Kia has joined the performance sedan ranks with the unveiling of the Stinger, based on the shapely 2015 Novo concept, at the Detroit Motor Show.
In addition to a turbo inline-four base model, the rear-drive, four-door, five-passenger Stinger is also available with a 272kW 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6, which places it directly in the showroom void vacated (or soon to be vacated) by performance-oriented versions of the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore.
Set to go on sale in Australia in September this year, the Stinger is expected to be offered in Australia with the turbo V6 powertrain only, and purely as a RWD model. If Kia's strategy with the Optima is anything to go by, a two-variant range structure is likely, with the entry-level model potentially retailing under the $50k mark.
The Stinger is the highest-performance production vehicle in Kia’s history.
“Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world,” said Orth Hedrick, vice-president, product planning, Kia Motors America.
“From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”
The ride and handling development of the Stinger was taken care of by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in Korea, with development taking placing on the infamous Nurburgring.
It is an all-new chassis that underlies the Stinger, with two different engines still being developed for the car. The first is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, producing 190kW and 353Nm. The second is the ‘halo’ 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 272kW and 510Nm.
Kia is targeting a 5.1 seconds 0-100km/h time and a top speed of 269km/h with the twin turbocharged V6.
The engines will be mated to a second-generation eight-speed automatic transmission, driving the rear wheels. Those keen on shifting their own gears may be disappointed by the absence of a traditional three-pedal manual, but paddle shifters will allow some form of control over cog-swapping.
Overseas models will be available in AWD, however Australians will only be offered the RWD spec models. Expect more detail on local specifications and pricing to be revealed as the Stinger’s September launch date draws near.