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Archive for the ‘Kia Stinger’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger

2018 Kia Stinger

When Korean manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia came to the U.S., they were fighting an uphill battle against American, Japanese, and German cars that were often regarded as having nicer materials and better build quality, among other things. Fast forward to today, and Hyundai has spawned its own performance/luxury brand called Genesis and Kia has finally jumped on the bandwagon with a premium and performance-based fastback that is derived from the GT Concept. Going by the name Stinger, it’s set to bring some insanely stiff competition to German rivals like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback, among others. At Launch, it will be available with a 255-horsepower four-banger or a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with some 365 ponies on tap. But, that’s not all. It’s extremely spacious with a longer wheelbase than that of other competitors like the Lexus GS, and even the Infinity Q50 while the chassis itself is composed of 55 percent high-strength steel for superior stiffness and excellent ride handling. Inside, it offers high levels of comfort and an absolutely striking design with technology that rivals that of high-end models way outside the Stingers expected price range.

Those two engines I just mentioned, well there’s already word of a diesel powertrain being available for European customers. And, while it hasn’t been officially planned or confirmed, interviews with Albert Beirmann – the Executive VP of Vehicle Testing and High-Performance Development for Kia – has said that there have been talks of electrification, a move that could pit the Stinger against the likes of the Tesla Model 3 or even the Model S, depending on how much electric muscle Kia can come up with. Beyond that, the Stinger is said to be able to handle much more power than that offered by that Biturbo 3.3-liter, so an even brighter future could be on the horizon for Kia’s new halo car.

But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself as we already have a lot to talk about, and the Stinger isn’t scheduled to hit showrooms until later on in 2017. So, grab a beverage and join me farther down the page to see what the Stinger will offer when the order books officially open.

Update 11/16/2017: Kia has announced pricing for the 2018 Kia Stinger just weeks before it rolls into dealers. Pricing starts at an exceptionally low $31,900, nearly $10,000 less than its main competition. Check out the pricing section below to learn all about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Kia GT.

Exterior

  • Revised “Tigernose’ grille
  • Functional air dam
  • Fastback like design w\ Large panoramic glass panel up front
  • A refreshing design from the Korean Automaker
  • Rivals the look of cars like the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5 with Elegance

2018 Kia Stinger - image 734759
“I was kind of expecting the Stinger to be a modified version of the latest Optima or Cadenza, but boy was I wrong.”

When I arrived in Detroit on the first day of the Detroit Auto Show, the No. 1 car that was on my list was the Kia Stinger, and boy was I surprised when I got to Kia’s show floor. What did I see? Three different production Stingers that not only looked amazing but offered a little secretive nod to the U.S. with one finished in red, one in white, and one finished in a gorgeous blue. I was kind of expecting the Stinger to be a modified version of the latest Optima or Cadenza, but boy was I wrong. Of course, Kia still gave it that Tigernose grille, but it’s the best iteration that we’ve seen so far. Refined and chrome plated the grille defines the sporty nature of the new Stinger and is accented perfectly by that large, functional air dam down below and the deeply recessed vent on each corner.

Moving farther up the front clip, it’s hard not to notice the unique headlights with double LED running lamps and the tightest fit to the body of anything its German rivals offer at this time. But, it’s the little details that really add to the car’s overall appearance. After all, look at the weird arrangement of dots on the bottom of the headlamp lens, or that vertical chrome stripe inside the corner air vents – it’s all about attention to detail, and Kia nailed it.
The most interesting thing about the front is that Kia opted for a smooth hood, with mildly muscular lines on the fenders and front fascia – something that’s somewhat unique in this segment. Those hood vents look really nice, but don’t be fooled; they aren’t in any way functional from what I could tell. Upon opening the hood, you’ll notice they are covered up underneath.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734752
“For the most part, the side profile is smooth, but if you look closely, you’ll see a very light body line running from the corner of the headlight all the way to the rear, crossing the doors just above the door handles”

Moving on to the side profile, you’ll find that the name of the game was elegance and style as opposed to aggressiveness or muscularity. For the most part, the side profile is smooth, but if you look closely, you’ll see a very light body line running from the corner of the headlight all the way to the rear, crossing the doors just above the door handles. The windows get chrome trim that matches the vent ahead of the front door, while the mirrors match the door trim between the two side windows. Finally, there’s another mild body line at the bottom of the doors that feeds from that front vent and disappears into the side skirt ahead of the rear wheels. What really emphasizes the car’s sporty characteristics, however, is the large glass roof above the front seats and that downward slope above the rear seats that gives the Stinger the fastback look. A smaller corner vent adds just a little more character on the side of the rear fascia, and those unique wheels with their five split spokes offer a path of view to those Brembo performance brake calipers. Nice!

Around back, the sexy hits just keep on coming. The thin and sleek taillights reside primarily in the rear quarters, however, the LED strip on the hatch offers a visual connection between the wo. The lower corners of the taillights wrap around the rear quarters to provide a rectangular side marker on each side – yet another unique feature. The rear quarts and rear hatch and a slight upward swoop to create a built-in lip of sorts. Down below, there’s a mild line that runs the width of the rear fascia, but what’s more important is the massive, full-width insert at the bottom that houses the twin, dual exhaust outlets and offers up a diffuser-like look in the middle.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734755
“The exterior look of the Stinger just goes to show what kind of talent Kia has required over the years”

All told, the exterior look of the Stinger just goes to show what kind of talent Kia has required over the years. It proves that a brand can step away from the boring, lackluster designs that made it a go-to for affordable but dependable vehicles and jump in the ring with the big boys. The design is well thought out and strategic in every sense, based on looks alone, the German three – as well as other premium and luxury manufacturers – have a lot to worry about in coming years.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 114.4
Length (Inches) 190.2
Width (Inches) 73.6
Height (Inches) 55.1
Track front/rear (Inches) 62.8/64.8

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

So, once the Stinger hits dealer showrooms, it will be the new kid on the block that has to battle extreme brand loyalty and models that have been established in the market long before the Stinger was even conceived. Kia has named a number of models that it considers competition, but the more prominent ones include the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback.


2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupè - image 540334

When it comes to the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, it’s still in its first generation, being introduced as a 2014 model when BMW decided to split the 3 Series into two lineups. Be that as it may, the 4 Series will actually be nice and fresh when the Stinger goes on sale as it was just refreshed for the 2018 model year – something that might make it just a little harder for the Stinger to get a foothold in the market. In terms of exterior styling, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is sexy and stylish, and has more muscular definition than the Stinger. Up front, you’ll find that the hood has sharp and well-defined lines while the front fascia carries on with BMW’s typical aggressive design that makes use of a large, fake vent in each corner. The vents are larger than those on the stinger, while the air dam is smaller.

The Bimmer does feature some chrome, but it’s nowhere near as flashy as the stinger. The same story holds true for the side profile where two distinct body lines add character and a less-noticeable fender vent resides between the front wheels and the front door. The side skirts of the Bimmer are also far more aggressive. In the rear, you’ll find the 4 Series is more defined, featuring aggressive styling on the rear fascia and a rear insert that sits in between. The upward swoop on the decklid provides a bit of downforce in the rear while the exhaust outlets sit closer to the center of the fascia than they do on the Kia.


2017 Audi A5 Sportback - image 702793

If you fancy yourself as an Audi person, you’ll find that Audi has made some pretty big strides in recent years to ditch the bland, boring designs of the past. The A5 is clear and uncut proof of that in many ways. It has a muscular front hood that features four sharp body lines, with the outside lines curving inward to terminate at the upper corners of the front grille. That grille, by the way, has evolved in recent years and is now thinner, wider, and flashy. The upper corner edges run almost parallel with the inner-most edges of the headlight units and, down below, you’ll find a pair of aggressive but fake air vents that serve as a permanent home for the fog lights, when properly equipped. Instead of having a wide-open air dam like the 4 Series and the stinger, Audi kept with a short nose with the corner vents linked together by a splitter like design. It’s actually unique in this segment (in a weird kind of way) and fairly pleasing to look at.

To the sides, you’ll find that the headlights serve as a starting point for a somewhat wavy body line that curves slightly above each wheel well and runs between the door handles and waistline before terminating at the taillights. Down below a slanted body line that is positioned between the front and rear wheels helps give the illusion that the A5 as a slightly raked stance. The side skirts, are rather uneventful, and the A5 is the only one of the three that doesn’t have a vent or trim element on the front fenders. Around back, the rear quarters flare out a bit to give a muscular appearance, while sleek taillights sit below a tiny overhang that visually links the rear quarters and decklid together. Down below, the rear fascia has a few body lines that run the full width of the rear, but there is no massive insert or diffuser hear, just a single exhaust outlet, a pair of reflectors, and a small vent for a little extra character.

If you’re motivated by looks alone, it’s going to boil down to how much you like aggressive looks. The Stinger, while fairly flashy is the least aggressive of the three, while the Bimmer and Audi bring significantly sharper lines and a more commanding presence. Both German models have been updated recently and will carry on through the end of the decade, as will the Stinger.

Exterior Dimensions

left
right
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback
Wheelbase (Inches) 110.6 111.18
Length (Inches) 182.6 186.33
Width (Inches) 71.9 72.55
Height (Inches) 54.7 54.56

Interior

  • Luxurious interior far above any Kia that came before it
  • Soft touch surfaces
  • Instrument cluster includes oil temp, navigation, g-forces, and a lap timer
  • Advanced HUD system
  • Low-siting driver’s seat for more support
  • Spacious rear seats unparalleled by BMW or Audi

2018 Kia Stinger - image 745698
“When you sit down inside the Stinger, you’ll find yourself feeling an immediate and intense sensation of bliss as your mind goes into slight overload as you try to convince yourself that this is really a Kia”

When you sit down inside the Stinger, you’ll find yourself feeling an immediate and intense sensation of bliss as your mind goes into slight overload as you try to convince yourself that this is really a Kia. Not that Kia hasn’t made drastic improvements to its interiors over the last 25 years (Kia Motors America came to be in 1992,) but there is much more going on here than anyone expected. First off, there are soft-touch surfaces everywhere including the entire dash and the door trim panels. The dash itself is elegantly designed with that slight overhang that casts a small shadow on the nose of the dash. Mixed HVAC vents keep things interesting with trio circular, eight-spoke vents in the center and almost rectangular vents in the corners. A bright trim strip runs from both sides of the dash’s face, leading the way to a small control panel that houses the hazard light switch as well as a few audio controls.

Oddly, there isn’t a flat-bottom steering wheel here, but it’s sporty nonetheless and features red contrast stitching that matches the seats and door trim inserts. There are thumb control buttons on each side spoke, and the bottom spoke features a gloss black finish with the GT logo at the bottom. Ahead of the driver sits a semi-digital instrument cluster with two analog gauges that are outlined in metal trim to go with bright red needles. In between sits a wide TFT display that provides information like engine oil temperature, navigation, cornering G-forces, and lap times, but also serves as the home for the driver settings menu and onboard diagnostics system. Sitting just to the right, is a hint toward the Stingers German rivals with that large display that is perched prominently atop the center stack. And, you can’t see it in the pictures we have here, but there is also and advanced HUD system that is height adjustable and displays information on the windshield, including speed, navigation, audio settings, cruise control settings, and blind spot detection information.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734761
“The dash itself is elegantly designed with that slight overhang that casts a small shadow on the nose of the dash.”

Moving lower in the front of the cabin, you’ll find metal plated pedals and a metal plated foot rest. In the center, that tall transmission tunnel serves is covered up by that high-sitting center console that offers a central armrest with a storage pocket underneath to go with dual cup holders and a gear shifter that’s ergonomic, comfortable, and easy to use and understand. Further ahead is a smaller storage tray that offers wireless phone charging for smartphones with the capability. Sitting above that tray are the HVAC controls that are positioned for easy access from either front passenger. As you can see, the front seats offer amazing side support top and bottom and feature a nice stitching pattern. The models at the Detroit Auto Show were wrapped in the optional Napa leather, and while we don’t know what that option will cost yet, it’s definitely something you want to consider if you decide to give Kia’s new Halo car a chance.

There is one thing here, that’s very important to know but isn’t really represented in any of the images here. The driver’s seat actually sits really low in the car, bringing the driver’s hip point significantly lower than that of the Stinger’s German rivals. This gives it a snugger and sportier feeling, and to test this theory I went straight from Kia to BMW and sat down in the new 5 Series – the difference was night and day. The seat was more comfortable and offered much more support in all of the right places. It was shocking and hard to believe, but if you don’t believe me, I suggest you take the test for yourself – you’ll be surprised as well.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745697
“The driver’s seat actually sits really low in the car, bringing the driver’s hip point significantly lower than that of the Stinger’s German rivals.”

Sitting in the rear of the Stinger is just as surprising as sitting up front. Of course, it’s void of anything like a rear infotainment system, but rear passengers do get their very own HVAC vents and controls to keep things kosher and a pair of power sockets to keep devices charged on those longer trips. What really caught my attention, however, was how spacious the rear of the cabin really was. Despite the sloping roof and fastback design, there’s more than enough headroom for anyone shorter than 6’4, while legroom can easily accommodate those of the taller persuasion as well. The doors even open wide to accommodate those with a larger frame. The rear seats offer support in all of the right places with an emphasis on the lower back and shoulder blades. While I couldn’t spend too long in the rear, I did find that the rear seats did ease the tension in my back – something you don’t normally find happening in the rear of a smaller sedan. The rearward tilt to the seat cushions help keep your legs in a comfortable position without hampering blood flow to the lower extremities.

I know a lot of this might come off as PR talk to those of you who haven’t had a chance to see the Stinger in the metal yet, but I promise you it’s not. In the short time I spent inside this crazy sedan, I found myself highly impressed and even a bit confused that Kia hasn’t brought this quality of materials or the superb and meticulous fit and finish to other models in its lineup. For the brand’s first go at the luxury segment, it did pretty damn well, and it’s only fair to give them props. Not everyone can jump in the ring with the big boys and go a full 15 rounds.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745739

Interior Dimensions

Headroom front/rear (Inches) 38.3/37.0
Leg room front/rear (Inches) 42.6/36.4
Shoulder room front/rear (Inches) 56.4/54.8
Hip room front/rear (Inches) 55.5/56.1
Passenger capacity (cu. ft.) 93.8
Cargo area capacity, rear seats up (cu. ft.) 23.3
Cargo area capacity, rear seats folded (cu. ft.) 40.9

Design, Function, and Comfort

At this point, you know that I practically fell in love with the Stinger’s interior, but that doesn’t mean the competition doesn’t stack up well. When BMW updated the 4 Series, it also did quite a bit to the interior to help keep it on point for the next few years.


2018 BMW M4 Convertible - image 702101

Looking at the full dash shot of the BMW 4 Series above you can see that it’s quite stylish in its own regard. I haven’t had a chance to sit in the updated 4 Series, but the pre-facelifted model offered very comfortable seats and a spacious alternative to the Stinger. Kia made it a point to say it benchmarked the Stinger against the 4 Series a lot, but some of the similarities between the two are uncanny. Take the door trim panels, for example. The both have their own designs and all, but the design of the armrest, pull handle, and the location of the middle speaker in the middle of the insert prove that Kia smuggled in some cues from the 4 Series – a tactical and strategic choice, but risky.

The seats in the Stinger offer a little more side support (unless you look at the M4, for instance) while the Bimmer has a more intuitive operating system built into its infotainment system. The screen in the Bimmer isn’t as tall, but it’s wider and responsive. Both models make use of a semi-digital instrument cluster, however, the TFT screen in the Kia is just a bit wider and offers better graphics. As far function goes, both offer similar safety technology while the controls for the Bimmer’s infotainment system are a little more intuitive. The Driver’s seat in the Kia does sit a bit lower in comparison, however, so it has a sportier feel and should offer a little more support during more extreme maneuvers.


2017 Audi A5 Sportback - image 687428

And, we finally get to the A5, which I tend to favor more than that of the BMW and find to be a little more advanced than that of the Stinger. Now, the Stinger wins hands down as far as comfortability goes, but on the technology and design front, the A5 is hard to ignore. It can be hard with a 12-inch, digital instrument cluster that provides all necessary information and as a home for the navigation system – a feature that helps keep your eyes on the road. I prefer the navigation in the BMW as far as looks and function goes, but I’d be willing to sacrifice if it meant getting that digital instrument cluster. The A5’s infotainment screen is also the larger of the three and actually looks like it is floating above the dash instead of being mounted to it.

The Audi features HVAC vents that run the full width of the dash and the seats sit higher than those of the Bimmer and Kia. The center console features a semi-floating design with
storage area located underneath and, while it has the slightly elevated edge on the passenger side, it’s not as intrusive as that of the BMW. The seats in the Audi look almost identical to those found in the 4 Series while the door trim is more refined. Like the other two models, it comes with a similar list of safety and technology features, including the option of a 4G LTE hotspot and various semi-autonomous safety features.

Interior Dimensions

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback
Headroom front/rear (Inches) 39.9 39.92/37.28
Legroom, front/rear (Inches) 42.2/33.7
Shoulder room, front/rear (Inches) 54.8/54.3
Cargo Space (cu. ft.) 17.0 17.0

Drivetrain

  • Base model: 2.0-liter; 255 HP & 260 LB-FT
  • GT model: 3.3-liter, 365 HP & 376 LB-FT
  • 0-to-60 could be as fast as five seconds flat
  • Fuel economy as good as 22/29/25
  • Euro customers get a 2.2-liter with close to 200 HP
  • Automatic transmission only 
  • Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber torque converter
    – a first for Kia
  • RWD standard; AWD $2,200 option
  • AWD gets dynamic torque vectoring
  • RWD models get a mechanical LSD
  • More than half of chassis composed of higher-strength steel
  • 3,615 LB in base for or 3,968 with the V-6
  • Could go hybrid in the future
  • Chassis can handle much more power

2018 Kia Stinger - image 734762
“The entry-level model comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-banger known as the Theta II that has 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 260 pound-feet of twist at a very low 1,400 rpm.”

Unfortunately, I wasn’t afforded the option to take one of the three Stingers on display for a spin, but as they say, good things come to those who wait, right? Even without getting to hear that 3.3-liter Biturbo roar or feel how this thing really handles in a tight corner at high speed, I find myself impressed and intrigued by the specs. The entry-level model comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-banger known as the Theta II that has 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 260 pound-feet of twist at a very low 1,400 rpm. But, if you’re like me, and have a true thirst for power, you’ll jump up to the 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 that is available in the GT model. It pumps out a cool 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 376 pound-feet at an even lower 1,300 to 4,500 rpm – this should make for some very fun and powerful burnouts when you turn off that traction control.

Of course, Kia has yet to release official performance specs thus far, but the 60-mph sprint should come in as low as five seconds with the 3.3-liter. Fuel economy for the four-cylinder is rated at 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. If you opt for all-wheel drive, fuel economy drops by one mpg in the city and combined. Meanwhile, the 3.3-liter delivers 19 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 21 mph combined in rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive configuration.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701499
“Fuel economy for the four-cylinder is rated at 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined.”

On a side note, European customers will have the choice of a diesel-powered Stinger that is powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder. It is said to deliver 197 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. With this engine in tow, the Stinger will be able to hit 62 mph in 8.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 139 mph. This sounds more like all looks and no go to me, but something tells me the fuel economy will be amazing, so it may be fair trade off.

Unfortunately, those who prefer to row their own gears will find themselves largely disappointed as the Stinger isn’t to be offered with a manual transmission. In fact, it has now been exposed that Kia engineers didn’t even try to develop and manual gearbox for the sports sedan, so don’t get your hopes up for the future either. With that said, shifting duties are scheduled to be handled by the second-generation eight-speed auto that comes from the K900 sedan. It was designed by Kia engineers and makes use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber torque converter, a first for any vehicle that sports a Kia badge. The plus side to this is that the transmission will handle shifting all on its own, but if you’re feeling the need to get better acquainted with those corners on the way home, you can engage manual shifting and cycle through the gears with the paddle shifters that are attached to the steering wheel. At least you’ll have that option.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745710
“When it comes to the driveline, the Stinger can be had in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with a rear-biased torque distribution”

When it comes to the driveline, the Stinger can be had in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with a rear-biased torque distribution. The latter features dynamic torque vectoring that allows the car to monitor conditions and deliver just the right amount of torque to each wheel for just about any given condition, ultimately resulting in the best traction possible in most scenarios. In adverse conditions, automatic braking will take charge of each wheel individually to keep things from getting wild. Those equipped with rear-wheel drive come with a mechanical limited-slip differential which should help evenly distribute power to the rear wheels.

When it came to the Chassis that supports the beast, Kia focused more of stiffness than it did making a light car. As such, the Stinger tips the scales at as much as 3,615 pounds with the four-banger and 3,968 pounds with that V-6 with all-wheel drive. But, that’s not a bad thing, because this makes the car excessively strong, and with 55 percent of the chassis being composed of advanced higher-strength steel, it can handle much more power than the current range-topping model. This in itself is a hint that the Stinger may, at some point in the future, be offered in a more powerful form with the ability to take on the BMW M4 head-to-head – now that’s a battle I would love to see.

Drivetrain Specifications

Stinger GT
Engine 2.0L Twin Scroll Turbo 4-Cyl 3.3L Twin Turbo V6
Displacement (cc) 1,998 cc 3,342 cc
Bore x stroke (mm) 86.0 mm X 86.0 mm 92.0 mm x 83.8 mm
Compression ratio 10.0:1 10.0:1
Horsepower 255 HP @ 6,200 RPM 365 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 1,400-4,000 RPM 376 LB-FT @ 1,300-4,500 RPM
Curb Weight
Minimum RWD 3,611 lbs. 3,829 lbs.
Maximum AWD (All Options) 3,792 lbs. 4,023 lbs.
Fuel Economy
Automatic transmission (RWD), city/highway/combined (mpg) 22/29/25 19/25/21
Automatic transmission (AWD), city/highway/combined (mpg) 21/29/24 19/25/21

Rumors

There’s word that Kia has been discussing a future of electrification for the Stinger – there’s no official word and any details at this point, but the conversations have taken place. This means that in the near future a hybrid could come to be. Furthermore, an all-electric variant could but a big damper on the Tesla Model 3 if Kia plays its cards right. I certainly wouldn’t expect that to happen for at least a few years, but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind.

Better Bang For Your Buck

Power delivery and performance is a pretty big deal to a lot of folks, especially when you’re looking at sporty models like the Stinger, 4 Series Gran Coupe, and the A5 Sportback. But, how do they all stack up against each other? Well, the Stinger is actually the most powerful of the three, offering 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque from that biturbo, but that doesn’t mean it’s the fastest. When it comes to the 4 Series, the entry-level model is the 430i, which can be had in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel ($2,000 premium) and is powered by a 2.0-liter with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That’s not much less than what’s offered by the four-cylinder Stinger, but it’s enough to push the Gran Coupe to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds – likely a bit quicker than that of the Stinger. But, if you upgrade to the 440i or 440i xDrive, you’ll get a 3.0-liter inline-six that delivers a cool 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. It’s less than the Stinger, but thanks to weight savings and aerodynamics, the 440i can hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds or 4.7 seconds with xDrive. That’s at least 0.3 seconds faster to 60 than what the Stinger is expected to do, but in terms of top speed, the Bimmer is limited to 155 mph while the Stinger tops out well above 160.

The A5 Sportback is a little more confusing, but considering it’s not available in the U.S. as of the time of this writing, it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s offered with more diesel engines than gasoline engines. In fact, if you want a six-cylinder model, you have no choice but to get an oil burner. On the gasoline front, there’s a 2.0-liter four-banger that can be had with 187 horsepower and 236 pound-feet or 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet. 62 mph comes in around six seconds, so it’s quite a bit slower than where the Stinger and 4 Series GC sit, but it does pull 47.8 mpg, so at least you get fuel economy if you sacrifice performance a bit. On the diesel front, you can get a 2.0-liter as well, that offers 187 horsepower and 295 pound-feet, which allows the 62-mph sprint to happen in around 7.4 seconds and top speed to sit at 146 mph. It’s a turd in comparison to the Stinger or 4 Series, but it does achieve a combined fuel economy of 67.3 mpg, which could be a major selling point if you do a lot of driving. V-6 TDI models displace 3.0-liters and can be had with 215 horsepower and 295 pound-feet or 292 ponies and 457.3 pound-feet of twist. Performance figures aren’t readily available for all engines, but you can opt for a six-speed manual if you want to row your own, or a seven-speed S Tronic dual clutch with paddle shifters. For those of you who like to cruise and enjoy the luxury without the fun of spirited driving, you can opt for the eight-speed auto that is said to offer smooth shifts.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe BMW 440i Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI Audi A5 Sportback 3.0 TDI
Engine 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder 2.0-liter Inline four-cylinder 2.0-liter Inline four-cylinder 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine
Horsepower 248 HP @ 5,200 RPM 320 HP @ 5,500 RPM 252 HP @ 5,000-6,000 RPM 190 HP @ 3,800-4,200 RPM 218 HP @ 4,000-5,000 RPM
Torque 258 LB-FT @ 1,450–4,800 RPM 330 LB-F @ 1,380–5,000 RPM 272.9 LB-FT @ 1,600-4,500 RPM 295.0 LB-FT @ 1,750-3,000 RPM 295.0 LB-FT @ 1,250–3,750 RPM
Transmission 8-speed Sport Automatic 8-speed Sport Automatic 7-speed dual-clutch 6-speed manual 7-speed dual-clutch
Acceleration 0–60 mph 5.6 4.8 6.5 7.9 6.4
Top speed 130 mph 130 mph 155 mph 148 mph 152 mph
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 23/2/4/27 21/32/25
Curb Weight 3,668 Lbs 3,799 Lbs 3,240 Lbs 3,306 Lbs 3,615 Lbs

Safety


2018 Kia Stinger - image 734760

If you know anything about the Kia brand, you know it wouldn’t bring a car like this to the market without integrating a fair amount of safety and driver assistance features to keep things safe. As such, the Stinger has a number of advanced features, including an all new (and first for any Kia) Driver Attention Alert system that can determine whether the driver is tired or distracted and deliver audio and visual alerts to encourage a rest stop. But, that’s not all. It also features a forward collision system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian protection to go with advanced cruise control, lane keep assist, and rear cross traffic alert. While some may have been hoping to see more autonomous features, it’s nice to see that Kia isn’t shoving that crap down your throat with its first real performance offering. Surely, it will come in time, but this car is slated to be a driver’s car.

Pricing


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745714

We originally speculated that the Kia Stinger would command at least $41,000 to sit right in line with its main competition, the BMW 4 Series GC and the Audi A5. That would have been logical from most standpoints, but Kia decided to dial things down a bit more and keep its resident performance car in a price bracket that doesn’t require excessively deep pockets or an outrageous car note. All told, the Stinger will start out at a relatively low $31,900 for the base model. Moving up to the Premium trim increases your entry point by $6,000 to $37,100. The Stinger GT comes in at $38,250 while the GT1 commands $43,250. The range-topping Stinger GT2 comes in at $49,200. Of course, this doesn’t include the $900 destination fee and, like the other guys, AWD will set you back an extra $2,200 on any given model. Still, not a bad price point from bottom to top and lots of value for your hard-earned buck.

2018 Kia Stinger $31,900
2018 Kia Stinger Premium $37,100
2018 Kia Stinger GT $38,350
2018 Kia Stinger GT1 $43,250
2018 Kia Stinger GT2 $49,200
All-wheel drive $2,200
Destination $900

Sometimes It’s All About That Green Stuff


2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupè - image 540279

So, maybe you find yourself limited to a budget for your next whip. If so, then you’ll find that pricing is really tight in this segment, so you’ll probably want to look at things like design, and performance to really help you make a decision about which model is best for you. As of the time of this writing, the Stinger has yet to be priced, but journalists everywhere shoot out numbers that range anywhere from $40,000 for the entry-level model up to right around $60,000 for the range-topping stinger. When it comes to BMW’s offerings in this segment, you can get the 430i for as little as $41,950 or $43,950 with xDrive. Going with the 440i, which offers better acceleration than the others will hit the bank for at least $48,300 or $50,300 when equipped with all-wheel drive.


2017 Audi A5 Sportback - image 745741

When it comes to the Audi A5 Sportback, pricing varies a bit depending on the specific market. Over in Europe, however, it’s offered in three different trims. The entry-level model comes with the low-end 2.0-liter TDI and starts out from $40,641 in SE form, but increase to a starting point of $42,978 in Sport trim or $45,007 in range-topping S Line trim. These prices have been converted at exchanges rates as of Jan 18, 2017. It should be noted that the two upper trim levels can be had with any of the engines available, but pricing can increase to more than $50,000 for the S Line with all of the available options.

BMW 430i Gran Coupe $41,950
BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe $43,950
BMW 440i Gran Coupe $48,300
BMW 440i xDrive Gran Coupe $50,300
Audi A5 Sportback SE $40,641
Audi A5 Sportback Sport $42,978
Audi A5 Sportback S Line $45,007

Other Options

So, perhaps you’re considering the Kia, but you’re not interested in owning a BMW 4 Series Grand Coupe or an Audi A5. That’s okay, though, because the Stinger has what it takes to be cross shopped with a handful of models, like those listed below.

Lexus GS


2016 Lexus GS - image 640431

The Lexus GS isn’t a noob on the market, with the first-gen model being introduced way back in 1991. Of course, the GS wouldn’t have what it takes to compete with a model like the Stinger if Lexus hadn’t pulled itself together and released the current-gen model in 2015 – the first generation to wear Lexus’ iconic spindle grille as we all know it. On the outside, it features a wildly aggressive front end with sharp points and deep lines while the side and rear profiles are rather toned down in comparison.

Like the Stinger, the GS is offered with a four-banger and a V-6. But, the four-banger displaces just 2.0-liters and delivers 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, Lexus claims a 7-second sprint to 60 mph and a top speed of 143 mph. Move up to the GS350 or higher will get you a 3.5-liter V-6 with at least 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. In this configuration, 60 mph comes as quick as 5.8 seconds while top speed maxes out at just 130 mph. In this configuration, you can have all-wheel drive if you so desire, but if you really want power, you need to upgrade to the GS 450h and that’ll need you a few extra ponies with an output of 338 horsepower. You’ll get to 60 in 5.6 seconds and top out at 137 mph, but will be limited to all-wheel drive. Of course, these specs are a little lower than those promised by the Stinger, so the only motivation I can think of is not wanting a German or Korean car, and being more interested in aggressive looks than power under the hood. Pricing starts at $46,310 which could be comparative to the four-cylinder Stinger (maybe) but climbs to as much as $69,995 for the range-topping 450h F Sport.

Read more about the Lexus GS here.

Infiniti Q50


2016 Infiniti Q50 - image 665242

The Q50 is a baby in Infiniti’s stable, being introduced for the 2014 model year and updated in 2016 to keep up with the competition. But, you’ve got to be careful when considering the Q50 as you could find yourself paying as much for way less power if the Stinger really starts out around $42k See, the Q50 starts out at $33,000 and climbs to as much as $44,300 in 2.0t form. This model comes with a 2.0-liter four-banger with a meager 208 horsepower on tap – far less than that promised by the entry-level Stinger. So, if you really want comparable power, you need to go with the 3.0t that pumps out 300 ponies from a 3.0-liter V-6. It starts out at $40,650, which could offer more bang for your buck if you’re considering an entry-level Stinger, but can climb to as much as $46,500 when fully loaded with all of the bells and whistles.

Then again, if the Stinger commands more like $60k, you could opt for a Q50 Red Sport 400 with 400 ponies on tap and an enticing exterior package for as little as $48,700. But, if you want all-wheel drive exclusive wheels and other niceties, you’ll be asked to pony up $50,700. Oh, and by the way, as far as looks go, the Q50 takes an approach similar to that of the Stinger – it’s got lines in all of the right places, but isn’t wildly aggressive. It is pleasing to look at, however, and you’ll find that it does compare well in the looks department.

Find out more about the Infiniti Q50 here.

Conclusion


2018 Kia Stinger - image 745718

And here we are at the end, and you have a lot of information to digest. What’s really important, however, is what you take away from what I’ve said here. I’m not talking about my opinion or all of my happy and enthused attitude about the new Stinger, but the fact that it impressed some like me, who can have some pretty harsh words about cars I see on the market today. Of course, I’m no David E. Davis or Brock Yates, so I don’t expect my thoughts and experience to carry much weight with you, but when you lay eyes on the Stinger for the first time, try to let go of all preconceived notions embedded in your mind based on previously released models from the brand. Kia really raised the bar for itself with the Stinger, and I hope that you find it as impressive as I did, but if you don’t, that’s okay too. Just keep an open mind at first and give it a chance – I truly believe you’ll be impressed as well. And, if you’ve already seen it in person, hit me up in the comments section below and fill me in on your thoughts.

  • Leave it
    • No manual transmission
    • Lots of German brand loyalty to compete with

References


2011 Kia GT Concept - image 415886

Read our full review on the 2011 Kia GT Concept.



Read more Kia news.

Update History

Updated 06/14/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Kia GT up for a new testing session, this time somewhere in the Alps.

Spy shot Comparison


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701467

2018 Kia Stinger - image 702784

2018 Kia Stinger - image 701474

2018 Kia Stinger - image 702785
“Kia did a good job at keeping the Stinger prototype covered throughout its real-world testing sessions. We knew it would be sporty, but the world wasn’t ready for it to looks so good when the sheet came off.”

Kia Stinger vs Kia GT Concept


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701466

2011 Kia GT Concept - image 449917

As I mentioned earlier, the new Stinger (left) is based, in part, on the Kia GT Concept (right) that Kia showed off for the first time at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Concept was significantly more wild and futuristic than the production model it spawned. It took Kia five years to rework the concept into something that could be brought to the masses, but that was time well spent. As you can see, the new Stinger got a similar front grille, however, the front fascia, fenders, and headlights were all largely reworked. As far as the side profile goes, Kia dropped the side view cameras in exchange for aging but effective mirrors, and they solved the issue with the front door glass that made the front end of the concept look a bit awkward. The body lines on the side have been toned down but did carry over to the production model. The waistline is practically the same and Kia did make use of the vent from the concept that is ahead of the front doors, but it’s now chrome and doesn’t extend toward the rear wheels.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701476

2011 Kia GT Concept - image 449919

In the rear, there’s some significant difference in design, but that’s a very good thing as the rear of the concept was the weakest point in its design. To put it simply, the rear end was boringly flat and uneventful with a weird diffuser-like element providing some character. As far as carry over to the production model goes, the only think you’ll recognize as familiar are the rear taillights. They wrap around the rear quarters in the same fashion and traverse across the rear hatch in the same fashion. The lens layout of the production model is much more attractive as is the exhaust setup and rear fascia insert.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 701488

2011 Kia GT Concept - image 702790

Inside, Kia completely reworked the interior to make the stinger more feasible and ready for a market where judgment and criticism comes at light speed. There are very few similarities here, however, you’ll notice that the Stinger’s steering wheel has a similar design but isn’t anywhere near as flashy. The dash has the same design principal with a nose that extends from the center to house the infotainment system and center vents. Normally, production models don’t look nearly as well as the concepts that led to their existence. But, in this case, the Stinger looks much better than the concept inside and out.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the Kia Stinger not only proved that the Korean brand had what it takes to give the German companies a run for their money but also signaled its intent to become more active in the high-performance market with the GT model. Powered by a high-revving V-6 with more than 350 horsepower and sporting an aggressive design, the Stinger GT could mean trouble for the likes of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. With the sedan just a couple of months away from arriving at U.S. dealerships, Kia paired up with iconic customization shop West Coast Customs for a unique take on the Stinger GT.

Displayed alongside other modified Kia models at the 2017 SEMA Show, this bespoke Stinger GT stands out thanks to a sporty-looking wide body kit and an array of carbon-fiber body parts. It also has a customized interior and a lowered ride height, demonstrating that the sedan has plenty of potential for aftermarket add-ons. Whether Kia is planning some sort of body upgrade in the future remains a mystery, but there’s been a lot of talk about a higher performance Stinger GT. Until we find out more, let’s have a closer look at this widebody version of the sedan.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Wide Body.

What makes the Kia Stinger GT Wide Body special

  • Inspired by racing GT cars from the 1970s
  • Wide body kit
  • Carbon-fiber front splitter
  • Carbon-fiber side skirts
  • New diffuser with quad-pipe exhaust
  • 21-inch wheels
  • Pearl blue metallic paint
  • Blue seat piping
  • Hand-stitched leather dash panel
  • Alcantara steering wheel
  • Lowered suspension

    2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body - image 741791
    “The Stinger GT isn't as wide as a full-fledged race car, but it definitely stands out when compared to the production model”
  • Kia says that the widebody model is inspired by racing GT cars from the 1970s, which probably explains the wider fenders. The 1970s was a cool era for production-based race cars, many of them featuring extreme aerodynamics and impressively wide fender flares. Granted, the Stinger GT isn’t as wide as a full-fledged race car, but it definitely stands out when compared to the production model – especially since the Stinger GT has a rather narrow waist. But, changes don’t stop to wider fenders designed to accommodate fatter tires.

    The sedan also received a carbon-fiber aerodynamic kit that includes a big splitter below the front fender, side skirt extensions, and a sportier rear diffuser with a quad-exhaust pipe layout. It also rides of large, 21-inch forged wheels wrapped in high-performance tires. The rollers are quite flashy by finish and design, but this doesn’t come as a surprise given that the project was made in cooperation with West Coast Customers. The revised exterior is rounded off by a pearl blue metallic paint that works great with the chrome and black accents.


    2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body - image 741789
    “Inside the cabin, West Coast Customs added custom blue leather seat piping to match the exterior paint”

    Inside the cabin, West Coast Customs added custom blue leather seat piping to match the exterior paint and a distinct, hand-stitched gray leather dash panel. The steering wheel was wrapped in Alcantara for a motorsport-inspired loo, while the center console received gloss black.

    As far as drivetrain upgrades go, West Coast Customs didn’t do much beyond lowering the suspension by 1.4 inches up front and 1.2 inches to the rear. The engine remained unchanged, so this show car uses the same twin-turbo, 3.3-liter V-6 rated at 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic moves all that power to the wheels. In all, it’s an interesting project that shows what you can do with the already appealing Kia Stinger GT.

    References

    Kia Stinger


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700374

    Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.


    2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

    Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

    PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger GT Federation

    Brembo Brakes

    South Korean automaker Kia just introduced the hot-to-trot Stinger GT five-door earlier this year at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, with sales slated to kick off in December of this year. When it was introduced, enthusiasts just about wet their pants with delight, and for good reason. Not only does it look fantastic, but it’s got the performance credentials to back the aesthetic. And that makes the speedy mid-size luxury machine a fantastic fit for the customized glitz and gloss of the annual SEMA show. As such, Kia is introducing a variety of bespoke examples, including this tasteful rendition you see before you. Upgrades include a few body mods, new paint, minor engine enhancements, and complementary suspension pieces.

    SEMA attendees will have a chance to experience the Kia Stinger’s cornering prowess first hand on an autocross course, as Kia will be offering ride-alongs with professional drifters at the show. Meanwhile, those of us admiring from afar can gaze upon customized offerings like the GT Federation and anticipate a forthcoming deluge of parts and accessories, which Kia acknowledges as confirmation of its move towards further performance offerings. In fact, Kia says interested buyers will be able to pick up these performance parts via specific suppliers following the car’s launch. Read on for the details.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Federation.

    What Makes The Kia Stinger GT Federation Special

    • Mild build
    • Cream Orange paint
    • Minor body mods
    • Breathing upgrades for engine
    • Lower suspension

    2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation - image 741781
    “The GT Federation manages to make improvements without any radical changes”

    When we first saw the Kia Stinger GT, we were impressed. We liked the sporty body style, with its wide, low stance, aggressive fascia, large wheels and low-profile tires, and copious cuts and vents spread tip to tail. To this solid foundation, the GT Federation manages to make improvements without any radical changes.

    As you can see, the aesthetic differences are few but effective. New body pieces include a new rear spoiler, a new rear diffuser, and new hood vents, all from the California-based parts supplier Air Design USA. There’s also a new front lip spoiler, and the whole thing is slathered in an eye-catching shade of Cream Orange paint. Just in time for Halloween, too.

    Lest it gain the ignominious title of “all show, no go,” the GT Federation also delves under the hood for its list of upgrades, adding a new intake from K&N, and a new high-flow exhaust from Borla. Making its appearance in the rear, the Borla pipes terminate in a quartet of tips in the new diffuser.


    2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation - image 741777
    “All told, the new breathing mods help to liberate approximately 15 horses from the otherwise stock twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 powerplant.”

    All told, the new breathing mods help to liberate approximately 15 horses from the otherwise stock twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 powerplant, with peak output coming to around 380 horsepower total. And yeah, we would have loved it if the stock snails got tossed for bigger boost makers, but that would mean it would need the supporting mods to go with it.

    As is, this is a mild build, down to the suspension parts, which include new lowering springs from Eibach, as well as larger anti-roll bars. Rounding it off are impressive 20-inch wheels from TSW, with Falken providing the tires.

    All in all, it’s a good-looking piece of kit, and should provide anyone interesting in buying and modifying a Stinger of their own with a good idea where to start.

    References

    Kia Stinger


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700374

    Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.


    2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

    Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

    PostHeaderIcon The Kia Stinger Gets Baptized For SEMA

    It was only a matter of time before the Kia Stinger would attract the attention of aftermarket tuners. As it turns out, it was even sooner than we all thought. Kia’s new GT sedan is headed to the 2017 SEMA Auto Show, and it’s bringing West Coast Customs with it for the ride.

    By now, it’s become the status quo to expect the extraordinary at SEMA, and it’s no surprise that the Stinger’s baptism in the event comes by way of one of the most famous tuning shops in the world. In true West Coast Customs fashion, the kit it prepared for the Stinger is nothing short of a statement on the tuning potential of the performance sedan. The aero kits are insane. The aesthetic details are just as incredible. And, let’s not forget what West Coast Customs is capable of if given a chance to go all-out on redesigning a car’s interior. There are no photos of the Stinger’s cabin at the moment, but you can be assured that it’s going to be overhauled, West Coast Customs style. Weird lighting? Perhaps. An ear-pounding audio system? Don’t sleep on it. Maybe an HDTV or two? Wouldn’t be a shock to the system either. The full story of West Coast Customs’ aftermarket build of the Kia Stinger is going to be told in all its glory at SEMA. As far as can’t-wait moments for the show, the unveiling of this project now sits high atop my list.

    Continue after the jump to read the full story.

    What do we know so far about West Coast Customs’ program for the Kia Stinger?


    The Kia Stinger Gets Baptized For SEMA - image 739815
    “The most noticeable change is the width of the car, largely credited to the addition of those wide body fender flares”

    Well, Kia was nice enough to show us a teaser of the Kia Stinger sporting West Coast Customs gear, and by the looks of the rear section of the performance sedan, we’re going to need to prepare ourselves for nothing less than a Decepticon-like transformation. The most noticeable change is the width of the car, largely credited to the addition of those wide body fender flares. The wheel arches are insane to look at from this angle though not shocking since this is a WCC build to begin with. We can’t see it from this angle, but according to Kia, there’s a similar treatment to the front end of the car, complemented by a gloss black front grille, and a number of other aggressive enhancements. A new set of 21-inch forged wheels has also been added to the mix and going back to the rear of the Stinger; we see a larger diffuser that’s flanked by four squared-off exhaust tips.

    All the upgrades we’re seeing here in the photo are just from one section of the car. Imagine then what the whole thing is going to look like once the Stinger is unveiled at the SEMA Auto Show. We know that it’s going to be joined by a handful of other custom Kia creations, but you can be sure that we already know which of these builds are going to attract the most attention.


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700354
    “It’s the first performance sedan that Kia’s releasing to compete against the established European elite”

    For those who need a refresher, the Kia Stinger is a ground-breaking car from the Korean automaker. It’s the first performance sedan that Kia’s releasing to compete against the established European elite and based on initial response to it; the Stinger looks to be up-to-the-task of going up against the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Audi A4. For one, it’s bigger than most of its competitors, something that could play well into the hands of customers who value their premium sedans to look the part of one. Then there are the engine options. The Stinger features a number of different engine variants, but for now, none is more important than the range-topping 3.3-liter bi-turbo V-6 engine that’s expected to top 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque.

    Talks of a more potent are also being discussed to compete against models like the BMW M3. There’s no confirmation on the kind of power it’s getting, but the early report indicates that it’s going to make use of the same 5.0-liter V-8, Tau GDi powerplant found under the hood of the Genesis G80. The unit generates up to 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque in output.

    References

    Kia Stinger


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700361

    Read out full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.


    2017 Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept - image 739052

    Read more SEMA Auto Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Ring in 2018 Already: 10 Models We’re Dying To See When The Calendar Flips A Page

    With just a little over two months left before we say adieu to 2017, the wait for all 2018 model releases is hitting fever pitch. We can’t promise to make time move faster than it does, but what we can do is at least prepare everyone for what’s to come when the new year arrives. That said, let me be the first to say that 2018 is going to be a wild year for the auto industry, as old guards are retired, existing nameplates get their redesigns, and most importantly, all-new models are unleashed into the world.

    Who knows, 2018 might even be the year when we take a big leap in electric and autonomous technology. A lot of things are at play when the new year rolls around so to keep the anticipation building, do check out this list of some of the hottest and most highly anticipated models to hit the streets next year. We can’t say that we like one of these models better over the other, but at least we’re giving you a good preview of what’s to come. Prepare those checkbooks, ladies and gentlemen, because some of these cars won’t come cheap.

    Continue after the jump to read the full story.

    Kia Stinger


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700374

    Was there ever any doubt that the Kia Stinger would be on this list? Personally, I’ve been waiting for the Stinger to hit the streets for quite a while now just to see how it stacks up against the European competition. More than that is the excitement that comes with being the model that signals Kia’s entry into the performance sedan market that’s populated by the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Audi A4. Does the Kia Stinger and its 365-horsepower output hold up against the competition? We’re going to find out in 2018 and, for what it’s worth, I like Kia’s chances of making a statement when it debuts sometime around the fall of next year.

    Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.

    Lexus LS


    2018 Lexus LS 500 - image 700556

    The Lexus LS flagship sedan is another late 2018 arrival and, just like the Stinger, there are a lot of expectations for this model to do well off the bat. The good news is that Lexus prepared it to meet those standards. For one, the LS is completely redesigned and features a longer, lower, and wider stance. That coupe-like dynamic should play well to those who weren’t fans of the outgoing version. Then there’s the engine, which isn’t anything to sneeze at. The LS will feature plenty of engine choices, beginning with a 3.5-liter, twin-turbo, V-6 that pumps out 415 horsepower and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. If that doesn’t suit your flight of fancy, Lexus is also offering a hybrid version in the form of the LS 500h. This variant will come with the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine to go with a couple of electric motors. Total output is rated at 354 horsepower, and while it isn’t as powerful or as fast as the gas version, it’s sporty enough that it shouldn’t matter. Besides, hybrid calls for better efficiency, so there’s a nice trade-off right there.

    Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LS.

    Dodge Challenger SRT Demon


    2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - image 729179

    Ok, so this may be a little bit of a cheat here because deliveries of the Challenger SRT Demon are expected to start any time now if it hasn’t started already. But let’s face it: has there ever been a model this year that’s been hyped up to Timbuktu like the SRT Demon? I personally can’t think of one, though the Porsche 911 GT2 RS is making a late case for itself. Be that as it may, expect production – and the conversations about the Demon –
    to bleed into the new year as customers slowly start receiving their cars. Without question, this super limited (only 3,000 units in the US) muscle car will dominate the narrative next year, especially if it lives up all the hype it has received since it was announced earlier this year. Hard to imagine going wrong with a car that can spit out 840 horsepower and 720 pound-feet of torque without so much as breaking a sweat in the process.

    Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

    Tesla Model 3


    2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 727971

    Yet another model that’s actually already being delivered to the first batch of owners is the Tesla Model 3. And, like the Challenger SRT Demon, there’s tremendous hype surrounding the Model 3, though not exactly for boasting sinister power numbers. The Model 3, in essence, is Tesla’s entry-level offering for those who have been priced out of getting either the Model S sedan or the Model X SUV. There’s been a lot of news surrounding the Model 3 recently, particularly the car’s slower-than-expected production time, but rest assured, 2018 is going to be a huge year for the car because only then will it be determined if the Model 3 is the game-changing vehicle that Tesla has hyped it to be. Mark my words: the Model 3 will dominate plenty of discussions next year.

    Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

    Jeep Wrangler


    2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 669920

    Oh, yes! It’s been 11 years since Jeep rolled out an all-new Wrangler, so you can understand why so many people are pumped up to see the next-generation model when it hits dealerships next year. As one of Jeep’s most popular models – Wrangler sales have consistently grown by roughly 20,000 units since 2011 – there are a lot of people waiting with baited breath to see if the new model can live up to the success of its predecessor. Needless to say, Jeep prepared it in such a way that it should be able to carry that burden. It’s already been announced that the new Wrangler will be available as a two-door, four-door Unlimited, and a pickup truck. Likewise, the model will feature a host of new engine choices, including the expected addition of a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 borrowed from the Ram 1500. This mil has up to 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque on tap and will work with a ZF eight-speed auto transmission for good measure.

    Read more about the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

    Alpine A110


    2017 Renault Alpine A110 - image 708518

    This is more of a personal choice than anything else because the model isn’t coming to the US. But, allow me to gush over the Alpine A110 one more time. It’s arguably one of the most beautiful sports cars I’ve seen in quite some time, and it’s upcoming release in 2018 has me wishing that I had a European address to go to so that I can get my hands on one. But alas, the A110 will remain across the pond, for now, depriving us the opportunity to gush over it in all its splendid beauty. Make no mistake though; the A110 is more than just eye-candy; it also features a 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that produces 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel it from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds before maxing out at a top speed of 155 mph. It really is a bummer that we can’t get our hands on the A110, but stranger things have happened. Cross your fingers that at least some of them find their way into the US. Legally, of course.

    Read our full review on the Alpine A110.

    Hyundai i30 N


    2018 Hyundai i30 N - image 723127

    Since we’re here lamenting about the status – or lack of one – of the Alpine A110 here in the US, how about we pour some salt in our wounds by also pointing out that the Hyundai i30 N is also unlikely to make its way to U.S. shores. This list has suddenly turned depressing. As I wipe my tears away, I should point out that the i30 N sits in a similar spot as the Kia Stinger being the first hot hatch offering to come out of Hyundai. And, just like the Stinger, there’s plenty of hype surrounding the i30 N and how it’s going to be able to stack up adjacent the establishment in its segment, which – by the way – includes titans like the Ford Focus ST and the Volkswagen Golf GTI. The i30 N certainly has the numbers to back up its hype – 246 ponies and 271 pound-feet of twist from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine – but only time will tell if the whole package translates into the car we all expect it to be. Good thing, then, that we won’t have to wait too long to find out.

    Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.

    Volvo XC40


    2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733078

    No list of mine is going to be complete without mentioning the latest upcoming release from Volvo. I’m not afraid to admit it either. Volvo has completely won me over, and the excitement I’m feeling in my body over the coming arrival of the XC40 is another indication that I’m fully on-board the bandwagon. I honestly don’t know what I’m most excited about when it comes to the XC40. It could be the fact that it’s actually Volvo’s first ever premium compact SUV. It could also be the fact that it has adopted Volvo’s new design language (one of the best in the business). It could also be that the crossover has enough advanced safety tech features that it helps to validate the automaker’s reputation. It might even be because the XC40 has enough engine options to make a prospective buyer’s head spin. Or, it could be a combination of all of the points I just mentioned. Either way, I’m excited to see the XC40 in full bloom and its arrival in 2018 is going to be cause for celebration in my household.

    Read our full review on the Volvo XC40.

    Chevrolet Equinox


    2018 Chevrolet Equinox - image 689330

    It’s not exactly an all-new model in the way some other cars on this list are, but still, let’s give some love to the 2018 Equinox. It’s only two years removed from getting the next-gen treatment, but already, Chevrolet is preparing the 2018 model to be 400 pounds lighter than its previous incarnation. On top of that, the steady choice of engine options remains one of its most important attributes, as is the returns owners get from any of these engines – 40 miles per gallon has been reported. It’s safe to say that the crossover and SUV markets will be as competitive as they’ve ever been in 2018 and the 2018 Equinox will definitely be in the thick of all the fighting.

    Read our full review on the Chevrolet Equinox.

    Toyota Camry


    2018 Toyota Camry - image 703838

    The last spot is reserved for America’s best-selling car, or at least one of the best-selling: the Toyota Camry. Why am I excited for the 2018 release? There are enough reasons to be, including the model’s edgier styling, something that the Camry has never been the best at. Add that to its lineup of powerful and efficient engines, a wide array of advanced safety tech, and you’re looking at a model that’s fixing to keep its position as one of the most popular models in the US. It’s really as simple as that.

    Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.

    PostHeaderIcon Kia Just Gave the Germans a Big Middle Finger

    I was there when Kia pulled the covers off of the Stinger for the very first time and, in case you haven’t read my review, I was extremely pleased with the car inside and out. The seats were beyond comfortable and supportive. The fit and finish of interior and exterior panels were amazing, and there was plenty of high-end tech to compete with the big boys. When you add in the fact that It basks in the ambiance of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s good for 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque or a 3.3-liter V-6 that’s good for 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet, we’re talking about a car that not only stole the show at its debut but will be a bur in the ass of every executive over at BMW and Audi. Why? Because BMW and Audi can’t afford to beat out Kia and its newest sports sedan.

    It sounds crazy, right? BMW and Audi have officially been smacked down by Kia – a brand that was once known for its econoboxes and lackluster quality that was more than sufficient thanks to extremely affordable pricing. Well, even though Kia has been producing more premium cars as of late – the Optima is pretty nice too – we kind of expected the Stinger to fall a bit on the chubby side of the finance books. We couldn’t have been more wrong, and Kia has proven to the world that it can produce a truly attractive sports car with more than enough power to take on the big boys without having to overcharge or ask you to break the bank to buy one. That’s right; we’re talking about a true sports sedan that isn’t ungodly expensive. So, how cheap is it? Well, the base model beats out the BMW 430i by nearly $10,000 and the 440i xDrive Gran Coupe by more like $11,000… Sounds crazy, right? Well, there’s more. Keep reading to learn all about it.

    Economy Pricing Crazy Style and Power


    Kia Just Gave the Germans a Big Middle Finger - image 734755
    Kia Stinger 2.0-liter four-cylinder $32,795
    Kia Stinger GT $39,895
    Kia Stinger V-8 $51,000 (rumored)
    “The base model, which brings the 2.0-liter four-cylinder to the table comes in at just $32,795”

    So, let’s talk about the official prices for a moment. The base model, which brings the 2.0-liter four-cylinder to the table comes in at just $32,795. If you want more power, you’re going to have to go with the Stinger GT, which delivers 365 ponies from a 3.3-liter V-6 and commands just $39,895. That’s right – less than $40,000 for a car with this kind of street rep. Have we entered the twilight zone yet? Well, you might think so when you realize that the Stinger’s main competition – the BMW 4 Series comes in hot with a base price of $41,950 for the 430i Gran Coupe. Move up to the more powerful 440i Gran Coupe, and you’ll shell out $48,300 – a far sight from that $39,895 price tag of the Stinger GT. And, guess what? The Audi A5 – another major competitor – is also getting the middle finger thanks to a starting price of $40,641 (nearly $8,000 more than the base Stinger) or $42,978 for the Sport trim or $45,007 for the Sportback S Line.

    It Reigns Supreme in Power Too


    Kia Just Gave the Germans a Big Middle Finger - image 734760

    So, the Stinger is cheaper and even looks better. And, let’s be honest, it’s definitely more attractive than the 4 Series and the A5 on any given day of the week. I know you haters are still going to hate, but deep in your heart, you know the Stinger is the pageant winner today. So with a significantly lower price and more impressive looks, one would assume that it would fall show on the power front too, right? It would only be logical in today’s world. Well, you’re wrong. The Stinger beats out the competition in every way. With the base model pushing 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 26- pound-feet at 1,400 rpm, it topples the 430i’s348 ponies and 258 pound-feet and tops out the RANGE-TOPPING A5’s 252 horsepower and 272.9 pound-feet of torque. But….but… what about the 440i? Yeah, I hear you over there you little hater, but your 440i gets schooled too. See, the 440i delivers 320 ponies at 5,500 rpm and 330 pound-feet at 1,380 rpm. It’s not bad by any means, but guess what? The Stinger is going to kick its ass every time with the 3.3-liter V-6 that’s good for 365 ponies at 6,000 rpm and 376 pound-feet at 1,300 rpm.

    “The Stinger beats out the competition in every way”

    The Specs

    Kia Stinger Kia Stinger GT
    Engine 2.0L Turbo Charged I4 Theta II 3.3L Twin Turbo V6 Lambda II
    Horsepower (est.) 255 HP @ 6,200 RPM 365 HP @ 6,000 RPM
    Torque (est.) 260 LB-FT @ 1,400-4,000 RPM 376 LB-FT @ 1,300-4,500 RPM
    Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
    Front suspension MacPherson MacPherson
    Rear suspension Multi-Link (5-link) Multi-Link (5-link)

    What the Other Guys Offer


    2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupè - image 540334

    2017 Audi A5 Sportback - image 702793
    BMW 430i Gran Coupe BMW 440i Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI Audi A5 Sportback 3.0 TDI
    Engine 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder 2.0-liter Inline four-cylinder 2.0-liter Inline four-cylinder 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine
    Horsepower 248 HP @ 5,200 RPM 320 HP @ 5,500 RPM 252 HP @ 5,000-6,000 RPM 190 HP @ 3,800-4,200 RPM 218 HP @ 4,000-5,000 RPM
    Torque 258 LB-FT @ 1,450–4,800 RPM 330 LB-F @ 1,380–5,000 RPM 272.9 LB-FT @ 1,600-4,500 RPM 295.0 LB-FT @ 1,750-3,000 RPM 295.0 LB-FT @ 1,250–3,750 RPM
    Transmission 8-speed Sport Automatic 8-speed Sport Automatic 7-speed dual-clutch 6-speed manual 7-speed dual-clutch
    Acceleration 0–60 mph 5.6 4.8 6.5 7.9 6.4
    Top speed 130 mph 130 mph 155 mph 148 mph 152 mph
    Fuel economy city/highway/combined 23/2/4/27 21/32/25
    Curb Weight 3,668 Lbs 3,799 Lbs 3,240 Lbs 3,306 Lbs 3,615 Lbs

    a 5.0-liter Rumor that Will Make Bimmer Fans Need a Safe Space


    2019 Kia Stinger GT Plus - image 702824

    Kia didn’t play around when it designed the Stinger. The brand was very upfront about the car having a lot of potential in the future. The car is capable of handling a lot more power and could even be fitted with some electrification components as well. But, that’s not all. The rumor mill is always churning, and the most recent rumor points to the possibility that the U.S could see the Stinger get the option of a V-8. This setup could ultimately deliver up to 450 horsepower, which means all of you Bimmer fans crying that the M3 will still be the leader… sorry about your luck, Kia is coming for it too. Considering that’s enough to top the M3’s 3.0-liter that delivers 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet, Kia is sitting real pretty. And, what’s more? The M3 commands $65,500 as of the time of this writing. That’s $14,000 more than the V-8 Stinger’s rumored price of $51,000.

    Final Thoughts


    Kia Just Gave the Germans a Big Middle Finger - image 734753

    And here we are – I’ve pretty given a huge hand to Kia’s initial assault on the German automakers, and I don’t feel the least bit bad about it. For years, all of you have blindly followed makes like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes, willing to pay way too much because you think it’s necessary for the power and luxury offered by these automakers. But now, Kia steps into the fold with an exceptionally cheaper car with equal or greater luxury and comfort next to even more power. Kia has officially shown us that a stylish, comfortable, and powerful sports sedan doesn’t have to brank the bank. So, the question is, what happens now? Does Kia invade the German hold on the luxury sedan market or will the Germans manage to fire back in one way or another? One thing is for sure – none of them are going to cut down on pricing. So, if any of them are going to pull it together, then they’ll need to bring more power, better looks, and anything else that might help make up for that near-$10,000 difference in price. I don’t know about you, but my money is on the Kia. Tell me what you all think in the comments section below.

    References

    Kia Stinger


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700360

    Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.

    Kia Stinger GT Plus


    2019 Kia Stinger GT Plus - image 702823

    Read our speculative review on the 2019 Kia Stinger GT plus.

    Kia Stinger Coupe


    2020 Kia Stinger Coupe - image 702821

    Read our speculative review on the 2020 Kia Stinger Coupe.


    2017 Kia Proceed Concept - image 731388

    Read more Kia news.

    PostHeaderIcon Souped-up Kia Stinger GT to Get V-8 Engine

    Rumors of a more powerful version of the awesome Kia Stinger GT have been flying around ever since the Korean brand launched the sedan – and we have a rendering and speculative review for it – but the Asian carmaker has yet to confirm such plans exist. However, the company’s Australian communications manager just hinted that a higher performance version could come to the U.S. soon. What’s more, it appears that instead of a beefed-up V-6, Kia may use a V-8 powerplant for the range-topping four-door.

    Speaking to CarAdvice, Kevin Hepworth, the brand’s communications manager in Australia, said, “I believe they’re developing one” when asked about a V-8-powered Kia Stinger. And while he pointed out that such a model won’t make it Down Under, he added that “there may be a possibility the U.S. could pick it up.” There’s no word as to when it could arrive, but as we mentioned in our speculative review, a 2018 launch for the 2019 model year seems very likely. What specific engine will it use and how much power will it send to the wheels? Keep reading to find out.

    Continue reading for the full story.

    What’s Under the Hood?


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700364
    “With the M3 rated at 425 horsepower and the AMG C63 good for 469 horses, it would a safe bet for Kia to release a 450-horsepower Stinger GT”

    Given Kia’s current drivetrain strategy, it’s very unlikely to see a brand-new V-8 design under the hood. Instead, it will probably use the 5.0-liter V-8, Tau GDi powerplant in the Genesis G80. The unit generates up to 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel and Hyundai should be able to upgrade it for more oomph.

    Currently, the most powerful engine offered in the Stinger is the twin-turbo, 3.3-liter Lambda V-6, which sends 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of twist to the wheels. An output identical to the Genesis G80 would be enough to make the range-topping version stand out, but Kia could push for more in order to compete with German sports sedans like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. With the M3 rated at 425 horsepower and the AMG C63 good for 469 horses, it would a safe bet for Kia to release a 450-horsepower Stinger GT.


    2015 BMW M3 - image 554284

    2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 - image 569741

    The extra oomph would make it a more competitive choice in terms of performance, too, as the quickest Stinger available yet needs 5.1 seconds to hit 60 mph. A 450-horsepower version will likely need a little more than four seconds for the same benchmark, which would be closer to the M3 and AMG C63.

    What About Styling?


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700359

    Well, it’s pretty obvious that a more powerful Stinger GT will need new aerodynamics. As seen in our rendering, we expect it to feature a large lip spoiler, larger bumper intakes with race-inspired canards, and a vented engine hood. The aero package should be rounded off by larger side skirts, a proper diffuser, and a wing atop the trunk lid.

    References

    Kia Stinger GT


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700361

    Read our full review on the Kia Stinger GT

    Kia Stinger GT Plus


    2019 Kia Stinger GT Plus - image 702823

    Read our full speculative review on the Kia Stinger GT Plus


    2017 Kia Proceed Concept - image 731388

    Read more Kia news.

    PostHeaderIcon Don’t Expect A Hardcore Version Of The Kia Stinger For The Time Being

    The Kia Stinger GT caused quite a stir when it made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Not only did it usher in a new era of Kia performance models, but it also made it known that Kia’s all set to compete in a premiumsedan market currently dominated by the likes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. It’s no surprise, then, that soon after the Stinger GT broke cover, the rumor mill was inundated with an insinuation that a “hotter” version could be in the works. A Stinger “GT-R,” as folks christened it. Well, according to no less than Albert Biermann himself – he’s the head of Kia’s high-performance division – a more powerful version of the Stinger GT is possible; it just won’t happen anytime soon.

    As deflating as it sounds, Kia did offer a pretty sound explanation as to why it’s holding off on a more hardcore version of the Stinger GT. According to Biermann, the focus at this moment is to make sure that the Stinger GT is successful. Launching the car (it’s expected to arrive in the U.S. later this year) is the first step. From there, the company is intent on gauging the kind of customers it gets and understanding what these customers are looking for in terms of a more performance-oriented version of the model. It’s an approach that wouldn’t make sense if it was BMW, which already knows what its customers want. But this is Kia, a company that’s technically diving into these waters for the first time. As Biermann told Motoring Australia, entry into this premium market is something Kia needs to do “carefully.”

    Continue after the jump to read the full story.


    PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger Coupe

    Kia shocked a lot of people when it pulled the sheet off the Kia Stinger earlier this year, and things only got better once folks got a chance to sit down in the most comfortable vehicle Kia has ever built. Offered here in the U.S. with a 255-horsepower four-cylinder or a 365-horsepower V-6, the newest four-door on the block is set to compete against models like the BMW 4 Series, the Audi A5 Sportback, and even models like the Lexus GS or Infiniti Q50. But, what if Kia didn’t stop there? What if it wanted to take on the two-door segment too? Well, there’s no reason at all that it shouldn’t, and we decided to give Kia a head start by designing our own take on what a Kia Stinger Coupe would look like.

    When the Stinger we all know and lust for (that’s weird to say about anything with a Kia badge, right?) has four doors, our coupe has an extended front door and a large chunk of rear quarter glass that hints toward the best passenger room of any two-door currently on the market. Plus, it retains that rear hatch and sharp roofline that makes the four-door model so attractive. With that said, let’s take a closer look at this rendering and discuss some of the finer details before Kia decides to steal our idea and run with it.

    Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Kia Stinger Coupe.


    PostHeaderIcon BMW, Mercedes, and Audi Just Got Punked Out by the Kia Stinger

    There was a time when getting bullied meant you fought back and reclaimed your dignity, and after years of being bullied by the world, Kia finally started swinging back at the competition. You could say Kia fired its first shots with the 2017 Kia Cadenza and the 2016 Kia Optima, but it went full-on nuclear when it showed up at the Detroit Auto Show with the Kia Stinger. It’s sporty, insanely comfortable, packed to the brim with technology, and offered in range-topping form with a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 that we now know is capable of pushing it up to 62 mph in as little as 4.9 seconds – 0.2-seconds faster than Kia’s original estimate of 5.1 seconds.

    News of its official 0-to-60 time comes courtesy of is Asian-market debut at the 2017 Seoul Motor Show, where it’s being displayed, for the first time, next to the Stinger GT Concept from which it got a lot of its DNA. So, for those of you still on the fence about this Korean brand, it’s time to accept that it’s not the econobox, throw-away car maker that it once was. I mean, after all, we’re talking about a Kia with as much as 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. But, the real question is, how does its 0-to-60 time stack up against the competition? Keep reading to find out.

    Continue reading for the full story.


    PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger GT Plus

    Kia surprised a lot of people when it debuted its new Stinger GT thanks to the performance and luxury DNA that Kia developed for its first big step into such a popular segment. Set to compete against models like the Audi A5 Sportback, Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series GT, and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, Kia’s new halo car has a lot to live up to. But, Kia isn’t done writing the Stingers story just yet as Product Market Boss, Spencer Cho, has said that the Stinger will become electrified in the future. Meanwhile, a high-performance version could be on the table as well, thanks to the Stinger’s excessively strong chassis. With that concept in mind, we tapped into our resident artist to put together a rendering of what a high-performance Stinger just might look like.

    As a high-performance model, Kia will build on the car’s current profile by adding more aggressive features on the outside, to go with a few minor updates inside, and a significant power bump under the hood. It’s pretty likely that it will eventually happen, but what we don’t know is what Kia will do to increase the performance of the Stinger. Will its future hybrid plans play a role in the performance model or will it be all computer remapping and hardware upgrades? Well, we have a few theories, so let’s talk a little more about the rendering and the possibilities in my speculative review below.


    PostHeaderIcon Will There be a Wait List for the Kia Stinger?

    When Kia came to the U.S. market, it became known as a producer of affordable but reliable cars that were fairly comfortable and looked decent. But, none of the models were really anything to write home about, and certainly couldn’t be compared with models like the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, or anything else outside of the affordable segment. When the 2014 Detroit Auto Show kicked off, Kia Debuted the GT4 Stinger along with a promise to bring such a model into production and, three years later, Kia kept its promise and debuted the Kia Stinger at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Offered in the U.S. with a 255-horsepower four-banger or a 365-horsepower, twin-turbo, V-6, along with a very comfortable and upscale interior and a sexy exterior shell, the Stinger was a show stopper for the Korean brand as it steps into the luxury performance market. But, now that the world knows about the Stinger, it has raised a pretty interesting question: Will there be a wait list for the Stinger when the books officially open?

    There’s really no way of telling quite yet, but outside of small shortages for models like the Kia Sportage, it’s hard to recall of any significant waiting period for any Kia model in the past. But, the new Stinger is a completely different breed of car that comes to offer a significantly cheaper alternative to more expensive luxury and performance models. Should Kia actually lock in even a small portion of those that are really interested in the car, it could find itself unable to keep up with demand. It comes down to a couple of factors that include when production officially starts, when the order books officially open, and that initial demand.

    As of the time of this writing, neither its release date or pricing point has been officially announced, but a price tag in the range of $35,000 to $40,000 is expected while the order books should open sometime in the fall or early winter of 2017. That expected price point puts the Stinger at roughly $4,000 cheaper that the entry-level C300 from Mercedes, $6,000 cheaper than the entry-level 4 Series Gran Coupe, and a staggering $9,000 cheaper that the entry-level BMW 3 Series GT. With comparable comfort, luxury, and technology, it should be a no-brainer for those who aren’t overly loyal to the Stinger’s German competitors – as long as their willing to give the brand’s first performance luxury vehicle a chance, that is.

    So, with such a low price point in comparison to its competition, the Stinger could see a lot of initial interest that could lead to a sizable waiting list. As such, it’s quite possible that dealers will find themselves in a predicament they aren’t used to: dealing with customers that want to take delivery today but simply can’t. We all saw how that went for Ford with the Focus RS, so hopefully Kia has a plan in place, just in case.


    PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger

    When Korean manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia came to the U.S., they were fighting an uphill battle against American, Japanese, and German cars that were often regarded as having nicer materials and better build quality, among other things. Fast forward to today, and Hyundai has spawned its own performance/luxury brand called Genesis and Kia has finally jumped on the bandwagon with a premium and performance-based fastback that is derived from the GT Concept. Going by the name Stinger, it’s set to bring some insanely stiff competition to German rivals like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback, among others. At Launch, it will be available with a 255-horsepower four-banger or a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with some 365 ponies on tap. But, that’s not all. It’s extremely spacious with a longer wheelbase than that of other competitors like the Lexus GS, and even the Infinity Q50 while the chassis itself is composed of 55 percent high-strength steel for superior stiffness and excellent ride handling. Inside, it offers high levels of comfort and an absolutely striking design with technology that rivals that of high-end models way outside the Stingers expected price range.

    Those two engines I just mentioned, well there’s already word of a diesel powertrain being available for European customers. And, while it hasn’t been officially planned or confirmed, interviews with Albert Beirmann – the Executive VP of Vehicle Testing and High-Performance Development for Kia – has said that there have been talks of electrification, a move that could pit the Stinger against the likes of the Tesla Model 3 or even the Model S, depending on how much electric muscle Kia can come up with. Beyond that, the Stinger is said to be able to handle much more power than that offered by that Biturbo 3.3-liter, so an even brighter future could be on the horizon for Kia’s new halo car.

    But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself as we already have a lot to talk about, and the Stinger isn’t scheduled to hit showrooms until later on in 2017. So, grab a beverage and join me farther down the page to see what the Stinger will offer when the order books officially open.

    Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia GT.


    PostHeaderIcon The Kia Stinger GT Might Be The Affordable Korean Panamera GTS You've Been Looking For

    In my mind, the most exciting thing to debut in Detroit this year has to be the Kia Stinger GT. Based on the brand’s GT Concept car that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2011, as well as the GT4 Stinger concept that debuted in Detroit in 2014, the Stinger GT is a watershed moment for the South Korean automaker. Long story short, this is Kia’s new halo performance machine, and it arrives ready to tangle with some of the most popular European four-doors on the planet. That said, it might seem like a bit of a stretch to put this thing up against a $115K Porsche, right? I mean, have we gone completely loony?!

    Woah there, Internet warrior. Put down the keyboard. There’s a method to our madness. While it’s true that any Porsche buyer worth his PDK wouldn’t step within 100 miles of Kia dealership, a gearhead with some 911 wallpaper on his phone making a third as much money a year just might. If there happens to be a few Stinger GT’s waiting for a test drive.

    And why not? It’s got a similar body style, and if you get the base model Panamera, straight-line acceleration is roughly the same.

    Still… seems like a bit of a stretch, no? Maybe… but maybe not. Continue reading to see what we’re on about.

    Continue reading for the full comparison.


    PostHeaderIcon Kia Isn't Done with the Stinger Quite Yet

    If you had the liberty of reading my last article on the Kia Stinger, you know that I instantly became a fan when I laid eyes on it. Well, if you want to hear my Stinger love story, you can check that out at the link above. Now, I’m here to tell you a little about the future of the Stinger. When it goes on sale later this year in the U.S., consumers will have the choice of a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with around 365 ponies or a little four-banger with around 255 horsepower. Both options can be equipped with all-wheel drive or rear-wheel with an LSD, but according to Autocar, our European brothers and sisters will also get the option of a diesel drinker.

    The unit in question is a 2.2-liter four-cylinder that is currently available in the Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe, so there’s nothing really new about it aside from it being crammed into the hottest sports sedan to debut so far this year. Reports indicate that it should deliver the same 197 horsepower and will send power to the rear wheels, while the option of all-wheel drive may be offered at some point in the future. Spencer Cho, Kia’s Product Marketing Boss overseas, also confirmed that the Stinger would eventually see electrification as well. It will start out with a hybrid model and could eventually morph into an all-electric model as well – the latter of which would, in fact, be a prime competitor for the Tesla Model 3 should it have similar performance figures and range. The Hybrid model would likely use the hybrid configurations from models like the Kia Optima Hybrid or the PHEV.

    That last sentence might not make sense to some, as the Stinger is set up with a longitudinal engine configuration, but according to Autocar – citing Spencer Cho – the Stinger can share many components with the aforementioned models despite their transverse powertrain layout. For the record, a pure EV model isn’t exactly in the plans yet, but with the continued push for electrification, it’s probably only a matter of time. Furthermore, Albert Biermann, the Head of Kia’s Vehicle Testing and High-Performance Development group has said that the Stinger’s chassis can support much more power than that offered by the 3.3-liter Biturbo that will be available when the car hits showrooms, so the prospect of a true BMW M3 fighter is certainly within reach as well – now that’s pretty amazing and something I can’t wait to see.


    PostHeaderIcon All Eyes Are On Kia And The Stinger Now

    By now, everybody seems to be onboard the notion that Kia hit a homerun over the fence with the Stinger. The Korean automaker bet big on a premium performance sedan that could take on BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi and the early returns about the car are very encouraging. Of course, it’s still hard to make any judgments on the Stinger until we get to see what it’s actually like on the road, but given the overwhelmingly positive response surrounding its Detroit Auto Show debut, it wouldn’t be too presumptuous to think of how Kia’s going to build around the Stinger in order for the sedan to reach its full potential.

    First of all, here’s what we already know about the Stinger’s status moving forward. the initial version will come with two variants: an entry-level sedan and a performance sedan called the Stinger GT. There’s no definite timetable yet on when the model will go on sale, but all signs seem to point to a launch sometime within the year with the U.S. scheduled to get the Stinger in the last quarter of 2017, maybe even sooner.

    Here’s the question though: is Kia already thinking of adding on to the two variants that have already been announced?

    It’s a legitimate question to ask and to Kia’s credit, it’s already indicated as much, telling Autocar that a diesel version is already in the works with a tentative schedule to make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show this March. Details are still scarce on how a diesel Stinger is going to be packaged, but a look at the automaker’s engine lineup points to the 197-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel that the company already uses on some of its models, including the Kia Sorento.

    Beyond the growing possibility of seeing a diesel version of the Stinger, there have also been talks of going the electrified route. Granted, an EV Stinger is unlikely to arrive in the foreseeable future, but according to Spencer Cho, Kia’s overseas product marketing boss, the company has the capability to venture down that road in the event that there’s demand for one.

    The speculation surrounding Kia’s growth plans for the Stinger is likely going to continue now that the model has made such a positive first impression. It’s a great problem for Kia to solve and one that I’m sure the company is looking forward to solve.

    Continue after the jump to read the full story.


    PostHeaderIcon The Kia Stinger Casts a Big Shadow on the Competition

    I spent just over 24 hours at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and out of all the vehicles I had the pleasure of checking out, the Kia Stinger has stuck in my mind more than any. And, that’s saying a lot after spending some time with models like the Audi S5 Cabriolet, BMW 5 Series, and even the Mercedes GLA, among many others. I was actually quite skeptical when I first walked up to the three Kia Stinger models on display. I mean, after all, it’s a Kia, right? The brand came to the U.S. back in the early 1990s as an affordable brand that offered decent reliability but didn’t quite deliver in terms of performance, luxury, or even comfort in some cases. In recent years, the brand has stepped its game up a lot with models like Kia Optima, Niro, and Cadenza, but there was still a lot of room for improvement if the brand wanted to really step into the premium or luxury segments. Well, after seeing what the Stinger brings to the table, you can color me impressed and even encouraged about the South Korean brand’s future.

    Now, the Stinger is set to bring some pretty healthy power into the mix with that 365-horse, 3.3-liter Biturbo and the 255-horsepower four-banger, but once I sat down inside of the new Stinger, it became immediately and exceedingly clear that it’s about a lot more than that. And, that’s saying a lot since I’m big on power output and performance. So what was it that impressed me so much? Well, there’s actually quite a bit, so keep reading to find out more about my experience.


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