Welcome to Milan Italy, the fashion capital of Europe where the Kia Stinger GT has made its debut outside of America. Originally revealed in Detroit a few days ago, we got up close and personal with a preproduction model at an exclusive launch event. The Stinger has made headlines as this performance GT is another clear sign that Kia are here to shake things up. As the strobe lights dance, the music crescendoed, and the worlds press waited, the Stinger emerged onto the catwalk.
Let’s kick off with the design because it really is something special. The fastback shape is full of intricate curves and tension lines giving it a truly athletic appearance. Finished in this candy-like red the halo car glistened under the spotlight. In top specification GT trim, the sporty alloy wheels shrouded red Brembo callipers whilst filling the muscular arches. Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grill broadly stretches the width of the front facia. Intricate LED headlights sit either side sporting a raked profile. The design naturally draws your eye from nose to tail and the overall effect is rather spectacular. It strikes a very good balance between being elegant and purposeful.
Jumping into the driver seat it was immediately noticeable that the cabin quality is high. Soft touch materials, matte finishes, brushed aluminium. A new 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system supports haptic feedback and minimises the clutter caused by buttons. The heated leather and cooled seats provide ample support with plentiful side bolstering. Moving into the rear you will find seating for three with good levels of leg room for the outermost passengers. Head room is ok but a sacrifice has been made for that sloping roofline. As expected in this breed of car, there is a large protruding transmission hump that the centre passenger must contend with. The boot has a large opening that reveals a respectable loading area.
All three engine options are now out in the open and this event provided the first details on the diesel incarnation. It is a 2.2 litre unit producing 197 BHP and a hefty 440Nm of torque. That is supplemented by a 2.0 petrol unit making 252 BHP and 353Nm. The show stopping Kia Stinger GT is powered by this 3.3 litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine that churns out 365 BHP and an impressive 510Nm of torque. It can get from 0-62 MPH in 5.4 seconds. Power for all engine options is handled by an 8 speed automatic transmission. Some markets will get the option of all wheel drive, however, the UK will only receive rear wheel drive models. A limited slip differential is also available.
The Kia Stinger GT is an impressive piece of kit in the metal and is sure to garner a lot of attention once it hits the road. Pricing has yet to be disclosed, but the first UK cars are expected in October of this year. Kia must be applauded for their conviction in regards to this project. It really is shaping up to be something that could have the Germans looking over their shoulders. We are itching to get behind the wheel and see what this watershed moment for the brand has in store.