- Powerful all-new fastback sport sedan catapults Kia
- Kia follows through on promise of GT concept
- Designed in Frankfurt, developed on the Nürburgring
LOS ANGELES, California – Seems like America has finally caught on to products from Korea – or at least taken a deep new interest – with the arrival there of the 2018 Kia Stinger that Carman’s Corner told you about back in January 2017.
“Ushering in a new dynamic era for Kia Motors,” the automaker said in Los Angeles, “the all-new 2018 Stinger is the culmination of a year-long journey fuelled by our bold and adventurous spirit.”
It’s certainly a good-looker and no slouch when it comes to performance: the Stinger GT is said to accelerate to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds. And that, Kia gloats, is quicker than a Porsche Panamera.
The new Kia is described as “a five-passenger sportback” and its maker believes the car to be poised to redefine a segment currently populated by European automakers. “The Stinger,” the automaker says, “promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia’s industry leading quality and reliability.”
The car will be available in the US (South Africa is “considering it”) with several engine and drive train configurations but “luxurious accommodations”. It will go on sale in the US in time for Christmas 2017. Prices are yet to be announced.
See it as a direct competitor for Nissan’s smaller 370Z sports coupe.
Orth Hedrick, Kia America’s vice-president for product planning, told Carman’s Corner in a media communication: “Unlike any Kia that has come before, the Stinger really is a dream car for us.
INSTANTLY RECOGNISABLE AS THE CONCEPT
“After years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world that dream is now a reality.
“From its GT concept-car origins through the years of tuning and refining on the Nürburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over. The result is simply stunning.”
The car is instantly recognisable as a direct evolution of the concept that preceded it, a design overseen by the now almost legendary Kia Motors’ chief design officer Peter Schreyer and done by his team of designers in Frankfurt, Germany.
ANSWER TO A BIG QUESTION
Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in Korea, and on the gruelling Nürburgring race circuit.
One of the foremost questions of the car’s development, Kia asked itself was: “What makes a true gran turismo? The question was the foundation for a years-long journey that began when the GT concept was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show.
“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 transport rooted in value.
“But the GT changed the embers of passion into a fire within the organisation and over the next five years that fire would grow beyond fantasy and morph into reality.”
ROOM FOR LUGGAGE
Once the Stinger was green lighted, that gran turismo question became a mantra as development commenced. Coming from Kia, the design had to be bold. And it was.
However it also had to be nimble and fast while also luxurious and quiet. It had to achieve the perfect balance of ride and handling and seat five comfortably with room for luggage. It had to be a lot of things, but most of all, it had to be an authentic gran turismo.
And it is.