THE HYPE surrounding Kia’s rear-drive, twin-turbo V6-powered Stinger GT continues to build as the car gets ready to launch in the third quarter of this year.
There have been rumours of a racing version entering the local Supercars championship, and the classic rear-drive, front-engine formula has plenty of people excited – particularly as its arrival will coincide with the Holden Commodore ditching the same tried and true format.
The car is yet to hit roads around the world, but here are a smattering of Stinger facts we already know.
Australians will get a unique soundtrack
Kia’s local engineering team is hard at work preparing the Stinger for local conditions. But unlike most of Kia Australia's localisation work, the engineers won't just be focusing on ride and handling. Australians could be in line for a bespoke exhaust note when the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 lands Down Under to give it some added aural appeal.
Kia’s local development team is led by technical consultant Graeme Gambold, and corporate communications manager Kevin Hepworth said the vehicle dynamics expert has a free reign to fettle any part of the Stinger he sees fit.
“Gambold has permission to work on whatever he likes on this car," he told Wheels
Hepworth explained that the engineering team was confident the Singer’s performance would appeal to Australian tastes, but there were ongoing “discussions” regarding a possible exhaust tune specific for Australian cars.
Traffic light Grand Prix
The 276kW/510Nm V6-powered Stinger will come with some serious performance capabilities. The Stinger will arrive with an electronically-adjustable Dynamic Stability Damping Control suspension system, and five-mode Drive Mode Select system.
But if straight-line performance is all you care about, don’t worry, as the Stinger will launch to 100km/h from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds according to Kia. That makes it the fastest car in the Korean manufacturers history, and quicker than the Holden VF Commodore SS-V Redline, Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce, and on pace with an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe. As for top speed? Kia is targeting 270km/h.
The Stinger is in its final stage of development, and the manufacturer says there is a 100-strong team still involved in preparing the car for the public. That includes putting the car through a rigorous winter testing regime in temperatures as low as -35°C. The men and women suffering those frankly ridiculous temperatures do get to slide the car on vast frozen lakes. You win some, you lose some.
Mean Green Machine
The Stinger has undergone extensive testing on the gruelling Nurburgring under the watchful eye of Kia’s performance and engineering guru Albert Biermann - himself the ex-head of BMW's M division. The testing is centered out of a facility owned by Hyundai at the famous German circuit. Nurburgring testing isn’t all about lap times though, with the track also proving invaluable for evaluating a car’s ride and handling thanks to the countless bumps and undulations in the track’s surface.
In order to maximise sportiness of the Stinger, Kia has worked on perfecting a low-slung drivers position. Kia claims that in its lowest setting, the driver’s glutes are just 180mm above the road. It should make for an impressive go-kart-esque sensation behind the wheel.