Elegance and Athleticism
After delving into what the market has to offer for MY2018, it became clear to us on how refreshing of a change the all-new Kia Stinger's design is, nothing can match it's elegance and athleticism. All of this is thanks to a design philosophy based around a balanced and well proportioned body shaped with wind flow in mind. Character comes in with design cues specific to the Stinger such as notched cuts throughout the front end, a 'coke-bottle' shaped flank and those unique LED headlights that are impossible to miss. Kia set out from the beginning to offer us an iconic and affordable Gran Turismo, that's exactly what they achieved and we couldn't be happier.
Turning a concept into a production car is no small task and Schreyer looked no further than Kia’s Frankfurt studio – the birthplace of the GT concept – to bring the Stinger to life. “A true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving, is not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace,” notes Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Motors Europe. “The 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 front clip through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence. Key to its road presence are the rear-wheel-drive proportions; a long hood and short front overhang, an extended wheelbase to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang with strong shoulders. The Stinger’s stance and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than boy-racer aggression.
More Interior Volume Than Rivals
Cargo space is plenty thanks to its longer wheelbase and space efficient design. At 23.3 cu.-ft of cargo space the Stinger can haul anything reasonable we throw at it, more than some utility vehicles sold today. Opening the rear hatch exposes a wide enough loading area hidden under its sedan guise, but the BMW 4-Series GranCoupe has it beat and could very well be a deal breaker. Once inside, 60/40 split-folding rear seats that fold flat almost double loading capacity. Even with some slight cargo space sacrifices here compared to the competition, the Stinger makes up for it in the points discussed throughout this article.
Setting the manufacturing hard-points of the body-in-white would define Stinger and the engineers looked carefully across a landscape dotted with contenders. At 114.4 inches, the Stinger’s wheelbase is longer than the Audi A5 Sportback, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, BMW 4 Gran Coupe and even the Lexus GS and Mercedes CLS1. It’s also longer overall (190.2 inches) and wider (73.6 inches) than others in the segment. With a generous 23.3 cu.-ft. of cargo space, the Stinger’s cargo area is also larger than many in its class, with enough space for full-size luggage or golf bags and a power liftgate with Smart Trunk functionality is available. The spacious accommodations provide more interior volume than its competitors, including the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and 4 Series Gran Coupe, the Audi A5 Sportback, the Lexus GS and the Mercedes-Benz CLS.
A Balance of Handling and Ride Comfort
Putting the Stinger through its paces, immediately the level of balanced and controlled handling built in starts to shine. At the forefront of this is a chassis made from 55% advanced high-strength, an approach similar to what Porsche already does. Opt for the Stinger GT (AWD) to get Brembo Brakes, generous grip from a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires and adjustable dampers. Of the many improvements, those features when worked through Comfort, Sport, Smart Eco or Custom modes show you what the Stinger is really about. As you guessed this comes at a price, *$52,595 for the full gamut. Scale back to a base RWD GT at *$39,895. But just remember what you'll be missing out on
The base Stinger rides on a passive suspension tuned to offer a balance of handling and ride comfort, while the GT is equipped with Kia’s first continuously damping electronically controlled suspension system, called Dynamic Stability Damping Control. While always reacting predictably to the driver’s inputs, depending on road conditions and driving style, 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. The system is accessed by the driver through five modes (another Kia first): Custom, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.
Standard Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) offers razor-sharp feedback through direct mounting of the electric motor on the steering rack, enhancing steering response and reducing unwanted vibration from transmitting through the column. Variable ratio steering is standard on the GT and provides different ratios depending on steering angle, resulting in slower off-center steering and providing improved high speed stability.
Better Power & Performance
Above there was an emphasis on the GT's 3.3 twin-turbo V6 Lamba II engine and for good reason. 365 hp and 376 lb. ft of torque propel you off the line to 60mph in 4.6 seconds, its nothing short of fun that will leave rivals like the BMW 440i, Infiniti Q50, Audi S5 and Porsche Panamera at bay. Of the 5 modes, Custom is what you want if fine tuning the suspension, throttle and steering matters to you. It's this very same mode that will help you justify spending around $50,000. Still, there's no problem opting for the smaller 2.0 Theta II. It's firm, balanced, not nearly as aggressive, fun during daily commutes and won't break the bank.
The 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine produces 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm with 260 lb.-ft. of maximum torque available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm, propelling the Stinger from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. Performance credentials are further enhanced through the available 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which produces 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and offers 376 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm. With more power on tap than the Audi S5 Sportback, BMW 440i Gran Coupe, and Infiniti Q50, the Stinger is positioned to be a worthy challenger to the competition. As such, the Stinger GT accelerates to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, quicker than the six-cylinder Porsche Panamera. Pushing the twin turbocharged V6 to its full potential will allow the Stinger GT to achieve a governed top speed of 167 mph.
Class-Leading Safety Tech
In an era where safety tech trickled down from self-driving vehicle programs are in almost every segment regardless of which car maker you're shopping with, Kia yet again ensures they remain relevant. Plus how good would the face of Kia performance be without features like Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA), Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW) and Head-Up Display (HUD). Best of all, much like your favorite performance cars worth well over $50,000, all of this tech is packaged in a clean and driver-focused design.
Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA)4 with pedestrian detection can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the car to a halt. Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G)4 maintains a pre-set distance between the Stinger and the vehicle in front and can bring the car to a full stop in congested traffic. Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)4 actively monitors the vehicle’s intended lane and will alert the driver with an audible warning along with providing steering input to help maintain the vehicle’s position. Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW)4 includes Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW)4 which scans the area behind the vehicle when backing from a parking space and will alert the driver with an audible warning if cross traffic is detected.
Connectivity, entertainment and vehicle information can be as important as a dynamic driving experience and the Stinger comes to market with the latest infotainment systems. The height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD)5 display enables the driver to see key driving information reflected on the windshield glass, including speed, turn-by-turn navigation, audio and cruise control settings and Blind Spot Detection information. Resting within the center console is a wireless Smartphone charging pad and Bluetooth®6 hands-free operation is standard while many of the vehicle’s subsystems may be accessed through the steering-wheel-mounted controls.
Reasons for any serious buyer deciding to get the Stinger will vary, let us know:
Why Would You Buy The Kia Stinger?