As promised, Kia has turned its impressive 2011 GT rear-wheel drive sports sedan concept into an equally impressive production model named the Stinger that was presented today ahead of a world premiere tomorrow in Detroit.
It’s not the Korean firm’s first attempt at a luxury rear wheel drive sedan, as the K900 preceded it, but unlike the latter, the Stinger is a much more youthful and striking proposition.
It has a sleek design with somewhat derivative details – especially the rear, which strongly reminds us of the Audi A7 Sportback, but we guess that’s to be expected when the person leading Kia’s design division is ex-Audi designer, Peter Schreyer.
While placed against both the BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Gran Coupe, as well as the Audi A4 and A5, Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS, Kia says that, at 114.4 inches (2,905mm), it not only has a longer wheelbase than those models, but the Lexus GS and Mercedes CLS as well. Furthermore, it’s longer overall at 190.2 inches (4,831mm) and wider 73.6 inches (1,869mm), which according to Kia, allows “for spacious accommodations” and a larger cargo area than “many in its class, with enough space for full-size luggage or golf bags”.
Powering the Stinger is a choice of two gasoline engines for North America, with Europe also getting a diesel option, details of which should be released at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
In North America, the base unit is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four producing 255hp and 260 lb.-ft. (352Nm), and a 3.3-liter turbo V6 rated at 365hp and 376 lb-ft (494Nm). Kia says the twin-turbo V6 model should reach 100km/h (62mph) in 5.1 seconds and top out at 167 mph (269km/h). Both models come exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission and optional all-wheel drive.
The Koreans claim that much of the chassis development took place in Europe, with a lot of time spent on the Nürburgring from a team led by Hyundai-Kia’s Executive vice president for vehicle testing and high performance development, Albert Biermann, who previously headed BMW’s M division. "I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is like a special event," noted Biermann. "Because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It's a whole different animal."
The Stinger will the first Kia to offer adjustable ride-damping and vehicle handling traits through an electronically adjustable suspension called the Dynamic Stability Damping Control. The electric power steering will also be adjustable via five selectable drive modes.
We’re told that the Stinger will come well equipped boasting an assortment of standard safety and comfort features, as well as driving aids, including Forward Collision Assistance (FCA) with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, Lane Keep Assist, and an infotainment system with a 7.0 inch haptic touchscreen.
The Stinger will go on sale in the States this summer at as of yet, undisclosed prices.