For many years, Kia teased the idea of launching a rear-wheel drive sedan, basically to compete with the undisputed German leaders in the segment. But beyond teasing, we never saw more than speculation and the GT Concept during the 2011 Frankfurt Show.
Nevertheless, Kia chose the 2017 Detroit Auto Show to present us the definitive version of their RWD sedan to compete in the mentioned market. They name it Stinger, and it’s really sexy.
Competing with the C-class from Mercedes-Benz or the A4 from Audi won’t be easy. Because of this, the development of the exciting 2018 Stinger involved the highest expectations. The brand wanted to surprise and it was a success. Let’s get into the details.
Powertrain and Mechanical Details
When it comes to power, the 2018 Stinger will provide us two different options: a base 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine and a 3.3-litre V-6 engine. The first, smaller version will produce up to 255 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, while the latter will be capable of generating up to 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of maximum torque.
As standard, the 2018 Stinger will come rear-wheel drive, as mentioned before, and with a limited-slip differential. Nevertheless, buyers will have the chance to get it all-wheel drive with torque vectoring as well. To complete the setup, an 8-speed automatic transmission takes place. According to Kia, the V-6 version will go from zero to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds, with a top speed of 167 mph (269 km/h). During the announcement, Kia mentioned the possibility of launching diesel versions for the European market, but there weren’t more details about it.
It’s important to mention that the exciting V-6 powerplant comes from Hyundai and it’s the same unit we can find in the Genesis G90. Also, the transmission is based on the one present in the K900 model, but this one will use a tuned-mass damper on the flywheel for reduced torsional vibration.
When it comes to the suspension, there is going to be a strut setup at the front and a multilink at the rear. The stopping power will be provided by top-notch Brembo brakes with 4-piston calipers in the front and vented discs on the four wheels.
Looks and Equipment
As you can see, the 2018 Stinger was designed to confront the German performance sedans that are highly popular these days. High-strength steel is the predominant material for the chassis, but other cutting-edge elements are there, still unannounced.
With a coupe-like roofline, the Stinger seems sleek and aerodynamic. At the front fascia, Kia’s tiger nose grille is present, optimized to provide a sporty feel. Every curve is there to inspire the fierceness and intimidate. The front headlights travel to the sides. On the hood, two air intakes reveal the Stinger’s true intentions.
We are getting 18-inch wheels with the base model and 19-inch with the V-6 one. Once we get inside, the sporty elegance reminds us to many Jaguar models. The 8.0-inch central touchscreen catches our attention, coming as standard. Other standard equipment will be nav and wireless device charging. If you want to spend some more, a 15-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system will be available.
The Bottom Line
The 2018 Kia Stinger is a delightful surprise we were expecting for years. It isn’t easy to say that it will compete fairly with the German leaders, but there is a huge chance. Now we have to wait for proper tests.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.