There was plenty to be excited about at Kia's 2018 Auto Expo display. The SP Concept garnered maximum eyeballs, and the Stonic SUV and Grand Carnival MPV also got people talking. There was, however, another Kia that made showgoers stop and stare – the Stinger GT. Here's what you need to know about this stylish four-door sedan:
It's Kia’s first sports sedan
Kia stunned the world when it pulled the wraps off of the Stinger at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show. The maker of practical family cars had hit it out of the park with its first true performance car; a four-door sports sedan that had been developed under the watchful eye of ex-BMW M specialist Albert Biermann.
The Stinger is based on the 2011 GT concept, which was, in Kia's words, "something considered by many outside the company as little more than a dream for a brand known for producing mass-market transportation rooted in value." But all these years later, Kia did bring the dream to life, putting into production a striking-looking fastback that was not only rapid and honed at the Nürburgring, but had space for five passengers and their luggage.
There are a range of engines on offer
Internationally, Kia offers a total of three engine options with the Stinger. Opening the range is a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol that makes 255hp and 353Nm of torque. There's also a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel producing 197hp and 440Nm of torque. An eight-speed automatic is standard, which sends power to the rear wheels (or to all four of them, depending on the market). The 2.0-litre petrol has a claimed 0-96kph time of 5.8sec and a top speed of 240kph, while the diesel does 0-96kph in 7.3sec and tops out at 230kph. While that may be fairly quick, there's another engine on offer...
It's the fastest Kia yet
... and it's the highlight of the Stinger range. It’s a 3.3-litre, twin-turbocharged petrol that puts out 365hp and 510Nm of torque, blessing the Stinger GT with a claimed 0-96kph time of 4.7sec and a top speed of 270kph. It's in this form that the Stinger hopes to rival the go-faster variants of the BMW 3-series and Jaguar XE.
It's loaded with equipment
Being Kia's halo car, the Stinger is absolutely packed to the gills with kit. In high-performance GT guise, the Stinger gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 360-degree view camera, a head-up display, power-adjustable front seats with ventilation and Nappa leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a powered tailgate and a full suite of safety systems. It even gets Brembo brakes, electronically controlled suspension and a limited-slip differential to go with its sports sedan aspirations.
India prospects unclear
As it stands, it's unlikely that Kia will introduce the Stinger in India. It will have to be brought in as a completely built-up unit, meaning it would be subject to a horde of Indian taxes and its price will cross the Rs 70-lakh mark. Finding takers at this price will be a tough task. Additionally, Kia wants to concentrate on mass-market cars as its core area of focus in India, and is currently working on rolling out the production-spec SP Concept SUV.
That said, the brand has, in the recent days, said it is facing a 'problem of plenty' as it looks at its international line-up to decide which ones will make it to India. Could the Stinger be one of them? Guess we'll have to cross our fingers and wait for it.
Do you think the Stinger could work as a halo model for Kia, in India? What do you think would be the ideal price for a car like this? Tell us in the comments below.