NAIAS 2017: Kia Unveils 2018 Stinger GT Sports Sedan

Deep in the heart of a largely abandoned…err…up-and-coming part of Detroit there lies a secret.  The Korean automaker Kia known for value, not performance vehicles, just dropped a Brembo-laden soju bomb on the Motor City.  The Stinger.  We were there live and got a chance to chat in-depth with Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, as well as Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development. Keep an eye out for our interviews with these chaps as we talk details of the Stinger sportback later today.

The standard 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder  produces an estimated 255 horsepower at 6,200 RPM with 260 lb.-ft.  of torque available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm.  The big news is the available 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 allegedly producing  365 HP at 6,000 RPM and  376 lb.-ft. of torque 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.  Not bad, but that’s about what a base Alfa Romeo Giulia is estimated to hit 60 with only 280 HP; its magazine racing at this point, but something to keep an eye on.

The looks are jaw dropping, and it’s not just because it’s a Kia.  Put any badge on the grill and you’d be impressed. But you can see head designer Peter Schreyer was previously designing cars at Audi because the Stinger looks distinctly like an Audi A7.  While available in AWD, we were obviously excited about the RWD option.  Rear-drive vehicles get the benefit of a mechanical limited slip differential to help evenly distribute power through the rear wheels, and lots of track testing in Europe (think Nurburgring).  And that’s on both engines (although the LSD comes standard on the GT and an option on the base model).  Ideally we’ll see some sideways Stingers soon.

Overall, we’re impressed with the new RWD Kia and look forward to seeing the Stinger in dealerships this fall.  Can’t wait to put our right foot down, and test the Stinger for ourselves.