Kia uses the more accurate and less offensive term “fastback sports sedan” to describe the new Stinger, unveiled tonight ahead of the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Kia will offer the rear-drive, coupe-like 2018 Stinger liftback with turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 powerplants, and optional all-wheel drive.
Styled by Kia’s Frankfurt office and overseen by Peter Schreyer, the production Stinger is inspired by the GT concept revealed in 2011. It pairs a long wheelbase with short overhangs and a long hood to evoke a traditional grand touring sports car.
Mechanically, a standard 255 horsepower two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or optional 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 365 hp will power the Stinger. The sole transmission is an eight-speed automatic transmission — somewhat disappointing for a challenger in the sports sedan field, but on par with the majority of the market. Kia estimates a 5.1-second 0-to-60 time, and a top speed of 167 mph for the V6-powered Stinger.
Kia refined the Stinger’s suspension on the Nürburgring, as is standard for any performance car. Albert Biermann, formerly of BMW, lead the Stinger’s development effort with engineers in both Frankfurt and Korea.
The 114.4-inch wheelbase and 73.6-inch width are larger than competitors such as the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and BMW 3 Series, and come within a couple of inches of the larger BMW 5 Series. The V6-powered Stinger will also come equipped with Brembo brake calipers front and rear, featuring four-piston calipers on the front and two-piston grabbers on the rear.
The usual suite of safety features, including forward collision assistance, autonomous emergency braking, and lane keep assist, will be available on the Stinger. Kia also introduces its Driver Attention Alert system, which monitors driver inputs to combat drowsy or distracted driving, and sounds an alert if the driver’s attention is reduced to unsafe levels. A heads-up display will reflect navigation, audio, speed, and blind-spot information upon the windscreen.
The 2018 Kia Stinger will go on sale late in 2017, with pricing announced closer to the on-sale date.
[Images: Kia Motor Corporation]