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Unread 2017-10-05, 03:12 PM   #201
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Unread 2017-10-05, 03:16 PM   #202
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Unread 2017-10-05, 03:31 PM   #203
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Unread 2017-10-06, 03:29 PM   #204
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Unread 2017-10-09, 12:13 AM   #205
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Kia Stinger GT-S review – can the new GT do the business?




A surprisingly accomplished sports saloon – fast, well equipped and distinctively styled, with the ability to entertain


Evo Rating:






Price:
From £31,995


For
  • *Adjustable handling, strong performance, decent refinement.





Against
  • *Characterless engine, steering lacks feel, kerbweight.





You probably know Kia as ‘that brand with the long warranty’. Its seven-year guarantee has made it popular with buyers looking for peace of mind rather than a good time, while its range of SUVs and family cars are big on value but low on thrills.

Things are changing at Kia, though. First there was the surprisingly accomplished Kia Pro_cee’d GT hot hatch, then the company poached BMW M Division’s Albert Biermann. The German has been hard at work over the last couple of years working on the i30 N from sister firm Hyundai and now this, the Kia Stinger.
The Stinger represents a departure from Kia’s recent run of crossover models as it takes aim at premium saloons and hatchbacks such as the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. The driving experience promises to back up these lofty ambitions – although bosses are keen to stress that the Stinger is a spacious and refined GT car that can turn on the charm when required, rather than an out-and-out sports saloon.

Image 3 of 18

Image 3 of 18

Diesel and petrol versions of the Stinger will be available in the UK, as will four-wheel drive, yet it’s the flagship rear-wheel drive V6 petrol that’s of interest to us. It’s a model that’s unique to Britain and has been developed to help lay the foundations for new generations of Kia models that promise to place the driver front and centre. Yet it’s not forgotten its roots just yet, because at £40,495 this 365bhp GT-S version comfortably undercuts less well-equipped rivals such as the Audi S5 Sportback and BMW 440i Gran Coupe.
Even so, that’s a fairly hefty chunk of cash to drop on a large five-door hatchback with a Kia badge. So in an attempt to lure buyers in (not many buyers it has to be said, with just 1800 examples expected to find homes in the UK every year), designers have attempted to give the Stinger some distinctive kerb appeal. It certainly stands out from the crowd, but we’ll leave it to you to decide whether the mish-mash of Audi A7, Masertati 3200 GT and Kia Optima is a successful one. It’s a similar story inside, where the bold ambition is slightly undone by materials that aren’t up to the same standard as you’ll find in the German alternatives – the plastic key with moulded leather stitching is a case in point. Still, the Stinger is roomy and ridiculously well equipped, with a standard kit list that will have BMW owners weeping into their optional extras brochure.
Technical highlights

Unlike all other V6-engined Stingers, which are four-wheel drive, UK versions are rear-wheel drive only. The decision was taken to give us this specification on the grounds it would make the Kia a more agile and engaging proposition.
However, while losing the propshaft, front differential and driveshafts has helped trim around 100kg from the Stinger’s weight, it still tips the scales at a rather portly 1780kg. In order to mitigate this mass, the GT-S is the only model that gets adaptive dampers, which can be stiffened in Sport and Sport+ mode, helping rein-in any untoward body movement. There’s also a Comfort setting, and a Smart mode that aims to react to your driving and quickly alter the damping accordingly.
Another feature unique to the range-topping V6 is the Brembo braking system, which uses larger discs (350mm at the front and 340m at the rear) and four-pot calipers for improved stopping and greater pedal feel.
Image 5 of 18

Image 5 of 18

Under the Stinger’s vented bonnet is the ‘Lambda II’ 3.3-litre V6 that can trace its roots back to the Hyundai Genesis executive saloon. The addition of a pair of turbochargers boosts power to an impressive 365bhp, while peak torque is 376lb ft, which is delivered in a flat line from an idle-like 1300rpm all the way to 4500rpm. The V6 is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which drives the rear wheels through a limited-slip differential.
As you’d expect, there are a number of driver modes (Eco, Smart, Comfort, Sport and Sport+), with each ramping up the throttle response, steering weight, suspension firmness and gearshift strategy. Also included is a launch control function, which seems oddly out of place on a big saloon with grand touring aspirations.
Engine, transmission and 0-62mph time

The Kia is a bit of a heavyweight, but it disguises its bulk well when accelerating, with the 0-60mph sprint being dispensed with in a very brisk 4.7sec. Keep the throttle pinned to the floor and the Stinger runs out of puff at a claimed 168mph. These are numbers that will get a 440i owner sitting up and taking note.
Yet it’s the car’s thumping mid-range pace that leaves the biggest impression. Maximum twist is available from just 1300rpm, meaning there’s virtually no turbo lag, and the Stinger simply surges forward like it’s been, erm, stung. From 1500rpm until 4500rpm there’s a sense of relentless reserves of energy, regardless of what gear you’re in – even eighth, which is geared at more than 40mph per 1000rpm.
Image 7 of 18

Image 7 of 18

Of course you can rev the engine out to its 6500rpm redline, but there’s really no point, because not only does the Kia feel so fast in the mid-range, the V6’s note is rather charmless when extended. There’s a sound synthesiser that adds a more gravelly tone, but it’s a rather unfortunately artificial sounding embellishment. Best to simply enjoy the unit’s low down thrust and refinement to make quieter but equally swift progress.
The eight-speed automatic is also a little uneven in its performance. Left to its own devices in Comfort, the transmission slurs its shifts with the sort of near imperceptible smoothness you’d expect from a car emblazoned with GT badges. Twist the centre console-mounted driving mode dial into Sport and the ‘box holds onto ratios for longer and delivers snappier shifts. On the whole it responds well, but using the wheel-mounted paddles gives the greatest control, except that there’s no option to maintain the gearbox in this manual setting – leave the paddles alone for five seconds and the transmission reverts to auto mode. It’s a frustrating trait for a car aimed at enthusiastic drivers.
What’s it like

Kia is at pains to point out that the Stinger is a GT car first and foremost. Jump in and leave the car’s systems in Smart or Comfort and it’s clear the engineers have met this brief to perfection. What strikes you first is the ride, which is supple and well damped, taking everything from big bumps to potholes in its stride. There’s an underlying firmness around town, but it never becomes uncomfortable and the excellent dampers manage to round off even the sharpest surface imperfections. The car is quiet too, with both wind and road noise well suppressed, even when cruising at high speeds.
Yet there are clues that the Stinger has a more dynamic alter ego lurking beneath the surface. For starters, the driving position is set surprisingly low, while the major controls have a reassuring meatiness to weight and response. The Brembo brakes deserve special mention here, for they deliver both confidence-inspiring stopping power and a beautifully progressive pedal action.
Image 10 of 18

Image 10 of 18

Flick the car into Sport and you can feel the extra firmness in the dampers and more eager response to the throttle. The steering is reasonably quick and the front end responds crisply, with the combination of torque vectoring and grippy Continental rubber helping the Stinger stay locked onto your chosen line. There’s good traction too, in the dry at least, and despite the Kia’s large external dimensions and portly kerbweight, it feels remarkably light on its feet through a series of corners. Perhaps more surprising is just how throttle-adjustable and playful the Stinger can be. Relax the traction control’s grip on the rear wheels and you can use all that torque and the limited-slip differential to trim the Kia’s line. Use more throttle and you’ll have well telegraphed oversteer on command – at this point you really have to pinch yourself that your driving a Kia that’s more willing to play the hooligan than any BMW this side of an M3.
That said, it’s not without its quirks. With so much mass to manage, the suspension struggles to contain body roll, even with the dampers in their stiffest setting. Weight also plays its part in the Kia’s on-limit handling, where the car can get a little ragged – carry too much speed into a corner and the front end pushes wide sooner than in an Audi S5, while body movements aren’t as well checked as you’d like over mid corner crests or big compressions. The steering also requires work before it can match that of a 4-series – the electrically assisted set-up is fast enough with decent weighting, but there’s precious little feel and when you’re really hustling the Kia there’s a curious vagueness just off the straight ahead. However, drive the car as Kia intended – as a GT that can also deliver some fun when the road allows – then the Stinger is a remarkably accomplished effort.
Image 16 of 18

Image 16 of 18



Price and rivals


Prices for the Stinger start at £31,995, but you’ll have to find £40,495 to secure the keys to this V6 version. Yes, that’s a big wedge of cash for a Kia, but it’s worth considering that the less powerful Audi S5 Sportback is £48,175, while the BMW 440i Gran Coupe and Mercedes-AMG C43 start at £44,490 and £45,830 respectively. Also, the Audi and Mercedes are four-wheel drive only.
In truth, it’s unlikely that many BMW and Audi owners will make the trip to their local Kia dealer, but if they can put badge snobbery to one side they’ll find a remarkably capable car in the Kia. Sure it feels cheaper than the premium competition, but it’s priced accordingly. Crucially, what it lacks in premium appeal the Stinger makes up for with a genuinely engaging driving experience. It’s not perfect yet and there are still some quirks and foibles to be ironed out, but as first attempt at a proper, grown-up driver’s car the Stinger is a remarkably impressive achievement.
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Unread 2017-10-09, 11:28 PM   #206
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Unread 2017-10-09, 11:30 PM   #207
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Unread 2017-10-09, 11:31 PM   #208
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Unread 2017-10-09, 11:44 PM   #209
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Unread 2017-10-10, 11:33 AM   #210
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2018 Kia Stinger GT first drive review: an upscale, sporty bargain












Image 1 / 16



























Along its journey from builder of cheap but reliable transportation to budding luxury market player, Hyundai-Kia’s strategy has been “if you can’t beat them, join ‘em.” Or more appropriately, have them join you.
When its cars looked like poor imitations of melting Jaguars, Hyundai-Kia hired Audi designer Peter Schreyer to give its sheet metal some genuine style. The result was the 2010 Kia Optima, a car that injected verve into the usually staid mid-size sedan segment.
But that didn’t change the company's inability to tune a suspension. Or maybe it didn’t have the right parts to make a chassis work. Enter Albert Biermann in December 2014. As the former head of BMW M engineering, Biermann was tasked with making Hyundais, Kias, and the new high-end Genesis models sportier. The first car he developed from soup to nuts? The Kia Stinger.

2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo

An M influence
Biermann joined the company when the design for the Stinger was already underway, and Schreyer and his team had penned the attractive fastback lines inspired by cars like the 1970s Maserati Ghibli. “When I joined Kia, I said these cars need to drive as good as they look,” Biermann said in a company-produced video for the Stinger. The former M boss was happy to find that Kia had good parts to use. They just needed to be put together and tuned correctly.
And just what are those parts?
The GT model is best defined by its engine. Under its sculpted hood sits a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 that develops 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel shift paddles. The base Stinger gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder making 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.
The body for every Stinger is comprised of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel, but it uses no light-weight materials like aluminum or carbon fiber. Hyundai is a steel company after all, so Hyundai Group vehicles will likely never use aluminum. Extensive use of structural adhesives helps stiffen the Stinger's body, as does a special structural ring around the rear hatch opening.
The front suspension relies on aluminum for the brace between the MacPherson struts. The rear end gets a five-link independent suspension mounted to a stiffened rear subframe. Electronically adjustable dampers, a Kia first, are used at all four corners for the Stinger GT, while 4-cylinder Stingers get static dampers. The brakes are Brembos, with 13.8-inch discs and four-piston fixed calipers up front and 13.4-inch discs and two-piston calipers at the rear. It all rides on a staggered set of 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, 225/40s up front and 255/35s out back.
Kia offers the Stinger GT with rear-wheel drive or a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system that uses an electronically controlled clutch to shift up to 50 percent of the power to the front wheels. Put the Drive Mode Selector into Sport and up to 80 percent of the power can go to the rear. Rear-drive models are available with a mechanical limited-slip differential, while the AWD versions have a brake-based torque vectoring system that clamps down on the inside wheels to send power to the outside rear wheels in a turn.




Biermann's team made sure those parts were tuned correctly by extensively testing the Stinger GT. They subjected the car to more than 6,000 miles on the Nürburgring; performed braking runs on the Grossglockner, the highest mountain in the Austrian Alps; did winter testing in the Arctic Circle in Sweden; and conducted validation testing at the company’s California Proving Ground.
The Nürburgring testing revealed the car needed an engine oil cooler and an external transmission oil cooler to handle the rigors of track duty. It also got plenty of aero tweaks to make it work at its top speed of 167 mph. Among the aero elements are wheel air curtains with functional vents, gills behind the front wheels to reduce wake turbulence, a rear diffuser, a ducktail rear spoiler, and a belly pan. The result is a 0.30 cd. The horizontal ducts that flank the grille cool the brakes.
2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo

2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo

2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo


Challenging giants
You may have heard that the Stinger is a BMW 3-Series rival, but it’s bigger than that. At 190.2 inches long and with a 114.4-inch wheelbase, it’s larger than an Audi A5 Sportback. In fact, it’s just two inches shorter than the Lexus GS sedan but its wheelbase is two inches longer, and that makes it a mid-size car in our book.
But it’s not a sedan, either. It's a hatchback in the molds of the A5 Sportback, the Audi A7, or the Porsche Panamera. Kia counts all those cars among its competitors, along with cars like the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe, the Lexus GS, and the Infiniti Q50.
It may be bigger than the 3-Series, but it’s priced like it. In fact, it’s a bit cheaper with a starting price of $32,795 for the base model and $39,895 for the GT.
Kia’s test drive of the Stinger GT included a drive from West Hollywood west to the twisty Angeles Crest Highway and on to the company’s California Proving Ground in the Mojave Desert. At the proving ground, we did high-speed runs, an autocross with competitive vehicles, and laps around a road course.
How well does it compete with those cars, many of them giants of the luxury industry? From a value standpoint? It’s compelling. Dynamically? It’s in the ballpark, but there’s room for improvement.
Biermann's team got the basics right. Drive the Stinger GT hard into a corner on a track or a canyon road and it reacts well, with neutral, predictable handling. Get the speed under control with the strong Brembo brakes, and the Stinger rotates nicely through corners. The available limited-slip differential helps the car put down its prodigious power quite well coming out of turns, and the Sport mode lets the tail step out a bit.
However, there is room for improvement. While the steering is direct and predictable and the small, flat-bottom steering wheel feels appropriate for a sporty car, the Stinger GT’s turn-in isn’t especially immediate. A comparison drive on the autocross with the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe revealed that the BMW is quicker to react. The Kia also doesn’t shift its weight that well from side to side when the turns get tighter. That’s likely due to carrying a bit too much weight and/or conservative damper tuning. The AWD system adds a bit more weight and exacerbates the issue. It feels like there is room for a more aggressive version of the Stinger than we get with the GT.

The suspension tuning is good, though. The ride quality is firm but never harsh, even in Sport mode. Speaking of the drive modes, this system adjusts not only the suspension, but also the throttle response, transmission, all-wheel-drive system, and stability control; the other modes are Eco, Smart (which learns your behavior), and Custom, which drivers can configure.
The Stinger GT’s greatest strength is its powertrain. The twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 helps the car punch above its weight. It lets out a refined howl and vaults the car from 0-60 mph in a scant 4.7 seconds. The full 376 lb-ft of torque comes on at a very low 1,300 rpm, so the punch is immediate. It works well with the 8-speed automatic transmission, especially in the Sport mode, which holds gears longer and quickens throttle response. On the track, however, the 8-speed got confused on a couple of short chutes that required full throttle application followed by hard braking, then back to full throttle. The transmission just didn't know what gear to be in and I had to wait for a beat for it to catch up on a couple of occasions. That can be remedied by using the smallish shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo

2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo

2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo


Sporty, practical, and upscale
Hop in the Stinger GT and you will immediately be impressed by the quality of the cabin. Leather is standard and soft nappa leather is available. The supportive seats can be made even more supportive with optional air bladders, 16-way adjustments, and heating and ventilation. The dash is arrayed in a horizontal layout with a black wing-shaped dashboard offset by metal trim. A display in the instrument panel provides G forces and lap times, in true sporty fashion.
Plenty of amenities are available. Highlights include a head-up display; the Uvo3 infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; a heated steering wheel; and a thumpin' 720-watt, 15-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system with Clari-Fi that digitally expands compressed music and QuantumLogic Surround Sound that digitally approximates surround sound.
2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo

2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo

2018 Kia Stinger GT
Enlarge Photo


The Stinger's hatchback body style and mid-size dimensions give it practicality, too. The back seats have good leg room for most adults and space for three across. Rear head room is generally good, but it will be limited for anyone taller than 6-feet due to the fastback roofline.
That roofline resolves into a hatch area that has 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is half again as much as the trunk of a large sedan. Fold those rear seats down and storage space expands to 40.9 cubic feet, which is almost as much as a small SUV. That makes this car far more practical that any coupe or sedan.
Bottom line
Hyundai, Kia, and now Genesis have made a few efforts at building sporty rear-drive cars. It started with the Hyundai Genesis coupe back in 2008, then expanded to the Genesis sedan (now the Genesis G80) later that year. The Kia Stinger is the next attempt (soon to be followed by the Genesis G70 sedan, which is based on the Stinger), and this one is the best yet. It gets some of the smaller details right, and this time the basic suspension setup and handling character is on the money. There is, however, more room to grow to make the Stinger a true driver's car with the feel and reactions to challenge the Germans.
For now, though, Stinger GT is fun to drive, powerful, practical, and upscale, and it all comes at a price that makes it a true bargain.
Kia paid for airfare and lodging for Internet Brand Automotive to bring you this first-hand report.
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Unread 2017-10-10, 11:49 AM   #211
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Review: Kia Stinger GT-Line




hours Tuesday October 10th 2017 Base petrol version of Kia’s executive GT is keenly priced and good-natured The days of lumping all Korean car manufacturers under the ‘worthy but boring’ headline are pretty much gone now with the arrival of cars like the Kia Stinger. This Peter Schreyer-designed rear-wheel drive grand tourer looks amazing. Up to now we’ve only been given driving access to the flagship 365bhp twin-turbo V6. The early signs for the Stinger based on that car were promising. Now we’ve driven the entry-level Stinger, a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol machine that’s around £8000 cheaper than the equivalent BMW 430i Gran Coupé and even Volkswagen’s posh new Arteon.

This much more affordable Stinger will attract a much wider audience – as long as it performs as well as it looks, of course. UK-spec 2.0-litre T-GDI Stingers lose out on a little power compared to those reaching the rest of Europe and the US (244bhp versus 252bhp) because of an essential exhaust redesign demanded by the position of the steering column on RHD cars.

That’s a shame, but 244bhp still represents more power for your £32,000 than it does in any other rear-driven executive car. On top of that you get an eight-speed auto gearbox,eight-inch touchscreen infotainment, head-up display, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a mechanical limited-slip differential and that rather spiffy Stinger styling. In isolation, Kia’s cabin plastics look no cheaper than any other manufacturer’s, but it can be a bit awkward if the attempts to add a sense of desirability to the driving environment are done in a half-hearted way. We’re not big fans of the Stinger’s faux-leather upper dash and doorcard sections or of the slightly throwaway selection of glossy black trim for the centre console surrounds, but we do like the occasional use of textured aluminium. It’s a similar ‘close but no cigar’ story with the eight-inch infotainment system. It works OK, and sounds decent enough through the nine speakers, but you wouldn’t categorise it as ‘premium’.



That could be an issue in this market. Better is the car’s usefully low and womb-like driving position and the crisp midrange response of its engine. It will even rev out quite willingly if you fancy holding onto a gear when the mood takes you. You wouldn’t call it hot-hatch quick, but decent progress is possible in the 3000-5000rpm range. It really needs a better gearbox, though.

The proprietary eight-speeder has no properly locked-out paddleshift manual mode and it doesn’t downshift as promptly as you might like in automatic mode. Ride and handling will be key factors in luring buyers away from the sporting Euro-opposition, and there’s good news here in the shape of the Stinger’s praiseworthy compliance and suppleness. its ability to absorb lumps of every size even with 18-inch alloy wheels and regular passively-damped suspension is allied to a nicely considered mix of balance, grip and body control. Sometimes you’ll wish for slightly more informative steering, and you’ll quite often be wishing for a more directly-connected automatic gearbox to make the most of the rear-drive car’s inherently sporty characteristics, but in general there’s enough pace and composure to grant the Stinger entry into the junior sport saloon club. The dynamics may be slightly compromised, but the price isn’t.
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Unread 2017-10-10, 01:58 PM   #212
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The 2018 Kia Stinger GT Pokes ze Germans in Their Lederhosen

Poach an Audi designer and the chief engineer of BMW's M Division. Move them to South Korea. The result? A 167-mph hatchback GT—at a Kia price.





Ah, Los Angeles: Where image rules, poolboys drive BMWs, and self-worth can hinge on the car you drive. It’s the kind of brand-conscious city where the Kia Stinger GT could face an uphill battle no matter how quickly it can climb into the surrounding canyons.
But for enthusiasts who don’t give a damn about the Kia badge on the exterior—or those who are handy with a roll of duct tape—the Stinger GT is looking like the Underdog of the Year. As with various slope-roofed German sedans, the Stinger disguises a hatchback, but not its ambitions, whether in performance- or bargain price: that would be (a still-unofficial) $39,895 for a base Stinger GT, with its 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6; or $32,795 for the Stinger 2.0T and its 255-hp four with a single, twin-scroll turbo. If some four-legged, sled-dog traction is in order, add $2,200 for AWD on any model.
Kia
A Kia that does 167 mph? Believe it.







The biggest takeaway? Unlike every previous attempt at high-performance from Kia or Hyundai—notably the disappointing Hyundai Genesis Coupe—the Stinger isn’t a mere statistic, with encouraging on-paper specs that you might as well crumple up on the street. Yes, the Hyundai Motor Group has soared in sales and showroom reputation based on value, design, and dramatically improved quality.
The two brands, along with a 6,900-car blip from the new Genesis luxury division, moved a remarkable 1.42 million cars in America last year. That was more than double the 590,000 sales of its next-closest mainstream rival, the Volkswagen Group; and on the bumpers of Nissan and Honda for fifth place among all automakers. But until very recently, chassis dynamics remained the missing link for all three brands. The cars simply lacked the sophisticated ride and handling that characterizes a Mazda, a VW, the best Hondas, and German luxury brands.

Kia
Like Audi, like son: Stinger disguises a handsome, ultra-practical hatch.




Not so the Stinger. Its tutelage by the estimable Albert Biermann, the former chief engineer of BMW’s M Division, now director of high performance for Hyundai and Kia, shows in every refined move, from our lonely-canyon blasts to a road course and oval at Hyundai’s California Proving Ground in the Mojave Desert. Dr. Biermann’s translated German lessons included 6,000 miles of Stinger development on the Nürburging, and nearly 1 million miles of overall testing. As Biermann characterizes his vaunted arrival at Kia: “I said, ‘Hey, these cars need to drive as good as they look.'”
We're a long way from the late Nineties, when Leno and Letterman were peppering monologues with jokes about lemony Korean cars. A Leno Sample, comparing a Hyundai to an Olympic luge: “A three-foot long vehicle that has to be pushed to get started and only goes downhill.” (Ba-da-bum).
I’m dying to see what Leno says when the Kia Stinger GT rolls into his fantasy garage. For one, the Stinger is nearly 16 feet long, roughly splitting the difference between the smaller Audi A5 Sportback (or BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe) and the elegantly stretched Audi A7. The Kia does look as streamlined as an Olympic luge—one sponsored by Audi: Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s European styling chief, penned the body, but the fingerprints of Peter Schreyer, the former top Audi designer who now leads global design for Kia and Hyundai, are all over the Stinger inside and out. (Hey, if you’re going to copy, copy from the best.) Audi knockoff or not, the Kia’s lovely design, including unmistakable rear-drive proportions, fairly wowed the denizens of trendy North Hollywood during our test.

Kia
Shall we dance? Kia convoy twirls in Cali canyons.




And the only push the Kia needs to get started comes from your right foot. With its twin-turbo V-6 and an eight-speed, paddle-shifted automatic transmission—not the industry’s ubiquitous ZF unit, but an in-house design—the Stinger GT has more horsepower and torque (at 376 pound-feet) than any competitor, including the base-model Porsche Panamera V-6. That grunt translates to the highest top speed in the class at 167 mph. The Kia hamsters have never exercised wheels at such speeds, not even Lil Turbo. Safety rules limited me to 130 mph on the desert proving ground’s unbanked oval, but the Kia felt so stable that I was tempted to take it to the limit.

Kia
Twin-turbo V-6 spins up a class-topping 365 horsepower.




The Stinger’s lusty, 4.7-second dash to 60 mph also beats a showroom's worth of luxury cars, including the aforementioned Porsche, the 4- and 6-Series Gran Coupes, the Audi A5 and A7, and the Lexus GS F-Sport and Infiniti Q50. Only the Audi S5 Sportback has more stoplight pop, at 4.5 seconds to 60 mph. That smaller Audi also starts above $55,000 in base form—about $3,000 more than a fully loaded Stinger GT AWD—and costs about $15,000 more, at 68 grand, when comparably equipped. The Kia’s super-stretched, 114.4-inch wheelbase (eight inches longer than a BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe’s) helps carve out the most rear legroom in the class, including a three-inch edge on the Panamera. Its smartly integrated rear hatch offers 23.3 cubic feet of luggage space behind split-folding rear seats, nearly matching the Audi A7, a car that’s six inches longer overall. That sloping roof does trade headroom for style, and to a greater degree than nearly any competitor: I’m five-feet eleven inches, and the top of my noggin was just brushing the headliner when I leaned all the way back into my seat.

Kia
Stinger shakes a tail feather on track.




That Stinger interior is really the only place where the Germans press their advantages of superior breeding and design sophistication—at a price, of course. As long as you remind yourself that this Kia starts below $33,000, the snazzy layout, seating, materials, and features should strike you as outstanding. Credit it or curse it, but there’s a near-slavish adherence to Audi’s design ethos, from the shapely wing-shaped dashboard to a yacht-like console shifter. Even the cupholders scream Ingolstadt, with the exception being “turbine wheel” vents and metal speaker grilles that nod instead to Mercedes. Features are out in force: A 16-way power driver’s seat with welcome adjustable bolsters, Nappa leather, a head-up display, and 18 available driver assistance systems. The optional Harmon Kardon audio system is noteworthy, an ear-tickler with 15 speakers, 720 watts and subwoofers under front seats, plus resonance chambers in center roof pillars and “Clari-Fi” technology that unpacks sound lost through heavy compression of digital files. Kia’s latest UVO3 infotainment system is as easy to use as ever, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionalities. But I’d still prefer a German-style rotary console controller, even as a redundancy, rather than having to use the touchscreen exclusively.

Kia
Interior is high quality and fully featured, but you still won't confuse it with an Audi or Benz.




While the Kia rides smoothly, as befits its Gran Turismo size and philosophy, that cabin sounds less civilized than some luxury rivals, including some tire slap on LA freeways and excess wind noise around the front roof pillars. I’m also not sold on the Stinger GT’s somewhat over-styled 19-inch wheels. Yet the Kia’s overachieving performance counters those criticisms, and quickly. Incredibly, obtaining comparable speed, agility, and driver engagement in a Teutonic car requires springing for their mid-range performance models, meaning S-badged Audis, M Performance Bimmers, or Mercedes’s C43 and E43 AMGs.
Credit to the fact that the GT’s validation ran through the Green Hell of Nürburgring for robust cooling and smooth aerodynamics. That includes front wheel curtains with functional vents, a full underbody tray with NACA ducts, and an elegant, curling rear decklid spoiler that doesn’t require weighty moving parts. Brembo brakes combine four-piston front calipers with trusty pedal feel. The Stinger GT AWD adds brake-based torque vectoring and an optional GKN limited-slip differential. Both complement an AWD system that can divert up to 50 percent of torque to front wheels—though it’s the rear-drive Stinger GT, lighter by roughly 150 pounds, that feels swifter and friskier, the clear enthusiast’s choice.
Those Kias set a hot pace on Hyundai’s extra-wide road course in the Mojave, where the only other stingers belong to scorpions that crawl near the track. But our brightly colored swarm of Stingers actually does its best work in the sprawling canyons between Los Angeles and the Mojave. The Stinger seemed to grow in poise and stature the harder I flung it through cliff-hung curves—a signature of a great chassis. That chassis goodness has me eager to test the lighter four-cylinder turbo model, with its 5.9-second surge to 60 mph and 142-mph peak, for under $33,000 to start.

Kia
Ulrich avoids scorpions and Mojave Green rattlesnakes at Hyundai's desert track.




The husky-voiced, twin-turbo engine isn’t as purely creamy as BMW’s or Mercedes-AMG’s pricier turbo sixes, but it pours out power just as effectively. This Kia is smoking fast, whether you’re going 15 mph or 115. That engine gets a subtle aural boost, with a digitized form of natural engine frequencies played through the audio system, at your choice of low, medium or high volumes. (No, you can't shut it off entirely.) Sensitive hands may detect one blemish: the Kia’s “Sport” steering setting reveals some unneeded stiffness, though nowhere near the obnoxious, fake-sporty feel of older Kias and Hyundais with adjustable levels of steering boost. Fortunately, the Stinger’s (smallish) drive mode selector knob allows individual settings, and putting the steering in “Comfort” and everything else in “Sport” was definitely the Goldilocks mode.

Kia
Underdog Kia starts below $33,000, maxes out at $52,595.


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The Kia’s price is just-right as well. Shoppers are looking at roughly $38,000 for a smartly equipped four-cylinder version, or $40,000 with AWD. For under 40 grand, you’re into the mighty Stinger GT. Throw the options book at the Kia, and it’s $50,395 for a deluxe Stinger GT2 model, or a maxed-out $52,595 with AWD. To my mind, the rear-drive Stinger GT1, at just over $44,000, is the sweet spot for enthusiasts, the best balance of value, luxury and giant-slaying ability. To wit: A dead-stripper Audi A5 Sportback starts from nearly $44,000, or $54,000 for one Prestige version I tested. That Audi is lovely and lux, especially inside. But its 257-hp turbo four, 5.7-second run to 60 mph and Mr. Softee suspension pale before the Kia’s 365-horse V-6; its 4.7-second dash to 60 mph; and its superior athleticism. Adding insult to performance injury, the Kia is larger and roomier for people and cargo alike.


Yes, one car wears an Audi badge, the other a Kia. For many people, the comparisons end right there. But let’s not forget that, not so long ago, Audi was a luxury underdog, dismissed by Mercedes and BMW snobs as a poseur, an uppity Volkswagen in a leather jacket. To more and more buyers, there’s no shame in driving a Kia, Hyundai, or Genesis. No need to explain things to the neighbors.
If those neighbors or friends demand an explanation anyway, try this: The Stinger is the wide-eyed ingenue that’s plotting to destroy the star. It's the hungry second-stringer that has coaches wondering why they’re overpaying the pampered prima donna. Make the latter a soccer reference rather than a Rudycomparison. We are talking German prima donnas, after all.
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Unread 2017-10-10, 10:54 PM   #213
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Kia Stinger v Chevrolet SS/Holden Commodore SS-V Redline: 1/4 mile and 0-100



Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maUSstd_Uko
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Unread 2017-10-11, 10:50 AM   #214
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They didn't mention if the Stinger GT on the above video was awd, or rwd. Not a really fair comparison if it's the former.
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Unread 2017-10-11, 10:55 AM   #215
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based on the accent, think they only get the RWD models
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Unread 2017-10-11, 11:02 AM   #216
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Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwf1m2GIUlE
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Unread 2017-10-11, 12:32 PM   #217
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First Drive: A zinger from south of the 38th parallel, the 2018 Kia Stinger GT puts BMW in its crosshairs

First Drive: 2018 Kia Stinger GT






Despite all the bluster about missiles and nukes north of the 38th parallel, the big action on the Korean Peninsula is south of there. That’s where Hyundai Motor Company, together with its Kia Motors and Genesis Motors affiliates, has grown exponentially to become the fourth largest automaker in the world.
It’s a remarkable feat when you consider that South Korea has less land mass than the state of Ohio. And it’s by no means a land of wide-open high-speed motorways or engaging, serpentine back-country two-lanes. So the introduction of the 2018 Kia Stinger GT, the brand’s first rear-drive high-performance sedan, is something of a tipping point. It’s one thing to outsell Mazda, Volkswagen and Subaru, something Kia did easily last year on the strength of its value-packed, mostly front-drive small and midsize sedans, hatchbacks and crossover SUVs. But it’s quite another to take on solidly entrenched makers of entry-luxury sport sedans, especially the triple threat of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.





Kia’s first rear-drive grand touring car, the 2018 Stinger GT, takes dead aim at Audi and BMW.

(Ron Sessions)
Planning and developing the 2018 Kia Stinger GT, the Korean automaker had the Audi A4/A5, BMW 3- and 4-Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class directly in its crosshairs. Based on the Kia GT Concept first shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the new Stinger isn’t a sedan. Like the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe with which it intends to compete, the Stinger is equipped with a fastback roofline said to be inspired by 1970’s GT cars such as the Maserati Ghibli, and it hides a cargo-friendly hatchback aperture. Kia went in this direction because research showed a growing number of buyers rejecting traditional three-box sedans for crossover SUVs due to small trunk openings. That, and Kia’s hatchback body style creates some separation between it and the upcoming 2019 Genesis G70 sedan, which shares its platform and most mechanicals with the Stinger.
The new Stinger also shares its tiger-nose grille and steeply sloping roof and rear deck themes with the handsome Kia Optima sedan, but otherwise doesn’t look much like other Kia products. A wide stance with broad shoulders gives it a road-ready look and the Stinger’s long hood and rear-wheel-drive proportions really set it apart. At 114.4 inches between the front and rear wheels, its wheelbase is almost as long as that of an Audi A7. That long wheelbase gives the Kia something those 1970’s GT cars didn’t provide — ample rear seat legroom.
German Bogies


It may look like a sedan, but tucked behind the Stinger GT’s fast coupe roofline is rear hatch like those found on the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

(Ron Sessions)


There are two series of Stinger: the standard version and the Stinger GT. In standard format, the Stinger is powered by a turbocharged, 255-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, and with its high level of standard equipment and an estimated base price of under $32,000, it will provide anyone seeking an alternative to a typical sedan a compelling price/value equation to ponder.
The Stinger GT, on the other hand, with its twin-turbocharged 365-hp 3.3-liter V6, upsized Brembo brakes, adaptive damping suspension, 19-inch wheels, variable-ratio steering puts the Korean upstart on the radar screen of (mostly-German) entry-luxury sport-sedan shoppers. Kia says the Stinger GT’s price will come in at about $39,000.
From a bang-for-the-buck standpoint, a new Stinger GT promising German sport-sedan levels of performance for thousands of dollars less should have legs in the market. But satisfied Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz owners have honed their preferences over decades of met expectations, and cost of ownership-be-damned they’re not generally a fickle bunch easily swayed by discounts and the deal. After all, they’re buying into the brand as much as the individual product.
More than anything, surmounting this is Kia’s greatest challenge with the Stinger GT.
It’s a Grand Touring Car


With each succeeding design, Kia is making its interiors more inviting with an artful array of colors, textures and shapes. Up-to-date technology includes standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

(Ron Sessions)

From the start, the Stinger was to have grand touring car proportions, which meant room for two adult couples and their luggage for a weekend drive. But beyond that, going up against German luxury brands required making the cabin a warm and inviting place to enjoy the journey.
Kia has stepped up its game in this regard, the brand taking top honors last year in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey. In the new Stinger you can really see the influence of Design Director Peter Schreyer, formerly of Audi, and the Frankfurt, Germany-based team that had such a strong hand in the creation of the car. The interior layout is as imaginative as anything you’ll find in an Audi, with creative use of colors, shapes and materials.
Leather seats are standard. There’s real aluminum trim decorating the cabin and generous use of hand-stitching on the doors, seats and console. A flat-screen infotainment display with Kia’s latest software and connectivity capabilities sprouts from the top center of the dashboard, measuring 7 inches wide on base models and 8 inches across with the navigation system. Redundant knobs and buttons for major audio controls are arrayed below and under that equally easy-to-use climate buttons and knobs. The design is tidy and keeps touchscreen menu-surfing distractions to a minimum.
The Stinger GT’s front seats are heated and well-bolstered for comfortable thigh and torso support. Options include air-cell lumbar adjustment and width-adjustable seat bolsters that expand or contract to fit different physiques. Thundering sound emanates from an available 15-speaker audio system with subwoofers that are located under the front seats. Even the insides of the center roof pillars are used as sound chambers for a more robust sound.
Cargo area measures a generous 23.3 cubic-feet, which is more than double the trunk size of some entry luxury sedans. Fold the rear seats down to create up to 40.9 cubic-feet of volume. The hatch also provides a large opening for loading stuff that wouldn’t fit in the trunks of most traditional sport sedans. Despite the big cargo aperture, you can feel the impressive level of body structure rigidity, something the Stinger’s development team concentrated on to meet the challenge of its very stiff-bodied German competitors.
The Stinger’s Bite

The Stinger GT’s 365-hp, 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 will scoot the car to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.

(Ron Sessions)

The Stinger GT’s 365-hp, twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 is shared with Kia’s corporate cousin Genesis, where it is installed in the new G70, the G80 Sport, and the G90 flagship sedan. An 8-speed automatic transmission is the only choice, and the Stinger GT features standard rear- or optional all-wheel-drive.
Kia predicts a rear-drive Stinger GT will execute a 0-60 mph dash in 4.7 seconds, which puts it in the performance ballpark with its German rivals. A limited-slip differential on rear-drive models helps limit wheelspin. With AWD, on dry pavement the rear-biased system apportions up to 80 percent of drive torque to the rear wheels. In slippery conditions, the mix can switch to as much as 50 percent drive torque to the front wheels. A torque-vectoring feature of the AWD system can brake an inside front wheel to reduce understeer and improve steering response into a corner.
What makes the Stinger GT especially satisfying to drive is its deep well of accessible torque. The twin-turbo V6 offers up its maximum 376 lb.-ft. of torque from just 1,350 rpm up to 4,200 rpm, so throttle response is immediate and lively around town, on the highway for merging or passing, and for taking a fast line through entertaining corners on your favorite stretch of twisty road. There are five drive modes tailoring throttle response, shift points, shock damping and steering effort, selectable by a console-mounted switch. They include Eco, Comfort, Sport, Custom and Smart, the latter probably the best default choice for mixed driving.
The Stinger GT gets a full belly pan and other aero tweaks. It’s chipped to an autobahn-worthy maximum velocity of 167 mph. I saw an indicated 142 mph in a dead-nuts-stable but too-brief burst around the high-speed oval at the Hyundai Technical Center (HTC) in Mojave, California. Not only did the GT feel absolutely planted at triple-digit speeds but it was also pleasantly free of excessive air rush noise, especially around the side mirrors and B-pillars where many cars lose their cool. And even though the Stinger is technically a hatchback without a solid bulkhead behind the rear seat, there was very little road sizzle drifting into the cabin from the cargo bay.
Meanwhile, despite the twin turbochargers, which are notorious buzzkill for a hearty exhaust sound, there’s just enough “sting” from the V6’s quad-tipped exhaust to let you know you’re driving a performance car.
Dynamic Test

If the new Stinger GT can attract buyers who grew up on Asian cars and want German sport-sedan performance for thousands of dollars less, Kia’s new performance car likely won’t be its last.

(Ron Sessions)

Kia was so confident in the dynamic capabilities of the new Stinger GT that it offered up an Audi S5 and A7, a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and a Porsche Panamera among others for my evaluation at the HTC skidpad. Engineers laid out a challenging autocross course and I was able to take the Stinger GT and competitors through the cones with abandon. In short, the Stinger felt every bit as nimble and capable as the Audis, BMW and Porsche.
Here, the hand of chassis tuning master Albert Bierman (previously with BMW’s M Division), who paid special attention to crafting the GT’s suspension damping curves and steering feel, was clearly evident. Both on the skidpad as well as the challenging curves and fast mountain sections of the Angeles Crest Highway, the Stinger GT legitimately felt “German.”
Perched on grippy, standard, staggered-width Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires (225/40R19 in front and 255/35R19 in back), the Kia enthusiastically entered challenging turns. Body control with the GT’s standard adaptive shock absorbers was seamless, damping vertical motions without feeling overly stiff or jouncy. The car cornered flat with little or no body roll. Steering effort and weighting was just about right, with the variable-rate dual-pinion electric steering quelling nervousness just off-center, yet plenty quick for sharper corners. Brembo brakes with larger-diameter discs and higher-capacity 4-piston front, 2-piston rear aluminum Monobloc calipers delivered crisp top-of-pedal response and reassuring stopping power from triple-digit speeds, performance in the latter situation no doubt aided by the automatic fade compensation feature.
First Pictures: 2018 Kia Stinger




The Stinger GT goes on sale in December, 2017. Nothing in Kia’s DNA suggests the Korean car company can pull this off aside from pure grit. But if top J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey scores in recent years, a highly regarded warranty, undeniably appealing design, and the meteoric rise of the brand over the course of the last decade has any bearing on the matter, the Stinger GT has a legitimate shot at joining the premium German brands at the luxury sport-sedan party.
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Unread 2017-10-11, 12:41 PM   #218
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2018 Kia Stinger punches above its weight -- hard

As it turns out, Kia is quite serious about taking on Audi and BMW with its 365-horsepower five-door GT.




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Every once in a while, a car company will invite automotive journalists to try out competitors' wares when introducing the media to their latest vehicle. It doesn't happen terribly often, but it's invariably a good sign that a company is genuinely bullish about their new baby. Most of the time, an automaker trots out two or three key competitors for back-to-back drives.
When it came time to let me drive its new 2018 Stinger grand tourer, Kia brought seven.
Not just any seven cars, mind — it wheeled out a pair of Audis, two BMWs, an Infiniti, a Lexus and a Porsche.
Kia is nothing if not ambitious.
Enlarge Image

Pricing will start around $32,000, but expect a loaded V6 AWD like this to eclipse $50k.
Chris Paukert/Roadshow


Remember, this is the same automaker that invited Roadshow reviews editor Jon Wong to sample an early Stinger GT prototype at Germany's famed Nurburgring, likely the single most demanding racetrack on Earth. That was back in June, and Wong came back grinning. Since that time, Kia has been fine-tuning the midsize five-door for US tastes, getting it ready for its planned stateside launch in December.
Of course, it's only fair to point out that this is also the same automaker that has never sold a rear-wheel-drive performance car and the same automaker whose only foray upmarket in America, the K900 sedan, has been met by consumers with deafening silence.
Something's got to give, and after taking the Stinger around Greater Los Angeles' legendary canyon roads, flinging it 'round an oval and road course and autocrossing it back-to-back against Teams Deutschland and Japan, I have a passel of reasons to suggest it shouldn't be the Kia.
Enlarge Image

The Stinger's amply proportioned cabin skews more sport than luxury in its aesthetic.
Kia
For those who need a quick refresher course, the 2018 Kia Stinger is a rear- or all-wheel drive five-door hatchback available with either a turbocharged four- or six-cylinder engine backed by an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The former is a 2.0-liter unit with a twin-scroll turbo, good for 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque from 1,400 rpm. The latter is a 3.3-liter twin-turbo affair that whips up 365 hp and 376 pound-feet from 1,350 rpm, and its headline numbers are a 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a governed top speed of 167 mph. Predictably, the majority of my Southern California drive day is spent in the larger-engined GT variant, with Kia giving us journos plenty of opportunities to split time between RWD and AWD models.
With that kind of hardware available under the hood, it's no surprise that chief design officer Peter Schreyer instructed his team to build a confident-looking machine. Kia's broad "Tiger Nose" tabbed grille is surrounded here by glowering headlamps and a sharp-edged bumper with big, gaping air intakes. From the side, the Stinger's profile has real legs — it stretches out over a long wheelbase and terminates in a hunkered-down fastback shape that features full-band taillights and quad exhaust tips.

Five things you need to know about the 2018 Kia Stinger

Kia's upscale GT has legitimate ambitions to beat German luxury brands at their own game.










There's no doubt the Stinger is a formidable-looking machine, especially in GT guise, with its attractive 19-inch smoke-finish Y-spoke wheels. Its overall proportions and stance are really nicely done. Unfortunately, a couple of minor details ring hollow to me, and they really hurt the overall efficacy of the design. For a model that genuinely possesses high-performance chops, it's mystifying that a superstar designer like Schreyer would allow fraudulent affectations like faux hood vents (they're even highlighted in contrasting paint!).
Enlarge Image

To borrow a phrase, "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."
Chris Paukert/Roadshow

The same is true of the fender air extractors at the leading edge of the front doors — they're functional, mercifully, but they're similarly bizarrely finished in look-at-me brightwork. To my eyes, forced touches like these make for sad costume jewelry on a handsome shape that doesn't need the help. (Something tells me that when it came time to present the Stinger for sign-off in Seoul, Schreyer had to make a few design concessions to the board, and fussy details like this are what resulted.)
Those quibbles aside, the Stinger's shape does suggest both genuine performance and capacious accommodations. As mentioned earlier, it rides atop a particularly long wheelbase — 114.4 inches — a number that yields strong legroom front and rear, as well as generous cargo space — 23.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 40.9 with them down.
That wheelbase combines forces with a nicely tuned front MacPherson strut and rear multilink suspension to produce remarkably good ride quality, an attribute not to be taken for granted when the GT rides atop staggered low-profile Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer rubber (225/40 up front, 255/35 in the rear). Importantly, that long wheelbase also seemingly doesn't inhibit the Stinger's willingness to change direction. Lengthy spans between a vehicle's front and rear wheels can hurt agility by curbing the chassis' eagerness to change direction, but thanks to careful tuning led by former BMW M boss Albert Biermann, the Stinger feels nimble for such a big car (even if it is ultimately tuned for safety-first understeer).
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2018 Kia Stinger is a bona fide high-performance grand tourer


As evidenced by the photo above, there's a fair bit of body roll when the car is really pitched hard into a corner, but the Stinger never feels unsettled, and the rear-wheel drive model, with its available limited-slip differential, feels particularly playful. Even the all-wheel-drive model handles sharply — it defaults to a rear-biased torque distribution, and in Sport mode, up to 80 percent of the engine's available torque can be funneled to the rear wheels. Models I drove on the track and cone course were equipped with Kia's optional Dynamic Stability Damping Control — electronically-actuated shocks with the driver's choice of five modes: Smart (auto), Custom, Eco, Sport and Comfort. Conventional gas dampers are standard.
Out on a cone course at Kia's Mojave proving grounds, the GT's standard variable-ratio electric power steering proved its worth, requiring a lot less sawing back and forth at the wheel than cars like BMW's 6 Series Gran Coupe, and even less than Audi's A7 Sportback. I tested both RWD and AWD Stinger GTs back-to-back against those cars, along with an Audi S5 Sportback, base Porsche Panamera and Infiniti Q50, and the Kia more than held its own despite what promises to be a much lower price tag. The Stinger's steering also didn't feel completely artificial and devoid of feel like some variable-rack systems can.
The signs were similarly encouraging during high-speed passes on a large banked oval, where runs at 130 mph proved utterly benign and unremarkable. At such speeds on manicured surfaces, the Stinger felt wholly at ease and unchallenged — appropriate, since Kia says the car is good for a further 38 mph.
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No joke: Kia assembled a murderer's row of luxury cars for us to pit against its Stinger.
Chris Paukert/Roadshow
When taking to the road course, the Stinger again inspired confidence, with friendly handling dynamics, resolute brakes and good power out of the corners. This clearly isn't a cutthroat track monster, it's a 4,000-pound street car, but that's not a demerit. After all, nobody really takes their Audi A7 or BMW 6 Series GC to the circuit, right? Either way, if Kia ever wants to come out with an even higher-performance model featuring significantly more horsepower and a starchier suspension, the chassis feels up to the job.
Dynamically, on both circuit and street, the Stinger also feels up to its ambitious remit of challenging far-costlier rivals from Germany and Japan. If it's let down anywhere in comparison, it's in the cabin. Don't get me wrong, it's a perfectly appropriate environment for a $30,000 to $50,000 vehicle — a nice one, in fact. But there are some things that clever engineering can't solve for, and that includes the cost of fitting fine wood veneers (there aren't any) and aromatic leather (even the Kia's optional higher-grade Nappa hides). In terms of material and switchgear quality, the Stinger is far from cheap, but it just isn't a match for something like an Audi A5 Sportback or Porsche Panamera.
Infotainment-wise, the cabin goes without complicated a multifunction controller like Audi's MMI, BMW's iDrive or Lexus' unspeakably bad Remote Touch, but even if Kia's latest UVO system is marginally less sophisticated, its 8-inch touchscreen (7-inch on 2.0T models) is significantly easier to use than those systems. It's compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus there's an optional 15-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system that features twin underseat subwoofers tuned for American ears (read: more bass).
In truth, however, I never made a point of listening to the stereo — I was too busy trying to coax the twin-turbo V6 into making entertaining noises. (Kia has tuned America's Stinger GT's exhaust to be throatier than its European and Korean counterparts, but to my ears, they could safely go louder still under big throttle openings.)
Enlarge Image

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the easy-to-use UVO infotainment system.
Kia
On the safety front, a slew of advanced drive assist systems are available, including pre-collision auto-brake with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop and go for bumper-to-bumper traffic, lane-keep assist and blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert. A driver attention monitor system is new for Kia, it emits a chime and a visual warning upon detecting a drowsy or distracted driver.
Despite offering up a septet of cars to compare it against, Kia officials are fond of saying that the Stinger's mix of high performance at a lower price means that it has no real rivals, no class that it readily fits into. On some level, that's true. Whereas vehicles in many segments of the market are all designed to fit within millimeters of each other in size and ability, the space in which this new Kia plays is somewhat more fluid. The V6-powered Stinger GT in particular offers a novel melange of attributes for the money that could see it sniping sales from several different classes.
Taken as a full range, however, the Stinger won't be without competitors, even if you ignore the seven stretch-target premium cars Kia lined up at the launch. Namely, Buick will shortly offer up its 2018 Regal GS and Volkswagen will deliver its new CC-replacing Arteon next year. Both are five-door liftbacks of similar size, both offer AWD and both offer power that will make them interesting cross-shops — especially versus the four-cylinder Stinger.
Enlarge Image

Kia's Stinger drives like a winner, all the company has to do now is convince people to try it.
Chris Paukert/Roadshow
In other words, the Stinger may be deeply compelling, but its sales success is far from guaranteed. Even with a class-leading warranty and a hard-earned reputation for quality in recent years, Kia's dealers will need to ratchet up their game significantly to attract — and keep — luxury customers. Plus, more and more buyers are shunning cars of any form in favor of SUVs, and that's something Kia can't control.


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Overall, the 2018 Kia Stinger is a tremendously satisfying package that lives up to its billing. Particularly in GT guise, it offers a beguiling mix of spirited performance, good ride quality and surprising utility. It's not just an impressive first effort for a sporty grand tourer from Kia, it's an impressive car, full stop. The Stinger may have a hard time cracking the shopping lists of Audi, BMW and Lexus intenders, but that doesn't mean luxury buyers wouldn't be wise to give it a chance.
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Unread 2017-10-12, 12:39 PM   #219
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Payne: Kia’s affordable Stinger GT challenges Porsche Panamera




You saw the concept in 2011. You lusted for the production car at the Detroit auto show in January. Now the car that looks like an Audi A7 fastback with a Dodge Charger price is here.
All hail the growling Kia Stinger GT, a $39,895, 365-horsepower twin-turbo V-6, four-door fastback
Yes, Kia. The Korean maker of value cars has stolen Detroit’s GT mojo right down to the retro-1970s “Stinger” name. The name echoes autodom’s glory days before killjoy government bureaucrats dictated fuel-economy laws and Detroit automakers churned out sexy beasts with catchy names like Stingray, Javelin, Duster and Roadrunner.
The Stinger is a four-door Camaro that will have stroller-pushing muscle-car heads drooling.
As buyers have flocked to SUVs, performance brands have moved with them. Jaguar, Alfa and Maserati have smartly followed Porsche’s lead in transforming their sports car DNA into crossovers for customers who covet quickness but need more cargo room than, say, a 911.



Porsche innovated the same idea in the sedan space with its Panamera fastback —essentially a stretched 911 with four doors. Audi followed Porsche with the more aesthetically-pleasing, $70,000 Audi A7 and $54,000 S5 Sportback. And in the nose-bleed section there’s the jaw-dropping, $205,000 Aston Martin Rapide, surely the most beautiful sport sedan ever conceived.
But why should the jet set have all the fun? I’ve advocated that Detroit’s iconic Camaro and Mustang muscle car badge’s stretch into the sedan segment. Dodge has explored this space brilliantly with its “four-door Challenger,” the Charger. Three Chargers roll off the lot for every two Challengers, but with its aging 4,000-pound body, I pine for a modern four-door fastback version of the Camaro or Mustang.

The 3,600-pound Stinger is a visual knockout with enough punch to bury a Porsche Panamera out of a stoplight. Like the sixth-generation Camaro, the Stinger was baselined to the best coupe sedans on the planet — Panamera and A7 beauties costing twice as much.
The Stinger takes the same, athletic bones that stiffens Hyundai’s luxury Genesis G70 (Kia and Hyundai are bros, don’t ya’ know?) and dressed it up with the hottest wardrobe this side of Gal Gadot in a Wonder Woman suit.
Wonder Woman would admire its punch. Consider the numbers. The Stinger GT has gorged on performance hardware. A smooth, eight-speed transmission channels a relentless, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 pushes out 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. I tested a comparably priced, $39,940 335-horsepower, 284-torque Camaro V-6 last year. With two doors.
I’ve been babbling on in this space for some time now about the disappearing line between luxury and mainstream brands. The Kia all but obliterates it.
This is a $40,000 sportback that hangs with A-list Bimmers, Audis and Porsches. I’ve been stung.
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Unread 2017-10-12, 12:40 PM   #220
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Over an autocross course and 21/2-mile test track at Kia’s Mojave, California, proving grounds, the Stinger matched its teachers stride-for-stride. Its chassis balance is nearly on par with the Panamera and bests similarly sized $80,000 sedans like the A7 and BMW six-series coupe while offering (no doubt terrified) rear-seat passengers more room. Go down a size and only the BMW 4-series can out-dribble Stinger while giving up acres of rear cargo room to the Kia’s hatchback.
I particularly enjoyed the rear-wheel drive Stinger. So playful are its dynamics that I drifted it out of hairpin turns and tight switchbacks. Unlike the muscle car set, Kia doesn’t offer a manual, but the eight-speed is so transparent that I didn’t miss the stick under hard caning — the SPORT setting (ECO , NORMAL, and CUSTOM also available) holding the right gear through high-speed corners.
My Michigan mates, of course, will want the Kia’s available snow-shredding all-wheel drive. That’ll tack on an additional $2,200 to the $39,000 sticker. It’s tenacious grip will bring other benefits: the Stinger will stomp a Panamera from zero-60 mph: 4.7 seconds vs. the Porsche’s 5.2 seconds.
More numbers? The Stinger beats the Porsche at top end with 167 mph, offers Apple CarPlay navigation (my attempts at Android Auto were once again foiled), and comes with Formula E-racing developed Michelin Sport tires. Yet, the affordable Stinger won’t come with its luxury peers’ stiff maintenance costs. Add to that Kia’s signature 100,000-mile drivetrain warranty and its vaunted J.D, Power-approved reliability.
So comfortable is the Kia in First Class that one wonders why it doesn’t get an alphanumeric badge (or at least a Euro name like Panamera). A mistake? I don’t think so. Badging matters and those who can afford a true luxury sportback will do so. For everyone else, there’s the Stinger.
At the ridiculously attainable price of $40,000, it’s three cars wrapped into a niche of one:
1. Affordable luxury sedan: The interior design — aviator-style round center vents clash with vertical slats at the corners — may lack the Audi’s coherence, but it’s much more sophisticated than a Charger. Aluminum, soft dash materials, T-shifter and infotainment tablet are agreeable and upscale-looking. Flogging the Stinger across the Angel Crest Mountains, the sedan was whisper-quiet except when clearing its throat with quad pipes.
2. Four-door muscle: While the long hood and tapered back reveal its German inspiration, the details are all Yankee swagger: faux hood intakes, lid-wide taillights and quad exhaust (even in the base four!). For all its sleek European pretension, this is a busy, look-at-me design. The Kia has an unmistakable road presence. The signature tiger-nose grille and glowing LED running lights menace in the rear-view mirror.
3. Pocket rocket sedan without the wing bling: The $40,000 segment is a gold mine of practical performance, from hot hatch VW Golf Rs to Subaru WRX STIs. But for a combination of sedan looks, hatch practicality — and unrivaled backseat room and horsepower — the Stinger is just the ticket for the STI driver that has outgrown the boy-toy wing.
My favorite Stinger trim (if you haven’t guessed) is the Stinger GT: standard leather, Apple CarPlay (who needs navigation if you have that?), safety stuff, V-6, 19-inch wheels. But this cat has range above and below GT. Load it up with luxury features like color heads-up display, Harman Kardon 19-speaker stereo and Napa leather to $51,000 and you’re still well south of the $70,000 base A7. Or opt for the four-banger and get 18-inch wheels and leather out the door for just $32,000.
Speaking of the latter, a classic, muscle-car yellow four lurked at the Mojave media drive. Kia hasn’t committed it to production yet (deliveries start in late November). They should. Along with bright red, bright blue and bright green. It’s how affordable muscle cars roll.
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Unread 2017-10-12, 12:42 PM   #221
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2018 Kia Stinger
Vehicle type
Front-engine, rear-
and all-wheel drive,
five-passenger sports
sedan
Powerplant
2.0-liter turbocharged,
inline-4 cylinder;
3.5-liter, twin-turbo
V-6
Transmission
8-speed automatic
Weight
3,650 pounds 4-cyl.
RWD, est.; 3,900 AWD
V-6 est.)
Price
$32,000 base, est.
($39,895 - $52,000 GT
V-6 as tested, est.)
Power
255 horsepower, 260
pound-feet torque
(4-cyl.); 365
horsepower, 376
pound-feet torque
(V-6)
Performance
0-60 mph, 4.7 sec.
(Stinger GT, mftr.); top
speed: 167 mph
Fuel economy
NA. (14-22 mpg in
aggressive Detroit
News driving)
Report card
Highs
Luxury style, luxury
power; Kia reliability,
drivetrain warranty
Lows
Interior style a bit
fractured; sedans out
of favor with buyers
Overall:★★★★
Grading scale
Excellent ★★★★Good ★★★
Fair ★★Poor
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Unread 2017-10-12, 11:07 PM   #222
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THE KING IS DEAD?

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Unread 2017-10-12, 11:12 PM   #223
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So his complaint was "noise" ..which KIA has said they will address ..not bad
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Unread 2017-10-13, 12:19 AM   #224
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2017 Kia Stinger vs Holden Commodore SS-V Redline Comparison |





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Unread 2017-10-18, 11:47 AM   #225
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This is just the beginning

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