New vs Used

Is the Kia Stinger the spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to Ford’s XR6 Turbo?

Motor (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

WHILE the ma­jor­ity of the hype sur­round­ing the Stinger has cen­tred around it be­ing a ‘re­place­ment’ for the SS Com­modore (of which you can read on page 52), in the­ory, it’s more a spir­i­tual al­ter­na­tive to the iconic Ford Fal­con XR6 Turbo.

The Kia is pow­ered by a twin-turbo V6, utilises an eight­speed au­to­matic and has a badge that, apart from the Pro­ceed GT, hasn’t pre­vi­ously been tied to per­for­mance. How­ever, the XR6 Turbo Sprint’s con­text lands it deep in rac­ing and go-fast her­itage. With the blown Barra and sixspeed ZF auto ’box, the fi­nal 550 Sprints were spe­cial.

So, it’s ul­ti­mately a bit of a left-of-cen­tre fight against new money and the old guard. How­ever, both em­ploy rear­wheel drive dy­nam­ics and fam­ily-friendly prac­ti­cal­ity.

To say there’s been hype sur­round­ing the Stinger GT is an un­der­state­ment of epic pro­por­tions. Luck­ily, as we found out with the 330S, the hype has sub­stance. And with 272kW/510Nm, the Stinger isn’t hang­ing about – our sub five-sec­ond quar­ter is proof of that. Yet, it’s also a premium prod­uct and sur­pris­ingly re­fined. Yes, it’s ham­pered by its steer­ing, a lack of the­atre (the op­tional ex­haust should help) and its de­sign is po­lar­is­ing, but it’s worth con­sid­er­ing.

As fi­nal hur­rahs go, the Sprint was the best Ford could do with the re­main­ing bud­get. How­ever, with 325kW/576Nm on tap (or a mega 370kW/650Nm on over­boost), the Sprint was, in re­al­ity, an un­dressed FPV. While the cabin showed the car’s age and the dy­nam­ics were sur­passed by the

VFII, there’s no ques­tion the Sprint was a weapon. MO­TOR read­ers also voted it the Peo­ple’s Per­for­mance Car of 2016.

Ul­ti­mately, tra­di­tional Fal­con/Com­modore buy­ers could strug­gle to get past badge snob­bery. Which is a shame be­cause the Stinger is no pre­tender.

It’s ul­ti­mately a fight against new money and the old guard

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