Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kia Stinger

For years, Korean cars have been one of the most redundant cars on the road because not only it is cheap but also horrid not by looks but by the performance they wouldn't get their hopes for. Now though, things have changed as Kia's brand new high-performance sports saloon will challenge all your ideas about Korean cars.

2018 Kia Stinger

This is called the Stinger and by some hunch, it could be Korea's answer to the Alfa Romeo Giulia and some well-known European imports known to many with the price that is very reasonable enough to start with. So, why did Kia decided to make a sports car that promises to upset the Europeans and, more importantly, change the Korean car company's image for the better of it? Good question though but let's go to the part why Kia want to change its image with the new Stinger.

You see, Kia Motors are getting bothered by most people who drive Kias hiding the fact that they actually drove one. Cars, mostly the ones in the current Peter Schreyer-design era like the Forte, the K5, the K7, the K3, even the latest Sorento and the Sportage, you name the rest, often get their KIA badges swapped by some unknown and unofficial aftermarket ones so they believe that what they're driving isn't a Kia but the fact is they are. To respond to such atrocity, they've developed the Stinger, which is a new sports car that will change the way they think about Kias without doing the unthinkable.

2018 Kia Stinger

To make sure the Stinger will not go down in the same fate as the other Peter Schreyer-designed Kias, they made a specially-made badge on the front rather than the usual KIA badge on it. See the letter "E" on it? Sounds misleading but it's a warning shot for speedo boys driving Kias saying "Don't change my emblem, bro!" So, job done for Kia but while the design is heavily inspired from the 2011 GT Concept, it looks more like a K5 on steroids with the rear view that looks conspicuously similar to the Dodge Dart. You can almost never tell the difference between yours and the next guy's car.

2018 Kia Stinger interior

The story doesn't stop here as the interior looks like it came from modern-day Mercedes saloons and if your sights are all Mercedes to you, you can get badly confused thinking that you're driving a Mercedes-Benz in case you're wondering. Even though this is a sporty four-door coupe much like Mercedes's CLS or BMW's Gran Coupe offerings, this is surprisingly luxurious at so many levels and accommodating up to five passengers isn't too shabby either with its ample headroom and legroom good enough to be called a proper saloon car.

2018 Kia Stinger

Now for the coup de grace of the Stinger, the performance, and because it runs on a totally new architecture that can accommodate both rear-wheel and (wait for it) all-wheel drive powertrains, the terms comfortable, quiet, rigidity, and lightweight do come to its vocabulary and perhaps no wonder Kia poached an expert from BMW to make sure it handles like a European sports car. In fact, the Stinger is one of the cars that were tested and tuned on the Nurburgring, which is too surprising for a car made from the land of Korean dramas and K-Pop that behaves like a total diva. It is!

As you may think that because it can be offered with an all-wheel drive system, you may have feared that it's going to have some breakneck understeers too struggling to handle in such conditions but fear not because having torn the pages from the latest Ford Focus RS, the Kia Stinger has Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system that promises rear-wheel drive agility with adaptability on any road condition so not only it's good enough to take on any weather forecast, it's also intoxicating to drive like a total addict.

The Stinger comes with three exciting engine choices ranging from the 2.2L CRDi-VGT engine with 202PS of power output, 2.0L Turbo GDi engine with 255PS of power output, and the fiery 3.3L Turbo V6 engine producing 370PS of power and 52kgf-m of torque, propelling the Stinger to a 0-100kph time of 4.9 seconds. All three engine choices are mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox with Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber torque converter to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain as well as its four-piston Brembo brakes with ventilated discs to make it stop with a bit more feel.

For safety, the Kia Stinger comes with a wide array of active safety systems such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and for the first time in a Kia, a driver monitoring system that warns the driver when it's time to pull over for a break if it senses drowsiness or other possible scenarios. That sounds like bothersome to us but oh well...

The Kia Stinger is priced from 35,000,000 to 48,800,000 Korean Won, which makes it very affordable to own than any European imports, despite the fact that it is the most costliest Kia to own today, more costly than the K9. So, is this the Kia you've been waiting for? Don't scoff but for a car that promises to be Korea's Giulia to the world, it needs to prove its worth against the competition until its prime time for the challenge. Nevertheless, the Stinger changes the way we think about Kias and despite its misleading "E" badge, it's a forewarning to speedo boys everywhere that warns them that this could be the most promising Korean sports car to enjoy since the deceased Hyundai Genesis Coupe. This is a brave new world for Kia's newest sports saloon that will challenge all your ideas about Korean cars.

Available colors: Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Deep Chroma Blue, Pantera Metal, Aurora Black Pearl, and High Chroma Red.

Photo: Kia Motors

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