South Korean brand Kia looks to be really stepping things up with its intent to put the European car market’s nose out of joint. Recently it revealed the positively punchy looking Picanto, and now its unveiled the all-new Stinger, a car designed to take the right to cars such as the Audi A5 and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. It’s based on the GT Concept revealed at the Geneva Motor Show back in 2011 and if you ask me, it looks pretty good…
What is it?
Pretty fast, to put it simply. In fact, the Stinger is the fastest production car Kia has made to date. More specifically though, this is a four-door sports saloon which is looking to steal the thunder of Europe’s best selling models from brands such as Audi, Mercedes and BMW. The all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia should be looking over its shoulder as well come to think of it. Speaking of the Giulia, don’t you think the rear of the Stinger looks similar to the Italian model? Not necessarily a bad thing of course, but I thought it was worth noting.
The Stinger looks good though; it looks promising and full of intent and I’m sure that’s what Kia was trying to achieve with this new model. There will be two variants with two different powertrains – the Stinger and the Stinger GT. The Stinger comes fitted with a 2.0 litre petrol unit which offers a respectable 255bhp, whereas the Stinger GT is able to boast 365bhp from its 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6. 365bhp?! in a Kia?! Both engines are mated to a 8-speed automatic gearbox with power fed to the rear, but there will be other engine and drivetrain options coming further down the line.
Brawn and Brain
As you can imagine, the results are rather impressive – 0-62 comes in just 5.1 seconds and the top speed is 167mph – more than a standard BMW M4 can manage. Speaking of BMW, the chassis has been developed with the help of ex-BMW Vice President of Engineering Albert Biermann. He has helped to develop BMW’s M cars, so if it’s good enough for BMW, you can imagine Kia is on to a winner with the new Stinger.
The chassis has been set up to live up to the ‘gran turismo’ mantra of the new Stinger; this means it will be soothing companion for those long distance journeys, but when the mood takes you it can transform in to a B-road blaster. In fact the new Stinger has been developed with the help of the Green Hell that is the Nurburgring, which is bound to please James May…
Going back to the idea of comfort though, the new Stinger features the longest wheelbase in its segment, meaning there should be plenty of room for those in the front and the rear, plus you can expect a decent sized boot. Step inside and you’ll be greeted with leather seats, a colour TFT screen which displays information such as lap times and cornering G-forces, you know, the important things. Five driving modes will also be on offer in the new Stinger, which a first for a Kia saloon; these include Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.
The price has not be confirmed as of yet, but it’s predicted it will be about £38,000, which would undercut its German rivals and give consumers a bit of thinking to do.
What do you think of the new model? Real contender or false pretender? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s the former.