What started out as concept cars (namely the GT and GT4 Stinger) is now officially a full-fledged production car. Originally Kia wanted a sports car but instead opted for a sports sedan that features a fastback design, four doors, seating for five and turbocharged powerplants.
Making its world debut at this year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is the 2018 Kia Stinger. According to the automaker, it is by far their most powerful production model to date and aims to take a slice of the sports sedan segment currently being dominated by European brands.
“Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president in product planning, Kia Motors America.
Like the concepts that preceeded it, the 2018 Stinger borrows styling cues from both the GT and GT4 Stinger. Designed by Kia's chief design officer Peter Schreyer in Frankfurt, the automaker described their new sports sedan as a gran turismo. It has a long hood, short-deck design that is reminescent of long-distance cruisers. It also has an extended wheelbase which makes for a spacious interior.
With a 2,905 mm wheelbase, Kia claimed the 2018 Stinger is more spacious than an Audi A4, Lexus IS, Lexus GS and BMW 4 Gran Coupe as such. Trunk space is also good according to Kia as it can hold a full-size luggage or golf bag with ease.
The chassis itself is comprised of 55-percent advanced high-strength steel, allowing for a rigid platform. This resulted in better Noise, Vibration and Harshness deadening, as well as improved handling. High-end models will even come with Kia's Dynamic Stability Damping Control for overall better agility for the Stinger
Up front, sleek LED headlights flank the 2018 Stinger while an overly-large tiger-nose grill sits proudly at the center. It also gets cooling ducts which channels air to the front brakes, as well as a ventilated hood. Large five-spoke alloys make their way in the wheel wells while the broad shoulder lines highlight the car's sporty profile. It is then topped off by four oval-shaped exhaust pipes, rear diffuser, integrated trunklid spoiler and a unique set of taillights.
Inside, Kia claims the Stinger has a driver-oriented cockpit, as well as a comfortable interior for the passengers. Both the driver and front passenger sit low inside the Stinger and are surrounded by soft Nappa leather (which is going to be an optional extra). Sitting at the center is a touchscreen display, infotainment controls that sit below the screen and aeronautics-inspired aircon vents.
A multi-function leather steering wheel comes as standard while a dual-pod instrument cluster with multi-information display provide the necessary information for the driver. It can even display lateral G-forces, lap times, engine oil temperature, trip computer, navigation and diagnostics as such. Contrasting the plethora of leather comes courtesy of satin chrome which were strategically placed throughout the cabin.
Two turbocharged engines will be available for the 2018 Stinger. First up is a 2.0-liter turbocharged Theta II engine. It has an estimated output of 258 PS at 6200 rpm and 352 Nm of torque available from 1400 – 4000 rpm. Driving the top-of-the-range GT model is a 3.3-liter twin-turbo Lambda II V6. Kia estimates this engine is capable of cranking out 370 PS at 6000 rpm along with 510 Nm of torque from 1300 – 4500 rpm. Both engines are still under development but can be had in either rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD). Both engines also come with an 8-speed automatic gearbox derived from the Kia K900 luxury sedan.
2.0-liter models ride on 225/45R tires with 18-inch alloy wheels while 3.3-liter V6 models are fitted with 225/40R tires with 19-inch alloy wheels. Vented Brembo disc brakes come as standard equipment on the 3.3-liter V6 for improved stopping power.
Safety systems that are available on the 2018 Stinger include: forward collision assistance (FCA), advanced smart cruise control (ASCC), lane keep assist (LKA), rear cross traffic alert (RCTA) and blind spot detection (BSD).
The 2018 Kia Stinger will go on sale in the US by the end of the year.