SUCH A BUZZ
KIA’S STINGER IMPRESSES IN EVERY WAY
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