Kia Motors has revealed the European specification of the Kia Stinger, a powerful new fastback sports sedan, following its global premiere at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit on 9 January.
The new Kia Stinger closely follows the design and engineering blueprint laid down by the 2011 Kia GT Concept, and will be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history.
The Stinger channels the spirit of historic grand tourers – powerful, elegant vehicles capable of moving their owners in style, at speed. At every stage of development, the Stinger has been designed and engineered to be the perfect gran turismo. The car features a head-turning aesthetic, ample room to accommodate five occupants and their luggage, a stable, unruffled ride, and nimble handling with engaging, rear-biased power delivery.
In its transition from concept to production, Kia’s GT Concept was renamed ‘Stinger’, inspired by the GT4 Stinger concept revealed at NAIAS 2014. While the car is a true GT in nature, the Stinger name evokes speed and excitement, two key characteristics found in the production car.
In Europe, the Stinger will be available with a choice of three engines: a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, a powerful 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6, and – announced for the first time – a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine.
The Stinger is the result of years of impassioned design and development work at Kia. Six years after the company revealed its powerful statement of intent in the GT Concept, the Stinger will enter production and go on sale in Europe during the fourth quarter of 2017.
Turning a concept into a production car is no small feat. Kia’s European design studio in Frankfurt – birthplace of the 2011 GT concept – has brought the Stinger to life, overseen by Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors, and Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Kia Motors Europe.
Guillaume comments, “The Kia Stinger is a true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving. It’s not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace. The Kia 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 frontal section, through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence. Key to its road presence are its rear-wheel drive proportions – a long bonnet and short 830 mm front overhang, an extended wheelbase (2,905 mm) to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang (1,095 mm) with strong, broad shoulders. The Stinger’s stance, proportion and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than aggression and brutality. The Stinger measures 4,830 mm in length and 1,870 mm in width, making it longer and wider than many sport sedans, and allowing for a spacious cabin and cargo area.
The ‘Coke bottle’ shape of the car’s flanks highlight and enhance the visual power of the Stinger’s shoulder line, as well as its fastback silhouette. Other purely functional elements of the exterior design – the front air curtains, wheel arch gills, smooth underbody, and integrated rear diffuser – aid its aerodynamic efficiency. The rear valance houses four oval exhaust pipes. Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille sits proudly between complex LED headlamps.
External gran turismo visual cues are complemented by the layout and atmosphere of the low-slung cabin, with a steeply-raked windscreen and high dashboard running along a horizontal plane. The dashboard’s centre console is split into two specific areas: the infotainment controls sit neatly below a large colour touchscreen, while the climate and ventilation controls sit beneath. In front of the driver is a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a single instrument binnacle with a combination of analogue and digital instrumentation. The large gauges are ringed in metal and accentuated with sweeping red needles. A colour TFT screen between the gauges relays performance data – such as cornering G-forces and lap times – along with ancillary information, including trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics.
Aeronautically-inspired spoked circular vents feature in the front and rear, while a strip of satin chrome encircles the cabin. The effect is a feeling of cocooned intimacy. However, the long wheelbase, four-door body, and fastback silhouette allow for generous front and rear leg room, and the low seating position provides ample head room for all passengers. Cossetting occupants in luxury, the Stinger’s deeply-contoured seats are available with ultra-soft Nappa leather, while the driver’s seat is available with air-cell bladders in the seatback and side bolsters for optimal support.
Under the long bonnet of the Kia Stinger is a choice of three longitudinally-mounted turbocharged engines, each in the final stages of tuning before entering production later in 2017. With turbochargers equipped across the engine line-up, the Stinger offers drivers effortless gran turismo-style high-speed cruising and instant acceleration when called upon by the driver, with all three engines providing high power and torque across a wide band of engine speeds.
Announced for the first time today, the engine anticipated to account for the majority of Stinger sales across Europe is a 2.2-litre turbodiesel. The 2.2-litre engine is capable of producing 200 ps at 3,800 rpm. Its maximum torque output – 440 Nm – is available to drivers across a wide 1,750-2,750 rpm range, enabling the car to accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in 8.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 225 kph.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder ‘Theta’ engine produces 255 ps at 6,200 rpm. Its maximum torque output – 353 Nm – is available from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm. The Stinger’s most powerful engine is a 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 ‘Lambda II’ petrol engine, with peak power of 370 ps arriving at 6,000 rpm, and 510 Nm torque accessible from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm. Stinger models powered by the 3.3-litre turbocharged engine can accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in just 5.1 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating production Kia ever. With this engine, Kia is targeting a top speed of 270 kph.
The Kia Stinger will enter production in the second half of 2017, and will go on sale across Europe during the fourth quarter of the year. Pricing will be announced closer to the Stinger’s on-sale date.