If you haven’t been paying attention to Kia lately, the 2018 Stinger should change that. It’s a fastback sport sedan which you could debadge and pass off as from one of the big German brands, thanks to a strangely seductive design.
The biggest challenge Kia’s going to have with this sedan is selling it. People aren’t going to take it seriously, at least at first. I haven’t driven it, obviously, so there’s no telling if it handles like the real deal. So far it seems pretty compelling.
Kia says it developed the Stinger by refining it for Nurburgring runs. It’s calling the car a gran turismo. It has a long hood, rear-wheel drive (with all-wheel drive available), a muscular stance and a shockingly luxurious interior. Again, I haven’t sat in the thing, yet, but there’s Nappa leather, air-cell bladders for the driver’s seat and aluminum sport pedals. More importantly, the interior design isn’t trying too hard. Instead of desperately flourishes you can see in some vehicles that want to be taken seriously, the Stinger’s cabin is simple and straightforward. I’d call it refreshing, almost Scandinavian.
Two engines will be offered for Stinger. One is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger, good for about 255 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The alternative is a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6. Kia estimates it’ll put out 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque. If all goes well, with the bigger engine the Stinger will go 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, and hit 167 mph.