Kia Australia has confirmed it is both preparing a second sports exhaust system locally, set to be fitted to turbocharged four-cylinder versions of the Stinger, and it has replaced the problematic tyres of the flagship turbo V6 version with new Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber.
While an Australian-developed sports exhaust already available on the 272kW/510Nm 3.3-litre Stinger 330S, 330Si and 330GT, MOTOR can exclusively reveal that a similar system is headed for 182kW/353Nm 2.0-litre turbo Stinger 200S, 200Si and 200GT-Line versions.
The sports exhaust will be ready for the fourth quarter of 2018, Kia Australia has confirmed, and MOTOR understands that the four-pot versions will utilise the same software and basic design as the V6, while the $2600 surcharge for the latter is likely to be mirrored as well.
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Around 90 per cent of buyers currently choose the $59,990 plus on-road costs Stinger 330GT, despite the range kicking off from $45,990 (plus orc) for the Stinger 200S. The premium to move from the 6.0-second 0-100km/h-rated four-cylinder to the 4.9sec 0-100km/h-capable V6 is just $3000, meanwhile, which has proven to be a small jump for buyers.
But at 113kg lighter, Graeme Gambold – the Aussie engineer who locally tuned all Stingers – reckons the two-cylinders-short-of-a-six-pack version is actually more agile and sweetly balanced, despite being markedly slower and more industrial-sounding.
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However, the local arm of the South Korean brand also upgraded the model grade that the punters are buying, further confirming exclusively to MOTOR that the Stinger GT has flicked its wear-prone Continental ContiSport Contact 5 tyres for Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber.
At the local launch of the Stinger last year, Kia Australia ditched the soft-compound Contis for the Michelins only for the Wakefield Park racetrack component of the first media drive. Now, Kia Australia has convinced headquarters to fit the 225mm-wide 40-aspect front/275mm 30-aspect rear rubber as standard here, at no extra cost.
“With Australian owners enjoying a generally more enthusiastic driving style the request was made to KMC [Kia Motor Company] to have the GT cars fitted with what are widely regarded as the more durable Michelin performance tyres,” Kia Australia general manager of media and corporate communications Kevin Hepworth explained.
“The R&D [research and development] team agreed and these tyres are now standard factory fit on the V6 GT.”