Yep, that’s right, the name says it all. Kia is making a proper sports car, and it’s a game changer, especially in top-of-the-range GT spec. So, ladies and gents, may I ask that you sit up straight, and drink plenty of water, because you will pass out in shock if you don’t after reading this article.
Now, you may well say, it’s all well and good that Kia has finally got its act together and made a proper performance saloon, but just how proper is it? Can it match what’s left of its rivals - the Falcon and Commodore?
Firstly, all you need to do is take a look at the outside to realise this is something different. The aggressive stance, the sporty shape, it’s all there, not to mention the very sophisticated lights. The whole car just looks… well, extremely good. And then there’s the inside. Leather-wrapped sports seats, alloy pedals, a sports steering wheel – it’s all as it should be.
Where the Stinger does differ from the Falcodore duo is the technology. I’ve had a look at the list, and all I’m going to say is that it’s far too long to put into an article, so I’ll just include the best bits. There’s a rear cross traffic alert system to warn you when you’re about to back into someone in a car park; there’s a blind spot detection system; an active bonnet lift system to absorb some of the force when you hit a pedestrian; there’s a driver attention alert, which monitors the driver’s concentration while driving; there’s a 360-degree camera view which is displayed while parking to give all-round, bird’s-eye vision. And, my favourites: Autonomous Emergency braking system (AET) and Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS). What these two basically do is detect if a collision with a pedestrian or object is imminent, and immediately slam the brakes on, so you can just sit back and watch.
And now, for the best part, the engine and mechanics. The GT version comes with a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, which produces more power than a Mercedes C63 AMG. Yep, you heard that right – a whole 272 kW of power and 510 Nm of torque. It comes with heaps of equipment as well, such as dynamic stability control, limited-slip differential, paddle shifters, launch control, and high-performance Brembo brakes.
So, the question remains, can a Kia actually make a proper performance car? It’s jam-packed with technology and brilliant engineering, and there’s lots of power, even if it’s not a V8. The only problem could be the sound of the engine, which isn’t quite as spine-tingling as its rivals. You can’t have everything you want in a car that costs as little as this one though. The GT range starts at $59,990 AUD, compared to a Commodore SSV Redline, which is about $30K more than that.
The answer is “definitely”.
PRICE: $59,990 AUD | ENGINE: 3,342 cc twin-turbo V6 petrol | POWER: 272 kW (365 hp) | TORQUE: 510 Nm (376 lb ft) | TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic (with manual shift mode); AWD | PERFORMANCE: 0-100 km/h in 5.1 seconds (0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds); 270 km/h (168 mph) | ECONOMY: 12.3 L / 100 km (22.9 mpg) | WEIGHT: 1,834 kg
PHOTO CREDIT: NetCarShow.com