Normally, pre-production, prototypes, and test cars for brand new models end up being destroyed, but Kia Motors UK decided the first Stinger GT press car shouldn’t face the crusher. Instead, it was turned into the one-off Kia Stinger GT420 track car.
As this was the car used for Kia’s major press engagements, such as appearances on Top Gear and The Grand Tour, Kia’s UK press office felt the car was too special to squish.
In a sly press release, Kia joked that ‘delayed’ paperwork was the reason the car didn’t end up being destroyed.
“When it came to ordering the truck to take the very first Stinger in the UK to the crusher at the end of 2018, there was an unfortunate and mysterious delay in creating the required paperwork,” Kia said.
The team then set about turning the Stinger’s muscular 272kW and 510Nm into something a little more potent, and with the help of Germany’s Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre, achieved it.
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The 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 in the Stinger GT420 now produces a healthy 315kW and 560Nm, with the help of upgrades like HKS spark plugs, a K&N filter, a Milltek Sport quad-exit exhaust minus the catalytic converters, a new transmission cooler, and a gearbox retune. But that’s not all that was changed.
Kia also stripped the interior, removing the seats and belts, airbags, sound system, interior trim, and rear window regulators.
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“There is a total weight reduction of approximately 150kg after the installation of the roll cage, seats, belts and fire extinguisher,” Kia says.
Unfortunately, there will be only one GT420, but the good news is Kia has proven the Stinger’s ability to be tweaked into something a little more potent than the grand touring sedan is from the factory.