Kia’s racy GT concept sports sedan shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show becomes production reality with the 2018 Stinger.
“This is our first-ever sports performance five-door sedan. It’s also our first rear-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicle in a sedan body,” Orth Hedrick, Vice President of Product Planning for Kia Motors America, told Automotive Engineering minutes before the Stinger’s unveiling ahead of the Detroit auto show January 8.
Stinger’s styling is very similar to the GT concept with both vehicles handled by the Frankfurt, Germany design team. Gregory Guillaume, Director/Chief Designer of Kia Design Center Europe, explained that the Stinger is fine example of designers and engineers working in tandem.
“We always have to find the solutions together, especially when you do a high-performance type of vehicle. There are a lot of serious things involved, [like] safety and high-speed stability,” he said.
Albert Biermann, head of vehicle test and high performance development and formerly with BMW, told AE that the Stinger easily handles the legendary high-speed corners found within Germany’s Nurburgring racing complex. “The great thing about this car is its stability. And the confidence that you get when you drive this car and you push it,” Biermann beamed.
Hedrick said the Stinger’s body structure is comprised of 55% advanced high strength steel/ultra high strength steel—the foundation for a great performing sports sedan. “For instance, there’s a ring of ultra high strength steel that goes through the rear part of the five-door, behind the rear doors and over the rear hatch opening, to give it rigidity.”
Riding on a 114.4-in (2895-mm) wheelbase, Stinger has a MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension. An electronically adjustable suspension system (Dynamic Stability Damping Control) modifies ride damping and vehicle handling characteristics. This Kia-first application enables the driver to increase agility through corners by softening the front shock damping and firming that of the rear shocks, or improve high-speed stability by stiffening the front shocks and softening the rear shocks.
Stinger also claims a Kia-first application with its variable steering ratio system. Hedrick noted that rear-drive cars will have a mechanical limited-slip differential, while AWD cars will have a torque-vectoring control system.
Stinger’s standard engine is a 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder from parent Hyundai's Theta II family, producing an estimated 255 hp (190 kW) at 6200 rpm and peak torque of 260 lb·ft (352 N·m) from 1400 to 4000 rpm. The 3.3-L twin-turbo V6 (Hyundai Lambda II) produces an estimated 365 hp (272 kW) at 6000 rpm and maximum torque of 376 lb·ft (509 N·m) from 1300 to 4500 rpm. Both engines will mate to a second-generation, Hyundai-developed 8-speed automatic transmission.
U.S. sales are slated for late 2017. Pricing will be announced closer to vehicle launch.