for optimal support and comfort. The center console is split into two specific areas: the infotainment controls sit neatly below a large color touchscreen, while the climate and ventilation controls are placed beneath.
A leather-wrapped steering wheel sits ahead of a single instrument binnacle with a combination of analog and digital instrumentation. A color TFT screen between the gauges relays performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times and engine-oil temperature, along with ancillary information such as the trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics. Aeronautically-inspired spoked circular vents are found front and rear and a satin chrome trim piece encircles the cabin.
At 2905mm, the Stinger’s wheelbase is longer than the Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, BMW 4 Gran Coupe and even the Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz CLS. At 4831mm long and 1869mm wide, it’s also longer and wider than its competitors. Kia claim the Stinger will also carry full-size luggage or golf bags if required to.
Tasked with the ride and handling of the Stinger was Albert Biermann, previously from BMW, who developed the Stinger in Korea honed it on the gruelling Nurburgring racing circuit. The Stinger rides on a chassis comprised of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel, providing a stiff foundation and also contributes to reduced NVH and a quieter cabin.
For the first time, Kia will offer an electronically adjustable suspension setup. Depending on the driver’s requirements, the Stinger can be tuned to respond with more agility through corners as the system softens the front shocks and firms up the rear. Conversely, improved high-speed stability is achieved when the system stiffens the front shocks and softens the rear, five drive modes are on offer - Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.
Steering is augmented by a variable ratio electric-assisted power steering, adjustable via the drive mode selector
Kia will offer a choice of two turbocharged engines - a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine which produces an estimated 255hp at approximately 6,200 rpm while max torque of 365Nm is available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm.
A larger, performance oriented 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, also offered on Hyundai Genesis, anticipated to produce 365 horsepower at an estimated 6,000 rpm and offer max torque of 509Nm from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm. Kia targets a 5.1 seconds 0-100km/h time and a top speed of 268km/h with the twin turbocharged V6. A 2.2-litre diesel model (for Europe) is rumoured to be in the pipeline too.
The Stinger features a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission, designed in-house and features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain. Paddle shifters are supplied, and like the suspension and steering, five selectable modes also augment the shift patterns and throttle mapping.
The Stinger is Kia’s first sedan available with rear- or all-wheel drive. The AWD system is rear-wheel biased for optimal control and features a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system which monitors driver inputs and road conditions and applies power and braking force to the appropriate wheels to maintain course in adverse conditions. The rear-drive vehicles receive a mechanical limited slip differential to help evenly distribute power through the rear wheels.