NAIAS 2014: Kia GT4 "Stinger" Concept

Phillip Thomas
by Phillip Thomas

The world needs more sexy two door RWD coupes. I think we can all agree that the cheap two-door sports car market has gained some excitement the last few years, especially with the success of the BRZ/FRS (I shall call them BRS for short) twins. Kia is toying with that idea, too, and is pulling no punches while they’re here. The GT4 Stinger concept is aimed right at the heart of the BRS twins, and here’s how…

The GT4 rides on a custom chassis for this concept. It utilizes four wheel independent double wishbone suspension, leaning more towards Miata than BRS (Which still uses McPherson struts up front) as far as suspension quality. With a reported 103.1 inch wheelbase, the GT4 is just a hair longer than the BRS, which sits at 101.2 inches; but it’s also nearly a foot wider, and much shorter than the BRS — though these are just concept car proportions. The GT4 uses a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder with 315 hp, twisting this thrust through a close-ratio six speed manual to scoot along the scant 2,874 pounds.

All that aside, little of it matters to the production car — which is a long way off, Kia admits. Styling is what’s drawing the most attention, and I find it well-deserved. Kia’s take on the long hood/short deck styling is spot-on in proportion, with hulking fenders raising over its low belt-line to house staggared 20-inch wheels, with 235mm wide front and 275mm wide rear tires. The black accent along the rocker neatly hides a duct, presumably for brake cooling. And I don’t know what it is about those headlights, but they subtly remind me of the clamshell ’65 Buick Riviera headlights.

The see through A-Pillars are an interesting conceptual touch, but I feel they’d be far too distracting to try and peer through in practice. The rest of the interior pushed for a minimalist approach.

With no platform to house it, and no immediate plans to build it, this is a traditional dreamy concept car. That said, Kia execs have their ears to the ground, listening for public response. I would like to see it happen, that’s all.

Phillip Thomas
Phillip Thomas

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  • CJinSD CJinSD on Jan 21, 2014

    Anyone else feel like they've seen this one before? Check out the Saab Aero X Concept.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Feb 10, 2014

    The vertical headlights reminds me of the front-end treatment on the first-gen Buick Riviera.

  • 28-Cars-Later [list=1][*]"Nissan is trying to incorporate elements of past Z Cars to create an automotive amalgam. This includes going back to using a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine. "[/*][*]"Ford has similarly opted to keep around the 5.0-liter V8."[/*][*]"The Ford benefits from having port and direct injection, while the Nissan only uses direct."[/*][/list=1]This isn't even a contest.
  • Lorenzo It's an election year, and Biden will drag down enough democrats without the state going deeper in the budget hole than it is now. Newsom isn't the smartest guy, but he has smart guys to tell him the state is running out of other people's money.
  • MaintenanceCosts The symbol is the standard international sign for "controlled access highway." Presumably they are trying to evoke the Autobahn.
  • MaintenanceCosts Absolutely. Most old classics are not Boss 429s or Busso Alfas. Most of them have powertrains that are just crap by modern standards. I'd love to have a classic without the pre-emissions stinky exhaust or the need to futz around constantly with points and jets to maintain drivability.
  • Ravenuer No, I wouldn't be interested in doing this at all. Seems like it would be quite expensive.