The range-topping Kia Stinger GT is squarely aimed at Audi S4 and the entry-level performance sedans from other luxury brands
The Kia Stinger certainly turned out to be one of the highlights of the Detroit Auto Show when it made its debut at the beginning of the year and it looks to bring the South Korean subsidiary of Hyundai into the world of performance cars. With plenty of praise from media it went on sale in the international markets with much anticipation.
Sitting on top of the line, the GT version is a RWD sports sedan deriving power from a 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo motor and it fancies the segment share of Audi S4. The brand will enter India by late 2019 but the highly-promising Stinger won’t be part of its lineup as it is reportedly considered to be too expensive by being a CBU import.
Its price could be quoted at around Rs. 70 lakh which is not viable for the company’s aspiration of targeting volume-based customers. However, as Kia gets more recognised we do hope to see this 3-Series rival in our market in the near future.
Kia Motor brought in Albert Biermann from BMW M performance division more than two years ago and under his watchful eyes the Stinger was developed at the Holy Grail that is Nurburgring.
Kia looked up to the BMW 440i for making the Stinger and it closely resembles the GT concept showcased back in 2011. The performance V6 engine kicks out 360 bhp and 310 Nm of peak torque in the GT range-topper (11 bhp and 7 lb ft more than the S4). Styled at Kia’s European design studio, it has eyes set on the sporty tuned versions of the entry-level luxury sedans from the German trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. However, it won’t be troubling the likes of AMG C63 or the popular M3.
The regular model sends power to the rear axle through an eight-speed automatic gearbox while it can be had with the option of an AWD system. It can accelerate from standstill to 100 kmph in just 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 167 mph. A toned-down Stinger will feature a 2.0-litre four-cylinder 255 hp mill with sporty handling, standard RWD and lowered price tag, expected at $32,795 (Rs. 21.48 lakh), to appeal for more customers.
The 2018 Kia Stinger measures 4,831 mm in length, 1,869 mm in width, 1,400 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,906 mm. This means, the Stinger is nearly 200 mm longer, 58 mm wider and has 96 mm longer wheelbase while sitting 41 mm lower than the current 3-Series.
Built around the tuned Genesis Chassis, the Stinger gets 55 percent lightweight high-strength steel which helps in greater rigidity and reduced NVH. The suspension duty is done by front MacPherson struts and a multi link rear. It is adjustable with adaptive damping and is tuned to deliver agile and sporty handling.
For the first time, Kia also offers five driving modes besides a variable-ratio electric steering. In the GT, Brembo brakes with four-piston calipers at the front and two-piston calipers at the rear are responsible for stopping power.
The base Stinger gets eight-speed automatic transmission, 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, dual-zone climate control and leather seat upholstery. Paying $2,200 extra, customers can opt for all-wheel drive while an 8-inch infotainment system, a 7-inch display in the instrument cluster, a sunroof and LED headlamps are added when they shell out 3,000 bucks in addition.
The range-toppin Stinger GT is sold in three trims ranging between $39,895 (Rs. 25.74 lakh) and $50,395 (Rs. 32.51 lakh) for the GT2. The latter comes equipped with limited-slip differential, automatic headlights, adaptive cruise control and a power-opening trunk, head-up display, automated emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
Kia Stinger GT Image Gallery: