KIA STINGER GT
Fast, capable, glamorous. Not words you’d instinctively associate with Kia, but that’s about to change. evo travels to South Korea to meet the world-class designers and engineers behind the new Stinger GT four-door coupe, and to get behind its wheel
Fast and glamourous, this is the face of a new Korea
TEN YEARS FROM NOW YOU WILL have a very different opinion of Kia. That’s what the execs in their suits and designers with their natty cravats tell me. Looking back, our perception of the company has already changed. Enormously, in fact, because Kia is no longer a bargain brand but a challenger.
And soon enough it’ll be an aspirational brand. That’s what they say. In time, buying a Kia won’t merely be a rational decision, but an emotional one, and the day will come when you and I will see a new Kia on the street and it’ll make our hearts beat a little faster. That’s what they tell me.
I wonder what sequence of events would have to unfold for that to be true of the typical evo reader. Significant ones, I imagine. But if Kia’s objective seems unlikely, or just unrealistic, know that this march towards the aspirational isn’t meaningless corporate fluff dreamt up by an over-lit, under-oxygenated marketing department in a battery-farm office. It’s a determination that radiates through the entire company. Everybody at Kia takes it very seriously indeed.
You can see the scale of this ambition in the renowned designers and engineers Kia has poached in recent years, and in its new high-performance test facility, complete with a Nürburgring-lite handling circuit. It’s also why I’m in Korea – to learn about and drive Kia’s new gran turismo.
A great deal rests upon its shoulders. Called the Stinger GT, it’s a rear-driven four-door ‘coupe’ with a twin-turbo V6 and a limited-slip diff. There will be an AWD version, and a less powerful four-cylinder Stinger with watered-down styling will go on sale early in 2018.
It’s no coincidence evo was the only UK title invited to Korea to drive an early development prototype. Kia hopes that you, as an evo reader, will want to own a Stinger GT.
Left: Hints of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, perhaps?
That’s no bad thing, of course, and it’s the sort of desirability Kia is aiming for with this,
the new Stinger GT