The Kia Stinger GT: sharp new stinger
Search Driven for Kia for sale
Just weeks before its official launch, Kia New Zealand has revealed the Stinger, the brand’s first real sports car.
First shown at this year’s Geneva motor show, where it stood out among all the European brands, the Stinger five-door sportback is not only a performance vehicle but a groundbreaking addition for the Korean company.
Kia NZ revealed the three versions of the rear-wheel-drive Stinger to the motoring media at Pukekohe race track this week.
The range starts from $54,990 for the EX and $59,990 for the GT line. Both have a 2-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder petrol engine (193kW/350Nm).
The top-spec, twin-turbo 3.3-litre, V6 petrol engine (272kW/510Nm) is priced at $69,990. Kia NZ is also offering an Australia-tuned sports exhaust for the V6 with an expected price of $3000.
All models feature the second-generation of Kia’s electronic 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Stinger was designed by Peter Schreyer and Gregory Guillaume and engineered by former BMW M vice-president of engineering Albert Biermann.
Schreyer, the creator of Kia’s tigernose grille, says the “Stinger is going to fundamentally change the global image of Kia”.
“I have no doubt it will revolutionise the way people think about us. It’s going to propel us upwards into a different era.”
The Stinger will go on sale in NZ in early January with the brand expecting a 70-30 split in favour of the V6 turbo over the 2-litre model.
Kia NZ’s managing director, Todd McDonald, then expected Kiwi buyers to favour the 2-litre Stinger.
Previously, the Optima GT was the performance vehicle for the Korean brand but the Stinger introduces a true sports sedan for Kia.
While the Optima remains in Kia NZ’s line-up, the GT is available by order only. Kia NZ is also expected to adjust the price of the Optima as the Stinger goes on sale.
The Stinger is the first modern-era car built on a rear-wheel-drive platform for Kia. It is the first to be powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine, and the first Kia to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in under 5 seconds.
Australian motoring website caradvice.com.au recently broke that record when it took on the V8-powered Holden Commodore SS-V Redline in a straight-line acceleration and handling performance test.
With the end of production of the rear-wheel-drive Commodore in Australia, the Stinger is keen to show Ockers that there is an option for them.
Caradvice beat the official Kia factory 0-100km/h figure, recording just 4.8 seconds for the Stinger and eclipsing the V8 Commodore by half a second. These figures are achieved thanks to the input of Biermann, who calibrated the concept Stinger to become more than a pretty face.
The Stinger has Kia’s Dynamic Stability Damping Control (DSDC), which can be customised by the driver through a choice of comfort or sport settings.
DSDC works alongside five drive mode settings: Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Custom. The settings adjust engine response, transmission changes, steering effort and suspension stiffness.
In sport mode, V6 GT offers launch control, which turns off the stability control and provides electric assistance to drivers for accelerating rapidly from a standing start. With this function activated, Stinger can reach 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, assisted by the limited slip diff, which is standard on the V6 GT.
Kia NZ let the motoring media trial the 2-litre and V6 Stingers at Pukekohe race track this week via a series of exercises: from stop to hit 100km/h in a short distance; swerving at speed through a coned corner; slalom at 50km/h; the “deer” swerve at 40km/h; and long sections of speeding along the track. Unfortunately, we were limited to under 150km/h due to safety regulations with the GT V6 pushing to that limit on the back straight of the race track.
While the V6 was the star at speed, with the torque response impressive, the 2-litre took out the slalom because of its nimbleness and the lighter engine pushing the nose into bends.
The steering is extremely responsive with a fluid turning circle making cornering at speed and turning into the tight bends on the track easy. The chassis wasn’t pushed to extremes on the race track
The Stingers also get enhanced safety features of AEB, forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring and smart cruise control.
The V6 GT Sport and 2-ltire GT Line sit on 19in alloys while the EX turbo is on 18in.
The Stinger is a five-seater but due to the sloping sportback, tall rear passengers may have to stoop to get into the back.