2018 Kia Stinger GT2 RWD Designed in Frankfurt
Written by Marco Carvajal
Photographs by Marco Carvajal
The Stinger fast acceleration with speeds from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds! 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2018 Stinger GT is a Killer Gran Turismo with German Korean blend of technology and inspiration.
The Stinger, KIA’s best performance sedan is available as a GT (Gran Turismo), with supreme power, delivering European-like comfort and high performance.
This is my second time test driving the new Stinger, first time in California and now in Florida. The more you drive the Stinger the more you love it and the more you understand the huge power under the hood. I am driving the top of the line model the GT2 with a powerful 3.3L V6 Twin Turbo GDI, delivering 365 horse power. When pushing the accelerator one can feel as race track racer. When in the highway it is very difficult to use all the speed and power included in this GT2 without breaking driving laws. The Stinger GT not only is fast and powerful, it is also very comfortable with a spacious interior and cargo area. It is sporty, trendy and luxury with leather standard. The audio system, display, connectivity and safety features are what you will expect from typical expensive European Gran Turismo cars, but a very affordable price.
The new Stinger GT sports sedan is helping Kia break traditional stereotypes and compete in the high leagues. The Stinger is surpassing some of the best Gran Turismo European Cars. Gran Turismo is traditionally a concept developed by European automobile manufactures. In this case the Kia Stinger, even if is produced by a Korean automaker it excels the competition on many European GTs. What is the difference with a normal GT? one of the main differences is the price, consumers can buy this beautiful and fast sedan for a much lower price than European competitors, saving thousands of dollars for GT aficionados. Not only price, longer and more extend warranty and lower cost maintenance compared to many European brands. Thanks to Kia, Americans are able to drive a true Grand Turismo vehicle made by KIA, competing with famous European automotive manufacturers in this class, but at a lower purchase price, around 32K to 40K, and with the well-know long warranty offered by KIA, and also with lower maintenance cost than its European competitors.
According to Kia, the Stinger Laps as fast as the 2018 Porsche Panamera RWD 3.0L V6, and it outperforms the 2018 BMW Gran Coupe M Sport
My general impression of the Stinger is that Kia has been able to built a European-like sports sedan with power and specs similar of traditional Gran Turismo car manufacturer players like BMW, Porsche, Audi and others, but with the lower cost, reputation and value of KIA.
The Stinger is designed in Frankfurt, Germany, by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his talented team of designers in Frankfurt. Ride and handling development was developed by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in two locations, Korea and on the grueling Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany. After learning how the Stinger was created and developed, one can understand why the result is so successful.
Developed on the Nürburgring in Germany and Designed in Frankfurt, more than ready to compete on the GT segment.
Kia Motors America is Headquartered in Irvine, California. Kia Motors is the second-largest automobile manufacturer, also being a subsidiary of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. Being strongly committed to the U.S. market and having more than 750 dealers on its territory, in 2009 Kia Motors has open its manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, investing over $1,1 billion.
The Kia Stinger is powerful, it ranges from 255HP up to 365HP. There are 2 turbocharged engines available, the base Stinger and premium trims are equipped with a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm with 260 lb.-ft. of maximum torque available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm. Stingers trims under the GT name, have a more powerful 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 which produces 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and offers 376 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm. All stingers include a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission.
The base Stinger comes with a passive suspension, tuned to offer a balance of handling and ride comfort. The Stinger GT is available with innovation, Kia’s first electronically controlled Dynamic Stability Damping Control and standard high-performance Brembo® disc brakes. All-wheel drive is available across all models.
It is not an inexpensive sedan compared to regular sedans, but if we measure the quality and performance included with this car, compared to similar cars on this segment, then the price seems inexpensive and with great value. The all-new 2018 Kia Stinger is the highest-performance production vehicle in KIA’s history is offered in five different trim levels: Stinger, Stinger Premium, Stinger GT, Stinger GT1, and Stinger GT2 with a price range from 31K all the way to 49K.
|Stinger base model||$31,900|
|Stinger GT base model||$38,350|
|+All-wheel drive feature:||+$2,200|
What is Gran Turismo or GT?
The original GTs were produced in the beginning of the 20th century by European car manufacturers like Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Lancia. GT cars have a powerful engine and can travel for long distances with very good performance. Gran Turismo in Italian can be translated as “Grand Tour”. GTs are automobiles that can drive for long-distance, “Grand Tours” with comfort and style.
GT cars are larger and heavier than most regular sports cars, mixing comfort, speed and performance. GT usually includes visual effects in the design like spoilers, extra set of headlights, and other features like extra comfort features, such as softer suspensions or leather seats.
The Stinger GT design is bold, nimble and fast while also luxurious and quiet. The Stinger can seat five people comfortably with enough room for luggage during long trips. The Stinger GT is an authentic gran turismo with nothing to envy from its European competitors. The 2018 Kia Stinger is on its way to become the highest-performance production vehicle in KIA’s history, ready to race against European automakers.
The all-new 2018 Kia Stinger has a European like interior with aircraft-style spoked vents and metal-ringed gauges similar to the vents available in some Mercedes Benz models. All Stingers come standard with a leather-appointed interior for a luxury feel. Optional Ultra-soft Nappa leather is available. The GT trim gets a flat-bottom steering wheel providing a sporty-elegant look.
All Stinger models are available with a large color TFT instrument cluster with performance gauges including a track timer. Typical gran turismo stye, ideal for long trips, it has a generous 23.3 cu.-ft. of cargo space that can be accessed with a power lift-gate with available Smart Trunk functionality. Generous cargo area of 23.3 cu.-ft. is larger than many cars in its class, very convenient for full-size luggage or golf bags.
More interior features include satin chrome trim, ultra-soft Nappa leather seats, under-seat mounted subwoofers, height-adjustable color Head-Up Display, wireless Smartphone charging pad, bluetooth hands-free, base audio system, six speakers and a seven-inch haptic touchscreen with the latest version of UVO, QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology.
KIA is working hard to make us love the Stinger, the overall interior of this GT is more spacious than cars like the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and 4 Series Gran Coupe, the Audi A5 Sportback, the Lexus GS and the Mercedes-Benz CLS.
The standard included audio system for the 2.0-liter turbo features six speakers and a seven-inch color touchscreen with the latest version of UVO, Kia’s award-winning telematics systems. The standard system found in the GT trim ups the speaker count to nine and includes an external amplifier. Also available, the premium Harman/Kardon® audio system that features Clari-Fi™ and next-generation QuantumLogic™ Surround Sound technology.
The Stinger attracts a lot of attention on the road with its aerodynamic and sporty look. At a half price of a Porsche Panamera or some GT Audi or BMW. The Stinger is longer (190.2 in.) and wider (73.6 in.) than some other cars in the segment. Who doesn’t love to pay less and get more?
One of the signatures of Kia is to give you several standard features, as oppose to other car brands where everything is optional and bring the purchase price up. Several safety features are included in most Kias at no additional cost, standard-included, or at a very low cost as an additional package. The stinger comes with Multiple Advance Driver Assistance system that works together to help you drive it. It includes Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) with pedestrian detection, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW), and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW). A height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD) display is also available. With a fast and powerful performance car like the Stinger, safety is important.
The bottom line
The Stinger delivers an elegant and trendy heads-turning design, lots of premium amenities standard, and supreme power, from 255 to 365 horse power. This car is ideal for those racing and GT lovers. Even if so much to offer, the Stinger is very affordable, the Stinger is a premium luxury car at a value price from $31K to $49K depending on the trim.