Kia Motor’s new flagship, the Stinger GT, was the cynosure of all eyes at the ongoing North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Before you ask why, just feast your eyes on it.
2018 Kia Stinger GT Design
Previewed by the sexy Kia GT concept from 2011, the Stinger GT is a five-seat fastback sports saloon. Its design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ Chief Design Officer – a man who has iconic designs like the Audi TT to his name.
Even though the visuals have been slightly watered down from that of the GT Concept, there’s no denying the fact that the new Stinger is a looker. Key to its visual appeal are the classic rear-wheel-drive proportions; a long bonnet and short front overhang, an extended wheelbase, and a long rear overhang with strong shoulders.
In profile, accentuating the proportions are the recessed contours along the doors and the fastback silhouette. Then there are the lovely details like Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille that sits proudly between LED headlamps, the front air curtains, wheel arch gills, the integrated rear diffuser and the four oval exhaust pipes.
2018 Kia Stinger GT Interior
The low-slung cabin features a dashboard with aeronautically-inspired ‘spoked’ circular vents, an infotainment system with a large color touch screen, climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a combination of analogue and digital instrumentation with a color TFT screen between the gauges, along with ultra-soft Nappa leather seats with the driver’s seat available with air-cell bladders in the seatback and bolsters.
At 114.4 inches, 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 CLS. It’s also longer overall (190.2 inches) and wider (73.6 inches) than the others in the segment, promising spacious accommodation for five people. As for their luggage, the Stinger’s boot area is said to be larger than many in its class, with enough space for full-size luggage or golf bags. A power tailgate with smart functionality is available.
2018 Kia Stinger GT Chassis
The Stinger’s chassis is comprised of 55 per cent advanced high-strength steel, while it is suspended by MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension systems. The Stinger also features a first for Kia – an electronically adjustable suspension known as Dynamic Stability Damping Control. The system is accessed through five drive modes (another Kia first): Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.
The Kia Stinger is steered via a variable ratio Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS). Steering boost is also adjustable through the five selectable drive modes.
2018 Kia Stinger GT Power-trains
Oriented longitudinally and set rearward beneath the long bonnet, a choice of two turbocharged engines are available, initially.
Both engines are still under final development but the standard 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine produces an estimated 255 horsepower at approximately 6,200 rpm. Max torque of 260 lb.-ft. is available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm.
The Stinger GT comes with the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which is anticipated to produce 365 horsepower at an estimated 6,000 rpm and offer max torque of 376 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm. Kia is targeting 5.1 seconds to 62 mph and a top speed of 167 mph with the twin turbocharged V6.
The Stinger features a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission with steering column mounted shift paddles. The transmission features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter that is said to reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain.
As with the suspension and steering, up to five different shift patterns may be selected through the vehicle’s electronic drive-mode system. Throttle mapping is also adjusted accordingly.
The Stinger is Kia’s first saloon car available with rear- or all-wheel drive – depending on market. The AWD system features a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system, while rear-drive vehicles get the benefit of a mechanical limited slip differential.
A choice of alloy wheels and tyres are also offered. The 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder models ride on 225/45R-18 performance tyres while the 3.3-litre V6 is shod with staggered ultra-high performance rubber; 225/40R-19 in front and 255/35R-19 at the rear. Vented Brembo disc brakes are standard on the 3.3-litre twin turbo and feature quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers.
2018 Kia Stinger GT Safety
The new Kia Stinger GT offers multiple Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). They include the new Driver Attention Alert (DAA), Forward Collision Assistance (FCA)3 with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), and rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
Other technological highlights of the Kia Stinger include a height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD) display, and a 720 watt strong, 15-speaker premium Harman/Kardon audio system (Stinger GT only).
Eventually to be offered with multiple engine and drivetrain configurations, the Stinger will arrive in markets around the world later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.