If anticipation for Kia’s first-ever rear-wheel-drive sports sedan (no, it won’t use the SS tag) wasn’t already lofty enough, then the South Korean brand has just dropped its initially communicated 0-100km/h acceleration claim by two-tenths to a bloody brisk 4.9 seconds.
With 276kW and 510Nm, the Audi A5 Sportback-style five-door liftback will become the quickest car that Kia has ever produced. The local division of the brand has also indicated the vehicle will arrive here in September priced from around $50,000 plus on-road costs.
Although less interesting 188kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel versions will likely make it to market, all will send drive only to the rear wheels.
Australian car enthusiasts lambasted Holden for its decision to rebadge an Opel Insignia as the 2018 Commodore, partly for so heavily borrowing from a German design (where both vehicles will be produced), but also for ditching rear-drive for front- and all-wheel drive. The range flagship will be a 230kW/370Nm version of the existing 3.6-litre V6 GM engine.
By contrast, Australian car enthusiasts have seemingly embraced Kia’s decision to produce a relatively affordable twin-turbocharged, rear-drive large sedan-like vehicle. Indeed, the Stinger GT was revealed at the Detroit motor show in January to rapturous applause from website and Facebook commentary the world over.
Kia can keep performance rear-drive family cars alive, it seems, but GM and Holden can’t? Or is there more to it than that? The proof will be in the driving when Commodore V6 AWD meets Stinger GT in a comparison that couldn’t have been imagined only a decade ago.