Kia Stinger Stuns as Brand’s First High Performance Fastback

by Bill P. 

As Kia’s arsenal grows, the striking new Stinger attacks a high performance luxury sedan segment with a sporty new fastback design.

Kia is masterful at offering affordable efficiency in their sedans, SUVs and crossovers. And the 2011 GT Concept has birthed the new Stinger. With the new Stinger Kia blends their balanced performance principal with a sporty drivetrain and more resilient chassis. The Stinger’s chassis is made of approximately 55% high strength steel.

I’m digging the design, low-slung sleek and sexy. The Stinger has a 114 inch wheelbase and it’s 190 inches long! The 5-seater, with its long bonnet and short front overhang give way to muscular wheel haunches and muscle lines along the side. Front air curtains and rear diffuser aid aerodynamics. LED headlamps and twin tailpipes are standard.



Versatile Drivetrain more Spunk than Sporty

The new Stinger offers a drivetrain with impressive standard configurable steering, suspension and dynamic handling settings.

The whip’s powertrain is spunky and sophisticated with a matching interior. The Stinger offers the two engine options with the base boasting a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder Theta engine. The 4-cylinder has 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 1,400 rpm. The Stinger GT boasts a 3.3 liter twin turbo Lambda II V6 engine with 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. The aluminum DOHC engines both have direct injection and continuously variable valve timing. And premium gas is recommended for both engines.

Kia Stinger

Kia Stinger

Both the 4 and the 6-cylinder engines are matched to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The same is featured in Kia’s luxurious K900. A new Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber torque converter helps to enhance a tranquil cabin. The Stinger also features paddle shifters.

For additional drivetrain customization, the new electronic drive mode select can adjust throttle mapping, steering, and suspension with five modes: Eco, Personal, Sport, Comfort, and Smart.

Both models feature MacPherson strut and multilink rear suspension. Dynamic Stability Damping Control is another innovation for the brand allowing the damping to be tuned and respond with more agility through corners as the system softens the front shocks and firms up the rear. And the drivetrain offers standard rack and pinion steering and ventilated disc brakes on the front of the base and Brembo Brakes on the front and rear of the GT.

Safety technology includes Forward Collision Assistance now with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian detection. Also standard is Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Advanced Smart Cruise Control. Driver Attention Alert, a new innovation can warn a driver who shows signs of a reduction in attention span.



Premium Plush Interior with Advance Tech

The expansive cabin of the of the new Stinger envelopes its passengers in premium Nappa leather. While legroom dimensions haven’t been disclosed, the headroom stretches 39 inches in the front and 37 inches in the rear. Drivers have available air cell bladders in the seatbacks and bolsters for the optimal comfort. A leather wrapped steering wheel and semi digital dash is standard. A color TFT screen between the gauges shows performance data like G-Force, lap times, and navigation settings and vehicle diagnostics.

Kia Stinger interior

Kia Stinger interior

Drivers also have a new Head’s Up Display that displays speed, turn-by-turn navigation, Blind Spot Detection and audio and cruise control settings on the windshield.

Resting within the center console is a wireless smart phone charging pad. A 7-inch touchscreen and 6-speaker audio system is standard system on the 2.0 liter base Stinger. The 3.3 liter V6 has a standard 9 speaker audio system. A 15-speaker Harmon/Kardon audio system with Kia’s first under seat mounted subwoofers is available. The system also features ClariFi music restoration and QuantumLogic surround sound technology.

The MSRP for the Stinger hasn’t dropped yet. But I’m almost sure it will be much less than high performance luxury sedans from Lexus, Mercedes and perhaps Volvo.