We’re still waiting to drive the new Stinger, but that hasn’t stopped the Kia teasing us with some onboard footage of the car. The footage actually comes from an advert on the Top Gear website, but it gives us a glimpse of how the new Kia Stinger is going to handle. And it looks pretty impressive.
The video takes us around a lap of Caldwell Park, one of the more technical tracks in the UK, and it features the driving of touring car world champion Rob Huff. Despite being a GT car, which means it’s both athletic but comfortable when driving long distances, the Kia Stinger doesn’t seem to show any sign of compromise
Sure, it’s not race car sharp, but its 3.3 litre V6 twin-turbo engine ensures it’s quick off the mark – and it’s very well composed through Caldwell Park’s trickier corners, too.
Kia Stinger GT: Everything you need to know
First unveiled in Detroit, the Stinger is a new GT car from Kia, and it holds all the records that matter for the Korean manufacturer: The Stinger is the most powerful, the fastest and the most expensive car Kia has ever made, and it’s going to take on the best that German car makers have to offer.
Alphr got to see the new Kia Stinger in the flesh earlier this year, and thankfully it’s as good looking in the metal as it is in the press shots. In 2017, Kia doesn’t the brand recognition of brands such as BMW, Audi or Mercedes – if it keeps making premium cars like the Stinger, that’s sure to change.
So what do we actually know about the Kia Stinger?
Kia Stinger GT: Price and release date
It’s early days yet for the Kia Stinger, and certainly a very brave move from the Korean car giant, but in many ways it makes sense. With the company’s mainstream models now firmly established in the European market, it’s pushing on up into territory traditionally dominated by the giants of the European motoring industry, and the Stinger’s low-slung fastback profile and unabashed GT leanings will undoubtedly help it do that.
In an industry so heavily burdened with badge snobbery, however, its success will almost certainly be dictated by price. If it can bring this package in at a price that undercuts rivals such as the Audi A5 and A7, the world will have to sit up and pay attention – but with the Stinger not going into full production until the second half of 2017, we’ll have to wait until the end of the year to find out just how good it is.
Kia Stinger GT: Design and interior
Inspired by the classic GT cars of the 1970s, and born out of a concept car the firm first showed off in 2011, the Stinger is all about long-distance comfort at speed, and it really looks the part. Its long, vented bonnet, aggressive front grille and low, stretched-out body is a huge departure from Kia’s more sedate saloons and family hatchbacks, and the exterior is littered with nice touches.
I’m a big fan in particular of that squat, squashed rear end, which comes complete with a pair of twin chrome exhausts that jut out on either side of the rear diffuser, and it hides a surprisingly capacious boot. In fact, the entire interior is roomier than you might expect from a sporty car like this, and although it might be a bit of a squeeze seating five, there’s room for four to travel in comfort.
A quick spin around the outside of the #KiaStinger GT. pic.twitter.com/C1477LtS7P
— Jonathan Bray (@jon1bray) January 18, 2017
Kia says the Stinger will be its flagship model, and the materials employed in the cabin are of suitably high quality. The dashboard materials have a soft, high-quality feel to them, there’s leather seating all round, and Alcantara wraps around the A-pillar and stretches along the roof interior. It’s not too fussy or garish, and everything appears to be well knitted together.
It shouldn’t surprise you, then, to discover that this is a car almost exclusively designed in Europe, and the flair of designers Peter Schreyer and Gregory Guillaume really shines through. It’s simple, elegant and muscular all at once. It’s a design that works.
Kia Stinger GT: Specs and performance
I haven’t had the chance to drive the Stinger yet – and we won’t get the chance to do that until much later in the year – but with all development of the Stinger having been carried out at Kia’s on-site testing facility at the notoriously demanding Nurburgring, it has every chance of delivering an involving drive. The specifications look suitably impressive on paper, too.
In addition to the two petrol-engined models announced last week, the European car will be available with a 2.2-litre diesel powerplant developing 200ps and delivering a healthy 440Nm of torque, while more power-hungry drivers should look to either the 2-litre 255ps four-cylinder or 3.3-litre 370ps, twin-turbo charged V6 petrol-engined variants.
All models will have an eight-speed automatic gearbox and rear-wheel drive (the all-wheel drive models aren’t coming to Europe), with MacPherson strut suspension at the front and multi-link suspension at the rear, plus user-adjustable settings. Drivers will be given the choice between five different drive modes – Eco, Sport, Sport+, Comfort and Smart.
Kia Stinger GT: Technology and audio
The car might draw inspiration from the classics of the 20th century, but it’s packed with 21st-century toys. Naturally, the car comes with the full complement of safety and driver assistance tech, including forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking and “pedestrian recognition”. You get “advanced smart cruise control”, there’s lane keeping, rear cross traffic alerts, a top-down surround view to make parking super easy, blind-spot detection and automatic high-beam headlight adjustment.
The Stinger also sees the debut of Kia’s Driver Attention Alert system, which keeps tabs on your concentration levels by “monitoring a number of inputs from the vehicle and driver” and sounds a chime if it thinks you’re nodding off. And this comes in addition to “Vehicle Stability Management”, which keeps the car stable under braking, and “Electronic Stability Control” to keep things under control around the corners. All the mod cons, in other words.
But that’s not all. You also get a heads-up display (HUD) for satnav instructions and other key driving info, such as blind-spot warnings and cruise control. In the centre console, there’s an inductive charging pad in the centre console along with USB and Bluetooth connectivity. No mention was made at the unveiling, however, of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
As for audio, the base Stinger comes with a six-speaker system coupled, interestingly, with a 7in “haptic touchscreen”, which gives the driver a subtle burst of feedback whenever an input is registered – a great idea that should help make the car’s infotainment system easier to navigate. The next model up the range comes with a nine-speaker, externally amplified system, while the top-of-the-range car is equipped with a rather serious-looking 720W 15-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, complete with twin subwoofers (mounted beneath the driver and front passenger seats) and a larger 8in haptic touchscreen.