Kia is feeling the ‘sting’
KIA is calling for expressions of interest from buyers keen on the Korean brand’s new rear drive big car, the Stinger.
Plus it’s possible the car may get to Australia faster than first thought with Trinity Kia sales manager Renato Tallarico predicting a June arrival.
He says an Optima GT 2.0litre turbo is being added to his demonstrator fleet so customers can get a feel for the base model Stinger, which comes with the same engine of 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
Mr Tallarico says excitement is building for the Stinger, which is beging regarded as a replacement for the discontinued Ford Falcon, and the Holden Commodore, which bows out on October 20.
The Stinger with the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine should start from about $40,000 with a full-loaded twin turbo 3.6-litre V6 in the $50,000 range.
Kia technical consultant Graeme Gambold is to turn his attention to the hot new reardrive sedan, travelling to South Korea soon with Kia Motors Australia’s general manager of product planning Roland Rivero to pinpoint a unique Australian-focused ride and handling package.
This will not only include a different grade of tuning for each of the Stinger’s two petrol engines – a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 good for 272kW of power and the turbo-four – but also include a higher-level “GT” handling option for the V6.
Mr Gambold is aiming to emulate the ride and handling characteristics of the Falcon XR6 and Commodore SV6.
The rear suspension design is the work of former BMW M development boss Albert Biermann and is similar to the 4 Series. He will also take into the wants of police forces, which are considering the Stinger as a pursuit and patrol car, with the aim of a more sports-oriented suspension package.
The Stinger rides on MacPherson front struts and a multi-link rear suspension setup, bolted to an ultra-stiff body, with a 55 per cent high-strength steel content.
It will also be the first Kia to feature adaptive dampers, forming part of a five-mode dynamic customisation system that also alters steering and drivetrain characteristics.
In the past the police have requested all large cars from Holden and Ford have firmer suspension. In Holden’s case, it was referred to as FE2, but more commonly as the “police pack”.