The Chronicle - - Chronicle Motoring - By Chris Rus­son

A KIA the likes of which there’s never been will be on the road in the New Year, show­ing that the Korean car maker can play the Ger­man big hit­ters at their own game.

The new Kia Stinger is more than a match for the likes of the BMW 4 Se­ries or the Audi S5 and it’s com­ing at a frac­tion of the price.

The name is a mere ap­pe­tiser for what’s in store and, in the metal, the Stinger looks ev­ery bit a high per­for­mance grand tourer that packs an as­ton­ish­ing punch.

Un­der the skin of the flag­ship Stinger GT S is a 3.3-litre V6 en­gine boosted to 365bhp which de­liv­ers super-sport sta­tis­tics of 0 to 60 in 4.7 sec­onds and a top speed of 168mph.

That’s hooked up to a rear-wheeldrive con­fig­u­ra­tion, an eight-speed auto box and a sus­pen­sion set up to al­low the car to flow with com­po­sure.

Fac­tor in some clever elec­tron­ics to change the drive modes and it’s a car that, for £40,495, de­liv­ers in stu­pen­dous fash­ion. For Kia, the Stinger is a game-changer and proof of a pud­ding that has been bub­bling away since Kia’s de­sign chief Peter Schreyer (pre­vi­ously Audi) was joined by en­gi­neer­ing ex­pert Al­bert Bier­mann )ex-BMW) two years ago.

Set­ting out in the GT S model from Newquay, where the Stinger showed its awe­some power dur­ing a “V-Max” run along the run­way at the for­mer RAF St Maw­gan air­base, the car proved a delight to drive along some of the most scenic coastal roads in the coun­try.

Its fast­back lines are high­lighted by power-con­vey­ing high­lights such as lou­vred vents on the bon­net and be­hind the wheel arches and, with four ex­hausts pro­trud­ing from the rear, the Stinger has real mus­cle ma­chine pres­ence.

Brembo brake cal­lipers within the wheels and a sub­tle boot spoiler com­plete the pic­ture, yet in­side it’s a proper fam­ily five-seater with a good room front and back.

Boot space ranges from 406 to 1,114 litres, and, while the GT S sits on 19-inch al­loys with 225/40 R19 tyres at the front and even wider 255/35 R19 tyres at the rear, there is noth­ing harsh about the ride.

Like ev­ery other as­pect of the car, the cock­pit sets new stan­dards for Kia and the range-top­per can be had with grey, black or red in­te­rior fin­ishes. Leather up­hol­stery and alu­minium-ef­fect trim add to the up­mar­ket sta­tus.

A good amount of “proper” con­trols – not a min­i­mal­ist touch­screen ap­proach where most func­tions are buried away in the soft­ware – en­able the driver to feel in com­mand.

Flick into sport mode and the car comes alive, sharp­ened up in ev­ery depart­ment yet re­tain­ing com­po­sure through adap­tive damp­ing.

The Stinger has ar­rived at Look­ers Kia New­cas­tle and goes on sale Jan­uary 1. Dave Roberts, gen­eral man­ager, Skoda/Kia Rail­way Street said: “It is ex­cit­ing for our staff at Rail­way Street to be as­so­ci­ated with such fan­tas­tic cars but more im­por­tantly our loyal cus­tomers can feel a sense of pride that the badge on the front of their ve­hi­cle em­bod­ies a de­sire to con­stantly in­no­vate and chal­lenge per­cep­tions.”

The Kia Stinger

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