A pair of 2018 Kia Stingers just parked on the screen on the west side of the historic Woodward Avenue south of 12 Mile near Wiltshire. The red GT Stinger is planned to be driven up and down Woodward on Saturday for the annual Dream Cruise.
Kia is aiming for fastback sports sedan to compete in the segment that is dominated by Europe. The Korean automaker said Stinger would be the highest-performing production vehicle in the company’s history.
“We want people to see it,” he said. “We want to show it off.”
“We are very proud of this car. This is a decent-car parade,” said Neil Dunlop, public relations manager for Kia, who has never been to a cruise before. “We are proud of every Kia, but we do not have it as striking as this.”
“Jenny, ich liebe dich!” Graffiti’s giant graffiti flashed over the stern Kia Stinger on the wall around the Metzgesfeld Nürburgring Nordschleife, part of an endless claw spaghetti that adorns every inch of this crazy lane. Jenny, wherever you are, we hope you appreciate the problems your homeboy has brought.
Like Mensch Jenny, Kia Stinger is rather ballsy, from cartoon names to styles that boast hatchback body to rear platform. So is the market mission, which seems to be very disconnected from the cheap and cheerful Kia defined by its best-selling seller, the Soul. It is possible to sell for $ 33,000 to $ 48,000 (we extrapolate, based on instructions posted by the manufacturer’s representatives), Stinger brings Kia into a new realm dominated by serious players like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 series.
What does Kia offer?A large car in its class, as a starter, the base of the 114.4-inch Beyonce steering wheel is almost four inches longer than the 3 row and only 1.7 inches shorter than the Porsche Panamera.The rear seats have a cross-your-legs space, but the factory-defined pavement weight is only slightly high, ranging from about 3,600 pounds for a base of 2.0 liters to 3900 for loaded all-wheel-drive versions.
The Kia also challenges people to look different, with hatchback bodies and chairs praised for their low position (for better handling through a better center of gravity of course).The Australian journalist who attended the event told us that their country is anticipating Stinger, who is considered picking up the late deadline of Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, both big rear sedans.
Well, outside that weird and small market, Stinger will be greeted primarily as a funny anomaly from an unexpected source.Chief designer Gregory Guillaume told us that Stinger’s styling inspiration is a big GT that he sees as a boy who bombed the Autoroute du Soleil in the south of France, especially Maserati Ghibli.You have to squint – really cross – to see it, but okay.Such a dream is what happens when Koreans come out and hire Europeans and give them hands free to design and develop cars.
This and the Nürburgring, because in addition to Guillaume, which Kia presented from Volkswagen in 2005, Hyundai Motor Group in late 2014 also enticed Albert Biermann from what should be one of the best performances in the industry, running BMW’s M GmbH.Biermann said his first job at Kia was “trying to match the dynamic experience with Stinger’s emotional performance.”
Kia is very hot to showcase his European HR initiative results so as to invite journalists to the ‘Ring to taste the sportiest Stinger, GT turbocharged, on the same 12.9-mile Nordschleife where engineers do some development work.The only problem: We only have three laps, two in the rear Stinger and one round with all-wheel-drive model, all behind the main car that sped up at 10-10 from the go signal.That is similar to being asked to make intelligent comments about travel and car handling after spending 34 minutes underwater with it.
All we can say is that the Stinger GT, which trades a 255-hp turbocharged 2.0 liter inline-four base for the 3.3-liter twin turbo V-6 that produces 365 horsepower, feels like a car built by people who love cars, andit’s not total chaos when confronted with a track.Quite the opposite, actually.Considering this is the Kia-the previous rear sedan is the K900-this is great news.
Biermann and his men did their best to shrink the great Stinger’s speed, using the option of bushing to provide a live and reactive wheel, and on 19-inch wheels with their standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, a sturdy grip.Blessed with a rigid structure, the Stinger likes to turn around, and reward your decision to take him to a German megatrack with the right track control and neutral handling that pushes into the understeer not too early.
Well, of course for the rear-drive Stinger, which can be controlled by throttle through mechanical slip differential typing and safety, we believe, make a remarkable drift when the electronic stability control is turned off.We were reminded not to turn it off – and were not even notified that there is a Sport setting if you press the off button once.Thus, all impressions are in Comfort or Sport mode, where ESC, surprisingly, remains largely outside your face.
The all-wheel driver is softer and more vulnerable to understeer, though the torque-transfer system is biased toward the rear.Note the front wheel more axles for all weather, which is exactly as it should be.
The 3.3-liter engine – also seen in Genesis G90, G80 Sport, and the upcoming G70, which will share the Stinger platform but with shorter wheelbase and different styling – serves a sauce with vibrant pull and baritone rock. The only complaint we encountered with eight-speed automatic speed and its three overdrive ratios is a reluctance to respond to paddles in manual mode. Given Stinger does not go on sale in the United States until early December, there are times to address software bugs.
With its large and relatively inexpensive rear-driven sedan with short supply – and the Dodge Charger is approaching the end of a very long life – Stinger promises to be a satisfactory niche filler from the most unlikely source. We patiently wait more time in it and the opportunity to drive it at normal speed.