NAIAS 2017: 2018 Kia Stinger Revealed in Detroit - Don't Call It A Four-Door Coupe

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

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]

Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

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  • Quaquaqua Quaquaqua on Jan 09, 2017

    Very mixed feelings on this. I'm a big Kia fan (and anyone who isn't hasn't driven a new Sorento or Optima, case closed) and I do like them branching out like this. But there's too many little weird details that kinda make this car look cheap. And it won't be. It really does have a nice stance, but there's just too much going on. It's the opposite of the dull-as-dishwater Chevy SS. And Kia was pretty good at toeing the line of flashy versus tacky. It's almost like Peter Schreyer is getting bored with his previously excellent designs and is just stirring up the pot for kicks.

  • Mtmmo Mtmmo on Jan 10, 2017

    So that's what over styled ugly for 40-50k looks like. Obviously Kia hasn't learned from the K900.

    • See 5 previous
    • VoGo VoGo on Jan 10, 2017

      @OldManPants We found a love in a hopeless place.

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