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Detroit show: Kia reinvents image with Stinger

Bi-turbo V6 Stinger to introduce Kia into the rear-drive sports-sedan market

5 Jan 2017

KIA has set its alarm clock to January 8, counting down its attack on the exclusively European sports-sedan market with a high-performance luxury model known as the Stinger.

The new top-end model from the ambitious Korean car-maker, based on Kia’s 2011 GT Concept shown at the Frankfurt motor show, has been teased through a series of The Curve Ahead videos and detail photographs.

On January 8, at the Detroit motor show, the four-door has its debut to end the hype and potentially put Kia on the road as a competitor to fastback rivals including the Audi A5, BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.

More importantly for Australia, the five-seat, rear-drive Stinger could also seen as a successor to the Commodore SS and Falcon XR6 Turbo.

The Stinger is on track for a launch here in the third quarter of this year with pricing expected to start around the low $40,000 mark.

Though a new entrant in Kia’s model range, the Stinger was actually one of the first sketches made by the company’s design boss, Peter Schreyer.

Mr Schreyer, subsequently promoted to the president and chief design officer of Hyundai-Kia Motors, also penned a small, MX-5-sized roadster – seen in 2014 as the GT4 Stinger concept – that is still awaiting the green light.

In a statement, Mr Schreyer said: “This new vehicle is going to fundamentally change the global image of Kia”.

“It will revolutionise the way people think about the brand and propel us upwards into a different era. You cannot believe how excited I am about this car.” The Stinger, also dubbed GT by industry watchers, is built on the Genesis G70 rear-drive platform but has unique drivetrain and suspension tuning.

It is possible the car will get the Hyundai/Kia 310kW 5.0-litre V8 – as fitted to the Genesis G90 – though a more likely starter for the Australian market will be a bi-turbo 272kW/509Nm 3.3-litre V6, also from the G90.

It is likely a less-expensive version will get a 202kW 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder here, and European markets could potentially have a diesel-powered variant. All engines mate to an eight-speed automatic and there is no manual transmission on offer.

Reports from Europe claim the V6 Stinger will have a 0-100km/h sprint time of only 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 245km/h, making it Kia’s fastest production model.

Kia has trickled news of the Stinger including blurred video sequences of it performing on the Nurburgring track to emphasis its sports-sedan direction.

The teaser shots also reveal a flowing body shape similar to the lines of the Porsche Panamera, thin LED headlights and daytime running lights, gills behind the front wheels, and bonnet vents.

In launching the videos, Kia’s statement said: “The curve ahead is all about potential. The potential to clip every apex, and consume every straight. To take on each twist and turn with agility, speed, and progressive design.”

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