Long Live Driving: All the bells and whistles for SA-bound KIA Stinger
Following its announcement of a limited number of examples en route to South Africa in the second half of 2018, KIA Motors today confirm the comprehensive standard specification that can be expected in the KIA Stinger GT, as well as its pricing.
“There has been notable interest and excitement in Stinger since we announced its imminent arrival two weeks ago,” comments Gary Scott, CEO, KIA Motors South Africa. “The confidence is well placed. KIA has retained top position in the authoritative J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, and Stinger’s continued global awards certainly reinforces this sentiment. Adding to the well-known attributes of design, quality and value for money, Stinger in the comprehensively specified GT trim, is a showcase of KIA’s engineering prowess. With its competitive pricing, we believe that it will be highly sought-after as well.”
From Frankfurt, with love
From the very beginning, with its roots in the 2011 KIA GT Concept, Stinger was set to become an authentic gran turismo vehicle, and all of its key design proportions reinforce that. The rear-wheel-drive proportions, the long hood and short front overhang, the extended wheelbase that delivers a spacious cabin, and the long rear overhang with its strong shoulders combine into a sleek yet muscular car that exudes confidence, elegance and athleticism.
At the front, KIA’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille sits proudly between complex bi-functional LED projection headlamps featuring Dynamic Bending. LED Daytime Running Lights and LED fog lamps complete the Stinger’s front light signature for a sleek, yet utterly suave visage. At the rear, LED taillamps and fog lamps continue the striking lighting signature, while the four exhaust pipes and integrated diffuser subtly complements the Stinger GT’s high power positioning.
The Stinger’s dynamic, muscular stance is further emphasized by striking 19-inch alloy wheels shod with high performance rubber: 225/40R-19 in front, and 255/35R-19 at the rear.s Vented Brembo® disc brakes are standard and feature quad-piston front callipers and dual-piston rear callipers.
Customers will have a choice of nine metallic exterior colours, including Hi Chroma Red, Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Aurora Black Pearl, Ceramic Silver, Sunset Yellow, Deep Chroma Blue, Micro Blue and Panthera Metal.
New levels of luxury and sophistication
Thanks to the Stinger’s GT proportions, the cabin, with its steeply ranked windshield, is low-slung and positioned towards the rear of the vehicle for a fastback silhouette. Inside, all elements of the Stinger are aligned towards the enjoyment of driving while cossetting passengers in comfort and luxury. Unsurprisingly, the Stinger GT has this past month been named on the authoritative Ward’s ’10 Best Interiors’ list for 2018
The Stinger’s contoured seats are covered, as standard, in ultra-soft Nappa leather, and customers will have a choice between black or deep burgundy leather upholstery. The driver and front passenger’s seats are electrically adjustable, are heated and ventilated, while the driver’s seat also features adjustable bolsters, lumbar support, seat cushion extension and a memory function. The long wheelbase allows for generous front and rear legroom, and the low seating position provides ample headroom front and back. To further aid driver comfort, the steering column is electronically adjustable for rake and reach.
The dashboard emphasizes the Stinger’s width with strong horizontal lines, with the centre console intuitively split into two specific areas. A large, 8-inch colour touchscreen dominates the console, with the infotainment, navigation, climate and ventilation controls nestled underneath it. Dual automatic air-conditioning is available for front passengers. Resting within the centre console is a wireless Smartphone charging pad, while Bluetooth® with Voice Recognition is also standard. Stinger is equipped with Apple CarPlay, and is Android Auto ready.
Adding further enjoyment to the Stinger experience is its Harman/Kardon® audio system that delivers 720 watts through an external amplifier to provide crystal-clear music. With 15 speakers and KIA’s first under-seat mounted subwoofers (tucked beneath the driver and passenger seats), the system features Clari-Fi™, a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process. This technology returns a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source. The system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™ Surround Sound technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail.
In the driver space, the thick leather-wrapped steering wheel features remote controls for audio, trip information and cruise control, while the single instrument binnacle features a combination of analogue and digital instrumentation. A Supervision TFT colour screen between the gauges relays performance data as well as ancillary information such as the trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics.
Stinger also features a height-adjustable colour Head-Up Display (HUD) display that enables the driver to see key driving information reflected on the windshield glass, including speed, turn-by-turn navigation, audio and cruise control settings and Blind Spot Detection information.
A standard-fit sunroof with power sunshade completes the generous specification.
Float like a butterfly
With a wheelbase of 2,905 mm, Stinger is already outperforms almost all of its class competitors, and is also wider and longer than many overall. These dimensions allow for notable interior space, but also for class-leading cargo space, made even more accessible through its Smart Power Tailgate functionality.
Riding on a chassis comprising 55% advanced high-strength steel, the Stinger not only has an ultra-stiff foundation, but exceptional rigidity to the benefit of low noise, vibration and harshness. In additional, MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension has been tuned to provide optimal feedback to the driver. Driver feedback is further optimised through the standard variable ratio rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) which, through the direct mounting of the electric motor on the steering rack, enhances steering response and reduces unwanted vibration from transmitting through the column.
A KIA first, ride-damping and vehicle handling traits may be modified by the driver through an electronically adjustable suspension known as Dynamic Stability Damping Control. While always reacting predictably to the driver’s inputs, depending on road conditions and driving style, the Stinger can be tuned to respond with more agility through corners as the system softens the front shocks and firms up the rear. Conversely, improved high-speed stability is achieved when the system stiffens the front shocks and softens the rear. The system is accessed through five drive modes: Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart. The system also adjusts steering boost.
Sting(er) like a bee
The SA-bound KIA Stinger GT is powered by KIA’s high-performance 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine that develops 272 kW of power at 6,000 r/min, and 510 Nm of torque between 1,300 and 4,500 r/min. Stinger is indeed the most powerful and fastest-accelerating production KIA ever, with a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of 4,9 seconds and a top speed of 270 km/h. This engine has recently been named on the authoritative Ward’s ’10 Best Engines’ list for 2018
The Stinger GT is comprehensively engineered to complement its thoroughbred powerplant. It is equipped with a mechanical limited-slip differential that helps to evenly distribute power through the rear wheels.
The vehicle features a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission. More typically found in aviation- and racing-engine applications, the transmission features KIA’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter to help reduce torsional vibration through the drivetrain. Drivers can let the gearbox manage shifts on its own or may selectively run through the gears via paddle shifters mounted aft of the steering wheel. As with the suspension and steering, up to five different shift patterns may be selected through the vehicle’s electronic drive-mode system. Throttle mapping is also adjusted accordingly.
Safe as houses
Stinger features a vast array of technology, convenience and safety features to further augment the experience. Park Distance Control is standard at the front and rear of the vehicle, with an integrated reverse camera linked to the Stinger’s 8-inch colour screen. In fact, thanks to the addition of an Around View Monitoring System, Stinger can squeeze into any space easily and safely. Further convenience is added by the Electric Parking Brake with Auto Hold Function, as well as Hill-start Assist Control.
On the road, Cruise Control provides exceptional convenience, complemented by the standard Blind Spot Detection system. When your journey becomes a little more spirited, Electronic Stability Control and the Anti-lock Braking System will help to keep things in check. Stinger features seven airbags, and ISOFIX Child Seat Anchors are also standard.
The Surprise Punch
Shipping as standard with KIA’s industry-leading Unlimited Kilometre, 5-year warranty, as well as five years’ worth of roadside assistance and a 5-year/90,000km maintenance plan, the KIA Stinger GT will retail for R859,995.
Due to the limited number of Stinger available to the South African market in 2018, the vehicle will not be available through the KIA dealership network. Instead, Stinger will feature a bespoke direct sales experience facilitated by KIA Motors South Africa through the dedicated Stinger website, www.kiastinger.co.za.
Customers who register on the Stinger website will receive full details regarding the sales and ordering process later this month, and will be able to order their vehicles at the same time.