All-new Kia Stinger was launched this week. It was developed by a “dream team” of automotive designers and engineers. Inside, the inspiration comes from aviation with strong connectivity usefulness.
Photo by Kia.
By Vince Bodiford
German designed and tested set to advance brand
Kia this week launched the all-new 2018 Stinger sedan, ushering in what they say is a new era for the carmaker. A five-passenger sportback poised to redefine a segment currently populated by European automakers, the Stinger promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia’s industry-leading warranty. Offered in five trim levels (Stinger, Premium, GT, GT1, GT2) and luxurious accommodations, the Stinger is planned to go on sale in the U.S. in December next month.
“Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us and 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,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “From its GT Concept-car origins to its tuning and refining on the legendary Nürburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”
The Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his team of designers in Frankfurt. 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 grueling Nürburgring racing circuit.
Turning a concept into a production car is no small task and Schreyer looked no further than Kia’s Frankfurt studio – the birthplace of the GT Concept – to bring the Stinger to life. “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,” notes 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.”
Inside, connectivity, entertainment and vehicle information can be as important as a dynamic driving experience and the Stinger comes to market with the latest infotainment systems. Aeronautically inspired elements encircles the cabin. The effect is a feeling of cocooned intimacy, enhanced with warm and inviting available multi-color LED ambient lights that softly illuminate the finely crafted interior.
Joining the company from BMW in December, 2014, Albert Biermann’s first look at the Stinger signaled to him a car that had to live up to its stunning design from behind the wheel. “I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is a very special moment in time,” notes Biermann. “Because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It’s a whole different animal.”
The powertrain is oriented longitudinally and set rearward beneath the long, sculpted hood, a choice of two turbocharged engines are available. The 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine produces 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm with 260 lb.-ft. of maximum torque available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm.
The larger 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine produces 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and offers 376 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,350 – 4,500 rpm.
The Stinger features an in-house designed second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission. The Stinger is Kia’s first sedan available with rear- or all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel biased for optimal control in the wet or dry, the AWD system features a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system which monitors driver inputs and road conditions and automatically applies power and braking force to the appropriate wheels to help maintain course in a variety of adverse conditions.
For more information, see a Kia dealer or visit Kia.com
The Weekend Drive by Vince Bodiford.