2018 Kia Stinger leaked… ahead of reveal later today (UPDATED)
After a few weeks of being teased online, the 2018 Kia Stinger (not the GT we thought) has been leaked ahead of its reveal at the Detroit Motor Show today.
WHEN KIA REVEALED its GT concept car in 2011 and then the Stinger concept in 2014, the world took the hint that the brand was keen to produce more than just “mass-market transportation”. And here it is, the 2018 Kia Stinger.
UPDATED: Following the reveal of the Stinger in the US, Kia Australia announced it would arrive Down Under later this year in rear-drive trim only. No pricing has been announced.
“This is a car you cannot help but be excited by,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said. “It has all the attributes to appeal to the Australian enthusiast – exciting design, a high-tech performance engine and gearbox combination and rear-wheel drive.
“The Stinger is the right car to take Kia, and the brand’s perception, to the next level in Australia. It is the type of car to add desire and excitement to Kia’s core values of style, reliability and value.”
The Stinger will arrive in Australia with the 3.3-litre V6 twin turbo driving the rear wheels through an eight-speed transmission.
At the US reveal, Kia US vice president of product planning, Orth Hendrick said: “Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world.
“From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”
The Kia Stinger seats five people and, according to Kia is: “poised to redefine a segment currently populated by European automakers”. It’ll be available with a range of engines, which are yet to be detailed, and will be released in the US first, later this year.
The design of the Stinger was handled by the company’s Frankfurt design studio under the watchful eye of design guru, Peter Schreyer. “A true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving, is not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace,” said Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Motors Europe. “The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey. It’s about passion.”
Joining the company from BMW in December, 2014, Albert Biermann, Kia’s ride and handling boss, said: “I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is like a special event,” notes Biermann. “Because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It’s a whole different animal.”
By way of comparison, the Kia Stinger has a longer wheelbase than either Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz CLS or BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. It’s also longer overall than those cars. It hasn’t said how big the boot is, but Kia did say “The Stinger’s cargo area is also larger than many in its class, with enough space for full-size luggage or golf bags and a power liftgate with Smart Trunk functionality is available”.
In a first for the brand, the Kia Stinger gets electronically adjustable suspension known as ‘Dynamic Stability Damping Control’. “While always reacting predictably to the driver’s inputs, depending on road conditions and driving style, the Stinger can be tuned to respond with more agility through corners as the system softens the front shocks and firms up the rear. Conversely, improved high-speed stability is achieved when the system stiffens the front shocks and softens the rear. The system is accessed through five drive modes (another Kia first): Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart”.
The engines are still being developed, but it’s likely the two on offer for the Stinger will be a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder making 190kW at 6200rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1400-4000rpm. There’ll also be a 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 making more than 270kW at 6000rpm and more than 500Nm of torque from 1300-4500rpm. The latter engine will get the Stinger to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds.
The Stinger will be both rear- or all-wheel drive (but only countries with snow will get the AWD) and get a Kia-developed eight-speed automatic transmission and features: “Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain. Drivers can let the gearbox manage shifts on its own or may selectively run through the gears via paddle shifters mounted aft of the steering wheel. As with the suspension and steering, up to five different shift patterns may be selected through the vehicle’s electronic drive-mode system. Throttle mapping is also adjusted accordingly.”
The all-wheel drive variant will be rear biased (but Kia hasn’t said what the split will be) and will feature Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control “which monitors driver inputs and road conditions and automatically applies power and braking force to the appropriate wheels to maintain course in adverse conditions. Rear-drive vehicles get the benefit of a mechanical limited slip differential to help evenly distribute power through the rear wheels”.
In terms of active and passive safety features, the new Stinger will borrow from Kia’s safety playbook and feature things like Forward Collision Assistance (FCA) with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) which can maintain a pre-set distance between the Stinger and the vehicle in front and can bring the car to a full stop in congested traffic. It will have Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) which scans the area behind the vehicle when backing from a parking space and will alert the driver with an audible warning if cross traffic is detected.
The Stinger will feature a height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD) display which reflects on the windshield glass, speed, turn-by-turn navigation, audio and cruise control settings and Blind Spot Detection information. Resting within the center console is a wireless Smartphone charging pad and Bluetooth hands-free operation is standard while many of the vehicle’s subsystems may be accessed through the steering-wheel-mounted controls.
It’s still early days, but we’re expecting Kia Australia to reveal, later today, when we can expect the Stinger Down Under and whether we’ll get both or just one of the engine variants. So, stay tuned.
Question: The Kia Stinger is a big step forward for the Korean car maker. Do you think, from what you’ve read, that it has the ability to take on the established European players?