Kia’s dramatic new high-performance gran turismo – the Stinger – has snatched the spotlight at the North American International Auto Show – and event typically dominated by US manufacturers. 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.”
Both engines are still under final development but the standard 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine produces an estimated 255 horsepower at approximately 6,200 rpm. Max torque of 260 lb.-ft. is available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm. Performance credentials are further enhanced through the alternative 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which is anticipated to produce 365 horsepower at an estimated 6,000 rpm and offer max torque of 376 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm. Kia is targeting 5.1 seconds to 62 mph and a top speed of 167 mph with the twin turbocharged V6.
The Stinger features a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission. First offered in the K900 luxury sedan, the gearbox has been designed in-house and rewards drivers with crisp shifts and maximised fuel efficiency. More typically found in aviation- and racing-engine applications, the transmission features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain. Drivers can let the gearbox manage shifts on its own or may selectively run through the gears via paddle shifters mounted aft of the steering wheel. As with the suspension and steering, up to five different shift patterns may be selected through the vehicle’s electronic drive-mode system. Throttle mapping is also adjusted accordingly.
Recognising that passionate drivers may not always reside in optimal climes, the Stinger is Kia’s first saloon car available with rear- or all-wheel drive – depending on market. 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 maintain course in adverse conditions. Rear-drive vehicles get the benefit of a mechanical limited slip differential to help evenly distribute power through the rear wheels.
A choice of alloy wheels and tyres are also offered. The 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder models ride on 225/45R-18 performance tyres while the 3.3-litre V6 is shod with staggered ultra-high performance rubber; 225/40R-19 in front and 255/35R-19 at the rear. Vented Brembo® disc brakes are standard on the 3.3-litre twin turbo and feature quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers.