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New York show: Kia puts sting in Stinger GTS

Mechanical changes, visual flair add extra appeal to LHD-only Kia Stinger GTS

22 Apr 2019

KIA Motors America has used the New York motor show to unveil a limited-edition version of its Stinger performance sedan, which will be limited to 800 units and sold exclusively in the United States.


Setting the GTS apart from the previously top-spec GT are a number of visual enhancements, including exclusive ‘Federation’ orange paintwork, a Stinger emblem that replaces the Kia logo on the bootlid, and GTS badging.


A sporty touch is added with the inclusion of carbon-fibre parts that outline the tiger-nose grille, side mirror caps and side vents.


Inside, the sporty theme continues with an Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel and headliner finished in Charmude, while the GTS also comes equipped as standard with a sunroof, a 720-watt Harman Kardon sound system and a wireless phone charger.


To give it a sportier driving characteristic, Kia has tweaked its all-wheel-drive system to create a more rear-biased feel and named the new system D-AWD.


The D-AWD system scores a mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle to help mitigate rear wheel slippage, while playing with the drive mode select button tweaks the amount of power sent to the rear wheels.


Engaging comfort mode sends 60 per cent of power to the rear wheels, while switching to Sport modes increases rear bias to 80 per cent and engaging Drift mode means 100 per cent of drive is fed to the rear.


The Stinger GTS will also be made available with the choice of a pure rear-drive layout, which is the only drivetrain option available in Australia.


No changes have been made to the Stinger GT’s powerplant, namely a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 punching out 272kW/510Nm while mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.


The Stinger’s 182kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine will not be offered in the GTS.


With 2018 marking the first full year of sales for the Stinger, Kia recorded 1957 registrations for its sports sedan, placing it second in the diminishing sub-$70,000 large-car segment behind the Holden Commodore (9040) but ahead of the Skoda Superb (837).

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