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Future models - Kia - GT4 Stinger

Kia goes independent on Stinger

Different genesis: A light, compact and affordable double-wishbone chassis is set to be developed for Kia’s GT4 Stinger sports coupe.

Bespoke double-wishbone platform to sit under Kia’s hot-shot Stinger sports coupe

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Kia logo22 Jan 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

KIA’S proposed Stinger rear-drive sports coupe is set to be built on a bespoke Kia double-wishbone architecture, lighter and smaller than the layout of the current rear-drive Genesis Coupe from sister company Hyundai.

And although some reports say the car will go into production in two years, GoAuto understands that the launch is likely to be further out than that, perhaps in 2017.

Officially, Kia says the Stinger is yet to be approved for production, but Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) is enthusiastic for the 2+2 liftback coupe, confirming it will put up its hand up for the model as soon as it is available.

KMAu chief operating officer Tony Barlow told GoAuto at the recent Optima facelift launch that he was “very happy” with what he had seen of the GT4 Stinger concept revealed at the 2014 Detroit motor show.

“It is certainly shaping the way Kia is looking to the future,” he said.

The concept – powered by a 294kW race-enhanced version of the 2.0-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder engine from the American Optima sedan – is thought to be built on a heavily modified version of an existing Hyundai Group rear-drive architecture, most likely that of the Genesis Coupe.

However, Kia executives say the production car will need a smaller and lighter chassis than that of the large Genesis, which is about 680mm longer and about 500kg heavier than the concept.

The Hyundai Genesis sedan, which has been confirmed for Australia from July this year, also uses MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link independent rear end, instead of the proposed double-wishbone platform of the Stinger.

A new Genesis Coupe is yet to be revealed, but it too will come to Australia, although not for at least two years.

Kia chief designer and company president Peter Schreyer has not ruled out sharing the Stinger platform, telling GoAuto at the Detroit show that it would give more adequate scale to the project.

Logic says that would include a Hyundai variant, with a different body style to separate the models.

However, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the platform might be shared across corporate lines, in the same way as Mazda is sharing its next MX-5 architecture with Alfa Romeo, and Mercedes-Benz a rear-drive sports design with Renault-Nissan.

As GoAuto reported from Detroit, Mr Schreyer has also not ruled out a convertible version of the Stinger, despite the fact that the concept has a lift-back hatch instead of a notchback boot, which complicates matters.

Mr Barlow said the Stinger concept was a logical step on the way to a Kia roadster as envisaged by Mr Schreyer over many years.

The GT4 Stinger concept’s design was penned in Kia’s California studios by designers who are all privately keen on rear-drive sportscars such as the Porsche 911, Mazda MX-5 and Toyota-Subaru 86/BRZ.

These designers reportedly have told American journalists that, for Stinger, they envisaged an affordable rear-drive sportscar, in the mould of the MX-5 and 86/BRZ and with a sub$US30,000 ($A34,000) price tag on the US market.

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