New 2018 Kia Stinger RWD Sports Sedan Is Going After BMW 4-Series GC [59 Pics]

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.

Photo Gallery


  • Carenthusiast

    I can see DRL from XJ and facelift Golf. Air vents from Audi’s. Side and rear profile a bit strange to me! It’s much longer than a 4er GranCoupe so I don’t see this as one of its competitors.

    • Kaisuke971

      The rear looks like the Giulia Quadroflio’s

      • Concept car of Stinger GT came out earlier than Giulia Quadroflio.

        • Kaisuke971

          It didn’t look like this though (the rear at least)

          • Kaisuke971

            Besides the tail lights’ shape overall (which went from mustang to Maserati apparently) the two designs really don’t look alike man. And actually the rear seems to be the part that changed the most in that view (interestingly enough, might have a bit of inspiration).

            This is on a Regera vibe, the new one is straight up maserati/Alfa (keep in mind i’m only talking about the rear).

          • ChizzoLi

            Don’t know what’s up with your eyes man (rather sense of judgement), but the stinger bears no resemblance to anything you’ve mentioned other than the concept GT to me. Regera? seriously?

          • Kaisuke971

            Maybe you need to read again, i said that the concept has more of a Regera vibe and the production car looks like the Giulia (i’m talking about the REAR). In fact you could trace it back to the early 70s’ and late 60s Italian sport cars, i think both Koenigsegg and Kia had the same inspiration.

            And don’t tell me that my eyes need to be checked when you can go all over the web and see that i’m far from being the only person saying that the Stinger looks like a Maserati/Giulia Q.

          • Rich Money

            “There are other people on the internet saying the same misinformed thing as me, therefore it is valid!”

          • bd

            Um, no – the basic body shape and greenhouse has been retained.

          • Kaisuke971

            Throughout this whole discussion i was talking about the REAR, every design elements you see when you’re facing the REAR of the car…

          • Jay

            All the did was change the lights and bumper, the rear still looks the same though..

          • Kaisuke971

            You do realize that besides these two elements, design-wise, there isn’t much left at the rear end ? By changing only the lights and the bumper you can go from a 640i to an M6, a 458 to a 488 or even a VW Polo to a Seat Ibiza !

          • Jay

            In which your comparison would be irrelevant saying they dont look the same.. From the cpillar and quarter panel back its the same. Those are classified as the rear as well..

          • Kaisuke971

            If you think the cars that i compared literally look the same (knowing that i gradually leaned towards cars that pretty much looked nothing alike) you have a problem.

            And by definition i’m pretty sure that the rear of the car design-wise refers to all you see when you’re directly facing the rear lights, where what you’re talking about is barely visible, since it’s on the side.

          • Jay

            Nice try, even in side profile you still call the front the front and the rear the rear.

      • trentbg

        More like Dodge Challenger.

      • psiqtas

        Rear taken from LX-Charger+Maserati…

    • psiqtas

      What’ a design mess – a bit of known car design clues here an there…everywhere!…

  • WG

    This Kia looks awesome. The design is very distinctive inside and out!

    • Kaisuke971

      People have been saying that the Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli’s rear look like they belongs to a Kia, but if it was this Kia i’m sure no one would mind. Really cool design for the rear particularly.

    • MultiKdizzle

      Maybe it will look better in the flesh. But I’m not feeling the profile, or the rear-end. Front is just passable.

  • Ilbirs

    I liked this “poor man’s Panamera”. Peter Schreyer was the right man at the right time for Kia.

  • Six_Tymes

    I am very impressed.

  • Karl

    Well done Kia! Looks stunning indeed…

  • SgtBeavis

    Wow, just flippin’ Wow!

    My only concern is how well this will do in a market that is obviously shifting to crossovers. I love it, I want it to succeed, I’m just concerned that it won’t.

    That being said, Well Done KIA. Well Done Indeed..

  • Mr. Crankypants

    No criticisms just a bit surprised at these 3 items:
    -long overall length
    -greenhouse same as last-gen Optima
    -lack of flat-bottom steering wheel
    …but it’s HOT

    • Shobin Drogan

      Flat bottom steerings are pointless in large cars.

      • ChizzoLi

        Explain why please, I’m curious.

        • Shobin Drogan

          Because the point of flat bottom steering is to have more knee room and more space especially for tall guys getting in and out if a hatchback. There is no reason to have it in a large or roomy sedan there’s just no use for it.

  • salamOOn

    i dont like 3 thing on this car….
    1.interior air vent mixing
    2.strange looking gear stick
    3.pretty huge shark antena

    other than that i really love this car….

    • Carenthusiast

      3.pretty huge shark antenna

      reminds me of the new Jaguar’s

    • ChizzoLi

      Agreed on the air vent mix up, two different geometries. The middle vents look like they came from a merc s class coupe.

      And yeah shark antenna is too big.

      • bd

        Mazda has used the 3 circular vents as well.

    • Bash

      which gear shifter.. there are two in the gallery… I like the first one more, but I have to see it in real to decide on your observation..

  • Kaisuke971

    The rear and side profiles are really good but i can’t get over that weird front. The interior looks a bit monotone and lifeless but hopefully that’s just this spec. Judging by the numbers it’s putting with the V6 it looks like it’s kinda heavy.

    Not really excited overall but if it can place another player in the game, why not ?

    • Galaxium

      Not the biggest fan of the front fascia. But some people are enamored by it. I actually preferred the original concept GT’s face.

      • Kaisuke971

        There is just something off with it, i think it’s the grill, its shape is too pronounced.

  • Imjus Sayin

    Nice evolution of the Optima brand with RWD. If BMW could produce the i8, why couldn’t KIA taken a bolder approach to stand out in a crowded field of similar looking cars?

    • Rick Alexander

      BMW has way more financial resources than KIA. They also have a much larger brand following from which to dip into for support. Even if KIA made a perfect car, they’d have a hard time pitching a vehicle, that costs anything north of fifty thousand dollars. You can blame badge whoredom for that.

  • ErnieB

    Just wow! Impressed!

  • caruser

    The dashboard is like a mixture of Audi and Mercedes Benz, but not a bad one. I like the outside design as well and I ADORE the concept of rear wheel drive! Well done, KIA!

  • mccarluvr123

    “Oh quick! It’s a Kia. Better start thinking of other cars that it vaguely resembles.” Here’s an idea: It looks like a Kia, and a damn fine one at that! Good Lord, people…

  • pcurve

    Love the design. Hopefully Kia and Hyundai redesigned their Theta engine connecting rods to be beefier, and larger surface area for the bearing. Bad design has led to exploding rod and bricked engines, as well as premature cylinder wall wear. With their 10/year 100k warranty on powertrain, it’s a warranty cost time bomb.

  • Christian

    I know the article says RWD, but the first (And only) picture says AWD under the GT badge?
    Edt- nevermind…The page got updated…

  • Tumbi Mtika

    I have to see it in person. I’m not really sure.

  • no25

    I am digging the looks of this!

  • Joe

    Is it just me or can this also pass as looking like a next gen optima? Besides all the sporty extras body and size are relatively the same, doesn’t scream sports saloon

    • Rich Money

      just you. try to observe the proportions.

    • bd

      More like the previous gen Optima at the greenhouse.

  • 31/12/2999

    All i see is a Optima tuned.

  • ediotsavant

    Simply gorgeous throughout. As good as it is, it will fail in the market place. Kia should have change directions and made it a cuv.


    • pcurve

      very true. floating roof being another trend. But with globalization, parts sourcing, designer and executive jumping ships across ponds, the distinction between german cars, japanese cars, korean cars, american cars has been blurring…

    • Enter Ranting

      I agree – the gratuitous scoops and fake vents are getting out of control. It’s like the designers are trying to provide cooling for a fusion reactor.

  • smartacus

    it looks like an attainable Panamera.

    15-speaker 720-watt system.
    Available Brembo brakes
    available with AWD
    TFT screen with G-forces

    • john1168

      “attainable Panamera” <— This, right here! This is the niche that ALL OTHER car manufacturers missed!

  • SteersUright

    This Kia is both very exciting, awesome and already in need of an immediate facelift! The headlight are ok, but a bit too dopey and rounded looking. The grille is so generic it could be applied to any appliance-mobile. The taillights are terrible and look ripped right off of a Chrysler or Ford Fusion, two cars/brands you do not want to copy if you want to look “premium”. The proportions are cool and aggressive, but the overall design needs much more polish and finesse to look properly situated next to a Panamera or Audi A7.

    Moving on, the interior looks acceptable if even impressive from some angles until you get to the really cheap looking silver plastic part surrounding the shifter. Also, the gauges are uninspired and cheap looking, a real missed opportunity to design something beautifully and where the owner’s eyes fall most often. The thick black bezel surrounding the infotainment screen reeks of cost cutting where a larger screen with a near frameless design would have been more impressive.

    Finally, 0-60 in 5.1s from a car with a twin turbo v6 in 2017 is truly underwhelming. A production goal should have been under 5 sec for the car with the upgraded engine. The quality of the chassis, suspension setup, ride, and overall dynamics remain to be seen. Never a Hyundai/Kia strong suit, hopefully they were up to the engineering task.

    Overall, an impressively bold but slightly undercooked first effort from the Koreans in this emotional/enthusiast segment. I hope it at least drives pretty damn well because I want them to succeed with this car and be encouraged to product more sporting options in the years to come.

    • Raf

      For what this car will cost and how big it is performance is more than adequate and since built on Genesis platform interior materials should be good.

    • bd

      The grill still has the distinctive “tiger-nose” shape and the taillights are little like that on the Fusion.

      Or for that matter, only has a passing similarity to the Dodge Charger, Dodge Dart, Lincoln MKZ, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Azera, etc. – which have all used taillight design with an illuminating or simply a reflector strip connecting the 2 main taillight casings.

      Also, already some early drive reviews of prototypes which have had good things to say about the driving dynamics.

  • LebaronLover333

    is it just me, or is anyone seeing some of the 3rd gen optima in the rear c pillars?

  • ejd1984

    Something like like would have been a great Holden (and Buick).

    Why does it seem like other manufacturers can justify a reasonably priced rwd sedan(s), but GM and Ford still refuses to.

    • donald seymour

      Because Gm and Ford don’t put their best efforts forward and they receive lack luster sales in response.

  • bd

    Only going after the 4 Series GC on price, as it is a midsize RWD (so 5 Series in size).

    Only real issue with the design is maybe the shape of the headlights, but things usually look better in the flesh.

    But all in all, much more striking than the G80 (inside and out) and should be a more dynamic handler as well.

  • Dennis Scipio

    It does look like a Grown Up Optima which i really like about this design.

  • ChizzoLi

    They should get rid of the hood vents. It’ll make the front end look less busy.

    • Bash

      nah, I say keep them… at least in the sportier trims..

  • john1168

    I love it! There’s a few things I’m not crazy about though. I’m not crazy about the red plastic that connects the two rear tail lights. There’s something cheap looking about that area with the rear hatch. The center stack vents look a little funny too. Not the vents themselves but the area around them where it protrudes into the cabin. I realize they did that to make room for the retractable screen but it looks a little odd. I still am not crazy about the chrome strip that comes off the side windows and down to the trunk area. I realize they’re trying for brand identity and in this case it works on this car but it makes the Stinger resemble the Optima too much. People who don’t know are going to think this is a new Optima. Lastly, if the car can hit 167 mph, it should have a speedometer that goes up to at least 170 or 180 mph. These four items are not deal breakers for me though. I’ve been waiting for a car with the features this Stinger has for a looooooong time (Nice power, advanced transmission, AWD, five door HATCH, decent handling, comfortable ride and a giant moon roof). Hopefully a fully loaded V6TT AWD won’t be too expensive. I’m hoping for under $60k. This is probably going to be my next car.

    Anyone notice the slotted Brembo brakes?!?!

  • lapirk

    Bold & busy design but I’m not sure this is gonna age well. Props for the effort

  • d’Aforde

    The Koreans are going for the jugular. This Kia is way better than a CLA, A3, ILX and many other entry-level luxury models. It looks amazing and has plenty of power. Kia has a winner on its hands.

    • Matt

      It doesn’t compete with any of the cars you mentioned.

      • Rick Alexander

        You’re right. But it might from a price perspective. We’ll have to wait and see.

    • Sybill Julian

      you should compare it to A5 Sportback or 4 Series Gran Coupe

  • dumblikeyou2

    Looks more like it’s going after the new Alfa Giulia than the 4-series.

  • Jesse A. C. Majors

    Beau. Ti. Ful.

  • An Existing Person

    I see lots of inspiration and styling cues taken from many cars, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this case. This looks great compared to the rest of Kia’s lineup.

  • Danny Boy

    KIA, you guy’s are doing a swell job with your product, point blank, period!!! That said, until you come up with a fitting badge for your vehicles, there’s certain clients that you will never have. Literally, that huge “KIA” ruins your lovely designs. I can’t help but to associate KIA w/that Sophia monstrosity which is your heritage. You really need something new to accompany your fab new direction. Maybe the K turned sideway inside of an oval shape? Hell, I don’t know, just know that this would change everything for you guys. That car is hotness personified!!!

    • BlackPegasus
    • Rick Alexander

      I agree that Kia needs a more refined logo. However, a twenty dollar badge, wouldn’t be a deal breaker, if I was shopping this car. Don’t like the badge? Rip it off! I’m waaay more interested in vehicle content, than a badge. Performance, fit and finish, pricing, how it makes me feel when I’m driving it, etc. You’re right, in that some people can’t see pass the badge. But people are getting wiser, thanks to forums such as these.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Nice but that little front vent looks tacked on in a ’70s Japanese sort of way. I’m glad to see this coming to market even if it’s not that original Stinger concept they showed three years ago.

  • Bash

    beautiful, I really hope it sells, unlike the K900… also from the back, this looks nicer than the A7

  • Kagan

    It is nice but more full size sedan less 4 door coupe.

    • BlackPegasus

      Yeah, I’m seeing more of a sedan, not the 4dr coupe talked about by the automotive press.

  • A move in the right direction.

  • Jboy Ababon III

    From the get go I thought it was another Kia Concept car. But man, Kia nailed this one!

  • TheHake

    Shit! Is it coming to Europe as well????

    • john1168

      Yes. And if diesels are your thing, it’ll have that too… Diesel is Europe only.

      • TheHake

        Yes please!

        • john1168


    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      Not with that name surely?

  • 911

    Wow, if this would be offered as a manual, it would be incredibly interesting!!!

  • Matthijs

    This will be one of the best looking cars on the market! Well done!

  • Knotmyrealname

    There seems to be a lot of love here for the Stinger, and, on it’s own, I’d agree. It looks nice. Not my cup of tea, but nice.

    But to say that it’s gunning for BMWs, Mercs and Audis et al, draws a long bow. I may be wrong, but if someone had the cash or funds available to buy an BM, MB or Audi, I dare say that in most cases they would in no way entertain the option of buying this car. It has no cred or appeal to these people. It just would not be on their shopping list, and if you dared suggest it to them, then you’d either get a double take or a slap.

    It’s more for those who are either resolved to the fact that they can not or would not buy the German marques or for those who are realistic in what the vehicle is and represents and are comfortable in it.

    Just my $0.02….

    • john1168

      You’re right… People who buy Bimmers, Mercs or Audi’s will never consider this. And that’s fine. This car is an affordable version of an A7, a Panamera or a 4 series Grand Coupe. It has most, if not all of the features that the others have, decent performance and great looks, all at a price that appeals to the value conscious. This is the type of car Chevy, Ford or Dodge should have been building a long time ago but never did. Granted Dodge has the Charger, Chevy/Pontiac the SS/G8 and Ford… well, they were out to lunch without a sandwich, but those cars were nothing like this. Enthusiasts (some rich, most not so much) have been begging for a car with the features of this Stinger for years…. heck, decades! And here comes KIA with such a car for hopefully a good price. This car is exploiting a niche that no other car maker has gone after. Like it or not, I hope this car does extremely well in the marketplace so at least other manufacturers will start making similar vehicles. I know you’re not putting the Stinger down, I’m just adding on to the conversation here.

      • Knotmyrealname

        Thanks. In the UK, apparently it’s price point will be on par with a BMW (around £43k or USD52k). Way too expensive for my liking and fairly square in the Euro exec price market. If it were way below, then it’s viable, but it is being placed as a cost equal to BMW/MB/Audi, which I cannot fathom.

        • john1168

          I was starting to think that KIA would sell a ton of these but if they’re going to sell for the same price as an equivalent BMW, Merc or Audi then they may have a problem moving them. I was hoping that a fully loaded V6TT AWD would be in the $50k (USA) range but after seeing the car, it wouldn’t surprise me if it hit over $60k. I love the car so far and might still get it because it’s exactly the car I’ve been looking for over the past 15 years but I’m not sure people in general are ready to pay that much on a KIA. KIA may have to do a spin off brand like Genesis.

          • john1168

            Resale value is another consideration. I plan to keep the car for a while but for those who get new every 3 or 4 years, I just don’t know how well the KIA will hold up.

          • bd

            This is more 5 Series in size and yet will still undercut the 3 Series in price.

    • Rick Alexander

      While I agree with you for the most part, why does everyone assume that only Merc, Audi, and Bimmer buyers, dictate if a car will sell well or not? As you said, those buyers won’t be cross-shopping this vehicle anytime soon. However, there is a younger demographic, who aren’t as smitten as the usual badge whores, who’ll be all over this thing. As long as it’s priced right, has decent performance, and has good aftermarket support. Just look at the Genesis coupe for reference. People laughed when they said they were going after the Ford Mustang. Nobody’s laughing anymore. I can’t wait to see this in the flesh. If it’s as good as it looks, I may lease one.

      • Knotmyrealname

        My point was that if you strongly desired and, say, always wanted a BMW and had the money to do so, I don’t feel that this car – at the same price point – would pull you away. But don’t get me wrong, it seems a nice car & if you’re not a ‘badge whore’ (sic) then you won’t care.

        • Rick Alexander

          Agreed. However, bare in mind, that no official pricing has been released. So, any talk of pricing, is merely speculation. There’s no way, they’ll price this like a 3 or 5 series. I expect it to be priced more like a new Infiniti Q50. Again, just speculation. I’ll be at the Detroit show, so I’ll get a better idea of fit and finish then.

          • Knotmyrealname

            Enjoy the show!

          • Rick Alexander

            Thank you! I certainly hope so.

  • Mind Synthetic

    koreans do what they do best, copy….

    • bd

      Good thing it was mostly designed by Germans.

  • klowik

    The design seems to be on par with the some of the German Luxury brands except the KIA logo .

  • Zed68
  • MIL1234

    i have already seen the 4 wheel geometry
    i don’t remember where

  • donald seymour
  • Ron

    Looks like an Optima with a bunch of aftermarket crap thrown at it. Yawn.

  • BlackPegasus

    Absolutely stunning execution! Kia should make it available in only one or two trims with the larger wheels being standard equipment. I don’t want to see a stripped down version of this car on the road.

  • Chad Gordon

    My only problem with this is the Steering wheel that they lifted straight outta my Soul Delivery vehicle which Perforated leather and fancy stiching can’t hide.

  • Vassilis

    Interesting. Looks good! Although the dashboard is a blatant copy of Merc and Audi in some places.

  • psiqtas

    Heck – it’s even started to look from front-end like BMW…another one clone after Alfa Giulia!!!

  • EddyCj

    This is a BIG surprise from Kia!! Gorgeous!!

  • Rich Money

    This is the car for me. I’ll take mine with the V6 and AWD.

    Just gorgeous. Fantastic. Outstanding. Peter Shreyer is a god.

  • roy

    So… Rear like a dodge/ Maserati.. Interior like a merc…. Looks a bit Audi…. But to ‘Hell’ with all because at the end of the day it looks awesome So well done Kia

    • bd

      Eh, the Hyundai Azera, Honda Odyssey, Lincoln MKZ, etc. have all used the same basic tail-light layout with a illuminating band or simply a reflector strip going across the middle.

      • roy

        Yes but the first model which came to my mind was the dodge So

  • fabri99

    Finally all those great looking concepts became something truly beautiful. Subaru could learn a thing or two.

  • Matt

    Looks like a home run. Only thing i can see thats disappointing is having a trunk instead of a hatch. Itll be intetesting to see where they price this as well as how volkswagens new cc turns out as i see that as one of the stingers biggest competitors.

    • john1168

      The Stinger will be 5 door hatch ONLY. No trunk. I posted a pic further up the comments.

  • seriously

    Its funny how people say this car looks like alot of cars that dont look alike lol youre right they all have 4 wheels and a roof……it looks like a Kia Optima a with fastback roofline I dont see what else there is here. To me it looks like a 4 door coupe version of the Optima like the CC and the Passat its front looks like an optima even its roof line and rear look like an Optima except the taillights

  • Rich Money

    I keep looking at the pictures seeking a flaw. But I can’t find any.

  • Rick Alexander

    @John Halas Is the name official (Stinger)? Stinger was the name of the smaller Kia sports car concept. That car was smaller, and looked nothing like this. This is clearly based on the Kia GT concept.

  • KT

    Hopefully the smaller Genesis G70 sports sedan will offer a manual with the 3.3TT to target the portion of buyers hoping for one in this Stinger.

    • john1168

      It would be good if they did but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  • Tom

    This car seems to be a “5-door” like Audi A5 Sportsback or A7. So it would be a fastback/hatchback… cool … a real “Fatherraser” 😉

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    Overall a great design, but it feels as though the sharpness of the concept was lost somewhere.

  • hwkr_01
  • Sukhoi31m3

    If the owners of this car show up at the Nurburgring and it does well, and the car proves itself reliable, there are a lot of German car companies that may feel its presence in the market.

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