When you think performance brands, you probably don’t think KIA. That’s because KIA has never actually made a performance car worth a damn. Up until now, that is. At this year’s 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the Korean brand showed off its latest performance sedan, one hell-bent on taking on the Germans — the KIA Stinger.
A first for KIA, the Stinger will be a rear-wheel drive, four-door sport sedan that will give the Audi A4/S4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class real competition. Now, people might look at this and just dismiss it for being a KIA. But look closer and you’ll see that the Stinger means business. This thing’s for real.
It packs one of either two engine. The entry-level engine will be a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. That’s just a bit more than the Audi A4’s 252 hp 2.0 TFSI engine. The upgraded Stinger engine is a 3.3 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that makes 365 hp 376 lb-ft of torque, which will compete with the Audi S4 and its 354 hp 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6. All KIA Stinger’s will use an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Now, there are a lot of cars from different manufacturers that have engines with similar power to the great sport sedans from Germany. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they drive as well. So can the KIA Stinger really keep up with the Audi S4?
Well, it should be able to, as the Stinger’s rear-wheel drive chassis was developed by Albert Biermann, formerly the head of BMW’s M Division. The man knows a thing or two about developing great chassis, as BMW M is one of the best in the business at making great rear-wheel drive sports cars. So it should handle quite well and be at least as dynamic as its competition. KIA even developed the Stinger on the Nurburgring, just like zee Germans.
It looks pretty good, too. With a little Jaguar XF and some Chevy SS in its design, it’s not a bad looking sport sedan. It isn’t as handsome as the Audi S4 or as pretty as the Mercedes-AMG C43, but it’s not ugly. The inside is quite nice as well, with a little Mercedes-Benz CLA Class in its dashboard design.
All in all, the KIA Stinger looks like something that can genuinely take on the best German sport sedans in its class. While it might not be perfect, as this is KIA’s first attempt at a sports sedan, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. If the the Germans do decide to take the KIA Stinger likely, they could end up getting…Stung (ba dum tss).