It was at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show that Kia first hinted at the launch of a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan with the unveiling of the GT concept. More than half a decade on, the production version of the striking concept has been revealed as the 2018 Kia Stinger.
Kia’s finally taking the covers off its new coupe-like sedan on Sunday at the 2017 Detroit auto show. Joining the K900 in Kia’s small but growing rear-wheel-drive arsenal, the car promises to be the most dynamic model ever launched by the Korean brand. Extensive development took place on the Nürburgring, with former BMW M engineering boss Albert Biermann tasked with honing the chassis.
The Stinger’s suspension features MacPherson front and multi-link rear setups plus adaptive dampers, the latter adjustable viable a drive modes selector. There is also electronic power steering and an available all-wheel-drive system with electronic torque vectoring. (Rear-wheel-drive versions get a mechanical limited-slip differential.)
Two powertrains will be offered at launch. The base option is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 delivering an estimated 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Those seeking more performance will be able to opt for a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 delivering an estimated 365 hp and 376 lb-ft. The sole transmission is an 8-speed, paddle-shifted automatic.
The 4-cylinder Stinger is fitted as standard with 18-inch wheels shod with 225/45-size tires. The V-6 model comes with staggered 19-in wheels with 225/40-size tires up front and a 255/35-size set in the rear. The V-6 model also benefits from Brembo brakes with 4-piston calipers up front and 2-piston calipers in the rear. Performance specs are yet to be announced but we know the V-6 model hits 60 mph from rest in 5.1 seconds.
At 114.4 inches, the Stinger’s wheelbase is longer than that of rival coupe-like sedans such as the Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz CLS , which means interior space should be generous for the class. Kia also boasts that cargo space is also larger than in many rivals.
Inside, you’ll find all the modern touches as well as a few premium options such as Nappa leather and a 15-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system. The center console is split into two specific areas: the infotainment controls sit below a large color touchscreen, while the climate and ventilation controls nestle beneath. There are also electronic driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, collision warning, and blind spot and cross traffic warning.
Kia has confirmed that sales of the Stinger will start in late 2017. Pricing information will be announced closer to the market launch but should fall somewhere between the $32k starting price of the Cadenza and $50k price of the K900.
For more from the Detroit auto show, head to our dedicated hub.