DETROIT — Kia unveiled an all-new rear-wheel-drive fastback sports sedan in conjunction with the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 2018 Kia Stinger is the production embodiment of the Kia GT concept car that was first shown in 2011.
The Stinger wears classic gran turismo long-hood/short-deck proportions, stretched out over a generous 114.4-inch wheelbase. It seats five and utilizes a hatchback-style power rear liftgate with available hands-free Smart Trunk functionality.
Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive will be available, with a choice of two turbocharged engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with an estimated 255 horsepower, or a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 with an estimated 365 hp. Both engines mate to an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel paddle shifters. Kia is targeting a 5.1-second 0-62 mph time and a 167-mph top speed for the twin-turbo V6 version. The AWD system features a Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system that can apply power and braking force to the appropriate wheels to enhance cornering performance in inclement conditions.
An adjustable Dynamic Stability Damping Control suspension is available; it’s accessed through the Stinger’s drive-mode system, which alters throttle, transmission, and suspension settings via driver-selectable Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort, and Smart modes. V6 models have Brembo disc brakes with quad-piston front calipers.
Available features include Nappa leather upholstery, a head-up display, and a premium Harman/Kardon audio system. Available safety features include Forward Collision Assistance with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a Driver Attention Alert feature designed to combat distracted driving.
The 2018 Kia Stinger is scheduled to go on sale in late 2017. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.
Kia’s Peter-Schreyer-designed concept vehicles have been turning heads at auto shows for a few years now, so it’s great to see that styling panache filter down to a truly sexy production machine. A designed-in-Frankfurt, tuned-on-the-Nurburgring-track grand touring fastback might seem like a real stretch for a brand that most people associate with stylish-but-sensible mainstream vehicles. However, the Stinger’s striking looks and respectable specs promise to make it a compelling alternate to luxury-brand competitors such as the Audi A5 Sportback. If Kia comes through with value-for-the-dollar pricing, that would make the Stinger an even stronger proposition.