Kia may have taken the crown at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. The show kicks off tomorrow, but Kia has already unveiled its new real-wheel drive Stinger sports sedan. The Stinger was originally previewed by the GT concept and now the brand is ready to jump in a completely new segment.
The Stinger is the second rear-wheel drive sedan to join the Kia lineup, but unlike the more luxury oriented K900 flagship, the Stinger now holds the title as the highest-performance production vehicle in the Kia’s history.
“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, product planning, Kia Motors America.
It’s no secret that the Stinger benchmarked the best from Germany and it was even designed in Frankfurt and its spent countless hours on the legendary Nurburgring circuit. Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development joined Kia in 2014 after working for BMW. “I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is like a special event,” 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.”
At 114.4 inches, the Stinger’s wheelbase is longer than the Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, BMW 4 Gran Coupe, Lexus GS and Mercedes CLS. It’s also longer overall (190.2 inches) and wider (73.6 inches) than the others in the segment. It rides on a chassis comprised of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel and its MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension has been tuned to provide optimal feedback to the driver. Ride-damping and vehicle handling traits may be modified by the driver through an electronically adjustable suspension known as Dynamic Stability Damping Control. The system is accessed through five drive modes: Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.
When the Stinger arrives later this year, it will be offered with a choice of two powertrains: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine with 255 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. If you want more power, the Stinger can be equipped with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine with an estimated 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.