Automotive

Kia punches forward with sporty, Nurburgring-tuned Stinger

Kia reveals the Stinger at NAIAS 2017
Kia reveals the Stinger at NAIAS 2017
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Kia reveals the Stinger at NAIAS 2017
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Kia reveals the Stinger at NAIAS 2017
The four-cylinder Stinger will ride on 225/45R-18 performance tires while the V6 will ride on ultra-high performance tires - 225/40R-19 front, 255/35R-19 rear
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The four-cylinder Stinger will ride on 225/45R-18 performance tires while the V6 will ride on ultra-high performance tires - 225/40R-19 front, 255/35R-19 rear
Kia reveals the Stinger at NAIAS 2017
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Kia reveals the Stinger at NAIAS 2017
Kia will offer both RWD and AWD Stinger options
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Kia will offer both RWD and AWD Stinger options
Kia reveals the Stinger at NAIAS 2017
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Kia reveals the Stinger at NAIAS 2017
The Stinger will be powered by 2.0-liter turbo four and 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 options
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The Stinger will be powered by 2.0-liter turbo four and 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 options
Kia accentuates the Stinger's sporty, rear-driven nature with strong haunches
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Kia accentuates the Stinger's sporty, rear-driven nature with strong haunches
Kia is still developing the Stinger's four- and six-cylinder engines but expects them to offer 255 hp and 365 hp, respectively
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Kia is still developing the Stinger's four- and six-cylinder engines but expects them to offer 255 hp and 365 hp, respectively
The Stinger has an integrated rear diffuser and quad-tip exhaust
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The Stinger has an integrated rear diffuser and quad-tip exhaust
Kia's adjustable damping system lets drivers select from five modes
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Kia's adjustable damping system lets drivers select from five modes
Kia believes the V6-powered Stinger will offer 0-62 mph acceleration of 5.1 seconds
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Kia believes the V6-powered Stinger will offer 0-62 mph acceleration of 5.1 seconds
Inside the all-new Kia Stinger
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Inside the all-new Kia Stinger
The Stinger is Kia's idea of a sporty, fastback grand tourer
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The Stinger is Kia's idea of a sporty, fastback grand tourer
Kia Stinger, NAIAS 2017
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Kia Stinger, NAIAS 2017
Inside the all-new Kia Stinger
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Inside the all-new Kia Stinger
The Stinger's front-end shows its evolutionary roots back to the 2011 GT concept
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The Stinger's front-end shows its evolutionary roots back to the 2011 GT concept
Kia Stinger, NAIAS 2017
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Kia Stinger, NAIAS 2017
Kia Stinger, NAIAS 2017
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Kia Stinger, NAIAS 2017
The Kia Stinger has long, set-back proportions
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The Kia Stinger has long, set-back proportions
Kia Stinger, NAIAS 2017
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Kia Stinger, NAIAS 2017
The Stinger measures 190.2 in long by 73.6 in wide
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The Stinger measures 190.2 in long by 73.6 in wide
Kia Stinger
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Kia Stinger
Kia Stinger
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Kia Stinger
Kia Stinger
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Kia Stinger
The Stinger's five drive modes adjust suspension, steering and transmission settings for different styles of ride
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The Stinger's five drive modes adjust suspension, steering and transmission settings for different styles of ride
The Stinger has an UVO infotainment system, head-up display and leather-wrapped steering wheel
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The Stinger has an UVO infotainment system, head-up display and leather-wrapped steering wheel
Under the Stinger's long hood
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Under the Stinger's long hood
The Stinger took a long, purposeful five-year trip from concept to production car, including testing and tuning on Germany's famed Nürburgring track
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The Stinger took a long, purposeful five-year trip from concept to production car, including testing and tuning on Germany's famed Nürburgring track
Kia opens the new year with its highest-performance car ever
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Kia opens the new year with its highest-performance car ever
Kia Stinger
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Kia Stinger
The side air gills are one of the sporty touches of the Stinger design
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The side air gills are one of the sporty touches of the Stinger design
The Kia Stinger will hit the market in late 2017
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The Kia Stinger will hit the market in late 2017
Inside the all-new Kia Stinger
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Inside the all-new Kia Stinger

Kia is upping its grand tourer stock at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in a big way. The all-new 2018 Stinger will hit the market later this year as the highest-performance car in the brand's history, a sharply styled, potent sports sedan that aims to take on the Europeans. Designed in Europe, the five-seater has been tuned and refined on the Nürburgring for the ultimate in spirited everyday driving.

While Kia used the Stinger name for the 2014 GT4 Stinger concept, also revealed in Detroit, the production Stinger is more closely related to the 2011 GT concept, which was also a four-door sports sedan. The 2018 Stinger was born in Kia's Frankfurt design studio, just like the GT concept, and did testing and tuning on the Nürburgring before jumping the Atlantic and debuting this week in Detroit.

"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," the company explains in introducing the Stinger. "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."

With the Stinger, Kia attempts to fully encapsulate the term "gran turismo," combining bold, sporty looks, a lively, nimble ride, and plenty of space and comfort for a cabin of five people plus luggage. It starts with an aggressive face that lets the model's intentions be known. The pointed, determined gaze of the headlamps has been directly influenced by, though heavily revised from, the 2011 GT, and that concept's intake slashes have evolved into a more purposeful, well-sculpted air curtain design. The strong iteration of the tiger nose grille and the hood vents help to complete an aggressive but smooth first impression.

Moving back from the face, the Stinger has long, clean proportions, with the visual weight of the design pushed rearward of the central axis. The long hood flows seamlessly into the belt line supporting the gently dropping fastback cabin. Contrast gills just behind the front wheels add some sporty aggression to the two-doored flanks, and a combination of rear lip spoiler, slash air outlets and quad exhaust tips ensures a strong finish at the rear.

"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," says 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."

The Kia Stinger has long, set-back proportions
The Kia Stinger has long, set-back proportions

Kia also notes this particular GT is all about "elegance and athleticism," not "boy-racer aggression," and we think that shines through. It's a sleek, sporty sedan, but not one that makes you terrified of slipping into the rear seat. The car measures 190.2 in (4,882 mm) long by 73.6 in (1,869 mm) wide, and Kia has stretched the wheelbase out to 114.4 inches (2,906 mm). That wheelbase figure, Kia takes care to note, is longer than the Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Lexus GS and others. Kia promises generous front and rear legroom and says that a low seating position ensures that neither the driver nor the passengers will be testing the give of the roof with their heads.

The Stinger interior keeps the emphasis on driving with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, analog/digital-split instrument cluster and head-up display (HUD). Along with usual suspects like trip computer and diagnostics, the color TFT screen between the gauges relays information like cornering G-forces and lap times. The height-adjustable color HUD puts information like speed, turn-by-turn navigation, audio and cruise control settings, and blind spot detection on the windshield directly in the driver's vision.

Infotainment duties are handled by a UVO system with 7-in haptic touchscreen and a nine- or six-speaker audio system, depending on trim level. Buyers who want more audio power can upgrade to an available 720-watt, 15-speaker Harman Kardon premium system with under-seat subwoofers and QuantumLogic surround sound technology. There's also a wireless smartphone-charging console pad, available Nappa leather, and an available driver's seat with air cell bladders and bolsters.

The Stinger has an UVO infotainment system, head-up display and leather-wrapped steering wheel
The Stinger has an UVO infotainment system, head-up display and leather-wrapped steering wheel

To power the spectrum between Nürburgring laps and family holiday road trips, the Stinger will come with choice of two turbo engines, both of which are still under development. The range-topping Lambda II 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 will put out an estimated 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Kia is aiming for a 5.1-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) and 167 mph (269 km/h) top speed with that V6, while it expects the 2.0-liter turbo four Theta II to offer 255 hp and 260 lb-ft.

Whichever engine the buyer chooses, it'll be mounted longitudinally and set rearward below the stretched hood. It'll drive the wheels with help from a second-generation eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, which will be Kia's first gearbox to use a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber to cut torsional vibrations through the drivetrain.

Under the Stinger's long hood
Under the Stinger's long hood

Kia will offer the Stinger in both rear- and all-wheel drive varieties. The AWD model will feature a rear bias and a dynamic torque vectoring control system, while the RWD model will employ a mechanical limited-slip differential.

The Stinger chassis begins as a rigid construction of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel, delivering cushion and feel through a MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension layout. A Kia-first dynamic stability damping control system lets the driver tweak the suspension to his or her current needs and whims using five settings. The system will soften the front shocks and stiffen the rear for sharp, quick cornering, or reverse those settings for high-speed stability. The five selectable driving modes (personal, eco, sport, comfort and smart) adjust not only the suspension, but also the boost of the rack-mounted, motor-driven power steering (R-MDPS), transmission shift patterns and throttle mapping.

A proper "long-distance driving car" in 2017 should certainly help the driver keep alert and stay one step ahead with the latest assistive safety technologies, and the Kia Stinger brings a suite that includes advanced smart cruise control, forward collision assistance with autonomous emergency braking, driver attention alert, lane keep assist and rear cross traffic alert.

The Stinger will go on sale in North America in late 2017, and Kia will announce pricing closer to launch. For now, the model will serve as one of the highlights of the North American International Auto Show, which got underway this week.

Source: Kia

1 comment
KaiserPingo
Looking at the rear, some designer clearly came directly from SEAT. But KIA is trying to make cars that are more interesting than the average VW/Toyota, and thats good ! But the touchscreen display in the center console looks as it they initialy forgot that they had to put it somewhere...