The Kia Stinger GT has officially launched. The new sport saloon is a complete departure from normal proceedings for the South Korean company. It is a powerful fastback sports saloon designed in Germany and developed on the Nurburgring. It has been designed to compete with the German trio; Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.

The car is production ready, promising multiple engine and drivetrain configurations together with a luxurious interior. The design was overseen by former Audi designer Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ Chief Design Officer. Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, former Vice President of BMW M-Performance.

The design features a long bonnet and short front overhang. The wheelbase is very long which allows Kia to deliver a spacious cabin. It gets a wide front and rear track, along with the recessed contours along the doors. Front air curtains, wheel arch gills, a smooth underbody, and integrated rear diffuser also improve aerodynamic efficiency.

Inside, Kia have fitted the Stinger GT with ultra-soft Nappa leather with air-cell bladders in the seatback and bolsters for optimal support and comfort. The centre console is intuitively split into two specific areas: the infotainment controls which sit neatly below a large colour touchscreen, while the climate and ventilation controls nestle beneath. The steering wheel is leather clad with a single instrument binnacle combining analogue and digital instrumentation. The colour TFT screen between the gauges relays performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times and engine-oil temperature.

The Stinger’s wheelbase is longer than the Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, BMW 4 Gran Coupe and even the Lexus GS and Mercedes CLS. As a result, the Stinger’s boot area is also larger than many in its class. The chassis is 55 per cent advanced high-strength steel with MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension. Kia has fitted its first adaptive damping system called Dynamic Stability Damping Control. The system is accessed through five drive modes; Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.

KIA Stinger GT (12)

A choice of two turbocharged engines will be available from launch. The standard engine is the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine which produces 255 horsepower at approximately 6,200 rpm and maximum torque of 260 lb.-ft from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm. The second headline model will get an 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which is expected to produce 365 horsepower at an estimated 6,000 rpm and offer max torque of 376 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm. Kia is targeting 5.1 seconds to 62 mph and a top speed of 167 mph from the twin turbocharged V6.

A brand new eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission drives the Kia Stinger GT. First offered in the K900, the gearbox has been designed in-house. It uses a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter to help reduce torsional vibrations. Five different shift patterns can be selected through the vehicle’s electronic drive-mode system. Both rear and all-wheel drive options are available with the AWD system getting Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control. Rear-drive vehicles get a mechanical limited slip differential.

KIA Stinger GT (18)

For the 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder models, 225/45R-18 performance tyres are fitted while the 3.3-litre V6 gets 225/40R-19 in front and 255/35R-19 at the rear. Vented Brembo brake discs are standard on the 3.3-litre twin turbo and feature quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers. Various assistance programs are fitted to the Stinger GT including Driver Attention Alert (DAA), Forward Collision Assistance (FCA), integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Lane Keep Assist (LKA) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).

On paper it seems every inch the competitor for BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. There is no word on availability or cost as yet. We will take a closer look at the show car later today!

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