Yesterday, 01:50 PM
2018 Kia Stinger: A RWD Sports Sedan Aimed at stealing BMW customers
~ 365 horsepower and rear-wheel drive.
“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,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “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.”
Instantly recognizable as a direct evolution of the concept that preceded it, the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his talented team of designers in Frankfurt. Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in Korea and on the grueling Nurburgring racing circuit.
"Peter Schreyer (born 1953) is a German automobile designer for Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, widely known for his design contributions to the Audi TT. He has been the chief design officer at Kia Motors since 2006 and on 28 December 2012, was named one of three presidents of the company. He is currently the chief designer at Hyundai-Kia and works with Luc Donckerwolke, former design director of Volkswagen Group - Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi from 2016. In 2006, Car Design News called the Audi TT one of "the most influential automotive design in recent time."
But what makes a true gran turismo? This question was the foundation for a years-long journey that began when the GT concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Although every Kia design study has a purpose, the GT concept was something considered by many outside the company as little more than a dream for a brand known for producing mass-market transportation rooted in value. But the GT ignited embers of passion that sparked a fire within the organization and over the next five years that fire would grow beyond fantasy and morph into reality.
Once the Stinger was green lighted, that gran turismo question became a mantra as development commenced. Coming from Kia, the design had to be bold. And it was. But it also had to be nimble and fast while also luxurious and quiet. It had to achieve the perfect balance of ride and handling and seat five comfortably with room for luggage. It had to be a lot of things, but most of all, it had to be an authentic gran turismo. And it is.
The twin-turbocharged V-6 is Hyundai’s direct-injected aluminum Lambda II unit and is basically the same engine found in the Genesis G90, generating its peak 365 ponies at 6000 rpm and accompanying that with 376 lb-ft of torque that’s available from 1300 rpm. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is effectively a longitudinal version of the unit Hyundai and Kia use in their front-wheel-drive-based vehicles, but it’s also related to the engine fitted in the first-gen Hyundai Genesis coupe. The peak of 255 horsepower arrives at 6200 rpm, with 260 lb-ft of torque spread across a plateau from 1400 to 4000 rpm. The only transmission is a development of the K900’s automatic and uses a tuned-mass damper on the flywheel to help reduce torsional vibration through the drivetrain. The optional all-wheel-drive system features torque vectoring, while the rear-drive version has a standard limited-slip differential.
We can’t say that we weren’t forewarned. Kia has been dropping broad hints about its plan to produce a rear-wheel-drive sedan for years. The original GT concept was shown at the Frankfurt auto show as long ago as 2011, with the Stinger GT4 building on it at the 2014 Detroit show. Now the wait is finally over as the company has unveiled the production version of its forthcoming sports sedan, which adopts the Stinger name.
Don’t confuse it with the K900. The Stinger is a much sleeker and sportier proposition than its staid big sister, and it has a low, coupelike roofline. Power will come from two engines, with the range-topping 365-hp turbo 3.3-liter V-6 making that version the most powerful roadgoing Kia yet; a 255-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder will serve as the entry-level engine. The Stinger gets an eight-speed automatic transmission, with buyers able to choose between rear- and all-wheel drive. Kia says it is targeting a 5.1-second zero-to-62-mph time and a 167-mph top speed for the 3.3-liter. There also will be a diesel version for Europe, but there are no plans to bring it to the States.