Stinger GT to do miracles for KIA’s global image
Float like a butterfly and sting like bee – KIA has been determined to compete with the German Super-Trio for a long time now, and their latest offering, the Stinger GT might be the car to alter those perceptions. Power to Surprise? Confirmed.
The KIA Stinger GT has finally exited the manufacturer pipeline almost 6 years after the debut of its inspiration, the GT Concept. “The Stinger is a true Gran Turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving,” said Gregory Guillaume, chief designer at KIA Motors Europe. “It’s not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace. This car is all about the journey.”
The hot-saloon will be built on an adapted version of the Hyundai Genesis platform, with an all-new MacPherson strut suspension setup on the front axle and a revised version of the multi-link set-up at the rear. Translated into English, this means that you can expect it to handle the corners pretty neatly. As for physical dimensions, the Stinger weighs in at just over 1900kg and is bigger than the Audi S5 Sportback and the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe – its two biggest rivals.
Since we’re mentioning the BMW, it’s interesting to note that the development of the KIA Stinger GT was headed by Albert Biermann, former head of BMW’s M division. “The brief was to make it sporty,” he said, “but it still needed good long-distance comfort. It could not be a harsh car.”
It also appears as if the plethora of driving modes synonymous with BMW M-cars has trickled down into the KIA Stinger GT, with owners being allowed to choose between different driving modes to adapt to the road type and driving style. Each mode will adjust different factors such as steering, damping and throttle response, gearshift strategy and ESC intervention. The Stinger is also the first KIA to come fitted with adaptive dampers.
The Stinger will get its venom from a reworked version of KIA’s notorious 3.3-litre twin-turbo petrol V6, pushing 272kW and 510Nm of torque through the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox, clocking a 0-100km/h sprint in a brisk time of 5.1 seconds.
KIA is hoping to lure buyers of premium British and German cars into its showrooms, and everybody within the company understands that this will be a challenging task. KIA Stinger GT is the first of many cars aimed at achieving this goal. As Gregory Guillaume said: “We believe the Stinger is going to fundamentally change the global image of KIA.”