People truly passionate about their work constantly strive for something beyond the ordinary. Their zeal and dedication drive them to seek out their masterpiece and create a legacy that has the power to shape their image and set the course of their future. The people of Kia have this kind of unrelenting passion, and it is why they continue to grow, change, and rake in the awards. Even with all of their accolades, and ever-widening customer base, they are always searching for something more to keep their fans on the edge of their seats…and the competition guessing. Today, Kia has proven they are anything but ordinary.
Unveiled this evening, the Kia Stinger was thrust upon the world and slid unyieldingly into the spotlight…right where it belongs. It is an enormous stride for Kia, and a symbol of their never-ending desire to create. As a company that has focused its fast paced success upon functional cars that meet the daily needs of their loyal customer base, this was a whole new concept; a gran turismo that would kick the door open to a new kind of Kia. This five-passenger fastback sports sedan will be the highest-performance production vehicle in Kia’s history, but it is also going to change the segment dominated by European automakers.
The term “gran turismo” is an Italian phrase mean “grand touring”, and this concept was first seen in the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. When Kia decided to introduce their own GT concept, it only made sense that the Kia Frankfurt studio be the place to conceive this company changing addition. Gregory Guillaume, chief designer of Kia Motors Europe said, “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.” This passion led them to approach the design from a different angle with a brawny, handsome style that supersedes other GT creations often recognized by their ropy, almost toy-like bodies.
The Stinger has a stretched hood and short overhang that gives it a look of prowess as if it is sitting on its haunches waiting to pounce. Kia’s signature tiger nose decorates the wide front track that matches the rear and amps up its strong shape. The lines of the car are fast sweeping, and its functional elements such as the front air curtains, wheel arch gills, smooth underbody and integrated rear diffuser make it smooth enough to deftly slice through the air.
Sliding into the car, it greets its occupants with seats made to hug your body, and a driver’s seat that has aircell bladders to make for cloudlike support. The wheelbase is longer and wider than others in its segment which provides plenty of legroom and a spacious cargo area. The low seating also gives its passengers plenty of headroom. The infotainment center, color TFT screen for car to driver communication, and a combination of analog and digital instrumentation are all designed to meet a driver’s demands. Bold features flank the interior with satin chrome trim and aeronautic accents to create a space not just an interior.
When it came to handling, the Stinger was put to the test on the Nurburgring racing circuit lead by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development. High strength steel makes up 55 percent of the chassis giving a sturdy ride that impedes NVH to make an interior quiet enough for a sleeping baby. The Dynamic Stability Damping Control is a Kia first that allows the driver to electronically adjust the suspension. It is initiated through the five different drive modes – Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort, and Smart. This allows for driver preferred handling based upon the input of road condition and driving style. Steering boost can also be adjusted in the driving modes, and with the electric motor directly mounted on the steering rack, the handling is sharp and more immediate without the interference of vibrations that comes with travel through the column.
Although still in development, the Stinger offers two different engines. There is the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine which has an estimated 255 horsepower at about 6,200 rpm and a max torque of 260 lb.-ft available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm. Then, there is the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine with estimated 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and a max torque of 376 lb.-ft. From 1,300 – 4,500 rpm. Kia is projecting a cool 5.1 seconds to 62 mph with a top speed of 167 mph in the V6.
A second generation eight-speed rear drive automatic transmission with a gearbox designed in house allows for optimal shifting and ultimate fuel efficiency. Drivers can let the gearbox do all the work or they can selectively move through the gears by way of the paddle shifters mounted near the steering wheel with five different shift patterns accessed through the electronic drive mode system. The Stinger also has the option of rear or all wheel drive with the AWD providing a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system that will apply power and braking to corresponding wheels based upon driver input and changing road conditions.
Staying true to their roots, Kia made safety a top priority. They are featuring the new Driver Attention Alert which sounds a warning chime and displays a graphic when it senses that the driver’s attention has been compromised from drowsiness or other factors. You will also find the optional Forward Collision Assistance, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The Stinger has the latest infotainment system with driving information reflected on the windshield, a smartphone charging pad in the console, and hands-free Bluetooth® as well as access to many of the car subsystems right on the steering-wheel.
It comes standard with six speakers in the 2.0-liter with a seven-inch touchscreen that has an updated UVO. In the 3.3-liter twin turbo you will get an upgrade to nine speakers and an external amplifier. Harman/Kardon® provides the premium choice audio system with 720 watts that filters out interference and disturbances from the compressed digital source and creates a flawless original sound with its Clari-Fi™ and QuantumLogic™ technology.
The Stinger will be available for purchase in late 2017 with pricing announced near its launch date. If you haven’t been paying attention to Kia, you will be now.
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