About two weeks ago, Kia announced that would head to the 2014 Detroit Auto Show with a 2+2 concept car that will preview the long-rumored Kia sports car. Today the company revealed the concept’s official name and a new image of the concept.
This new concept is named the GT4 Stinger and, according to the details that Kia gave us, it will bring into focus the latest version of Kia’s signature "Tiger Nose" grille.
Along with the revised grille, the GT4 Stinger will also feature vertical LED headlights flanking the white surround of the grille, brake cooling vents, 20-inch wheels and a carbon fiber front splitter mounted below the bumper. This first image really gives us a nice look at this striking front end, and we simply cannot wait to see it.
On top of this awesome-looking nose, this concept will carry a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 315 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed, close-ratio manual transmission. If this potent four-pot finds its way into a production model, then Kia will officially put Toyota, Scion and Subaru on notice to get off their rumps and add some much-needed power to the GT 86, FR-S and BR-Z triplets.
Stay tuned for more details on the concept, which Kia plans to release on January 13th, shortly before the official unveiling.
Click past the jump to read more about this awesome concept.
Dec 18, 2013 - Teaser Image No. 1
Jan 2, 2014 - Teaser Image No. 2
Jan 9, 2014 - Teaser Image No. 3
The design of the GT4 Stinger was created by the team at Kia’s Irvine, California design studio. This is the same team that created the Cross GT Concept.
The idea was to create a modern interpretation of a thoroughbred sports car with short overhangs, taught dimensions and a long hood. The large grille seen here actually features a lighting setup that makes it glow a soft white, and the front splitter on the car is made from carbon fiber.
The actual exterior sizing of the GT4 is shorter than a Forte, but features a width that is greater than the Cadenza . With its swooping roofline and 49.2-inch height, the GT4 Stinger sits lower than the Porsche Cayman S.
|Curb Weight||2,874 pounds|
|Weight Distribution (Front / Rear)||52 / 49|
The interior of the concept sticks with the same purposeful design theme. The floor is covered with rubber rather than carpet, and the pedals are made from billet aluminum. The seats are large racing -style units and the driver is greeted by a flat-bottom steering wheel. Minimalism is a strong design point in the cockpit, as the door pulls have been replaced by pull-straps and there is no stereo.
Under the hood of the Kia GT4 Stinger concept is a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that has been tuned to 315 horsepower. This same engine is used in the Optima race car and creates more than 400 horsepower, so there is plenty of opportunity for power increases.
All that power is routed to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. The importance of having a clutch pedal has been minimized in the recent years of ultra-fast dual-clutch automatics, but for a rawer driving experience it is impossible to beat the engagement that comes from rowing your own cogs.
Tucked into all four corners under that exciting "Ignition Yellow" paint are 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber. Those huge rims help to hide an equally huge set of brakes in the form of Brembo Gran Turismo 15-inch, cross-drilled rotors and four-piston calipers — this are nearly equal to the hardware fitted to the newly announced Z06 Corvette .
When Kia announced the new sports car, they described it as "a little less pure than the Toyota GT 86, more of a comfortable cruiser." Of course back then we didn’t expect it to be this powerful.
Unlike the GT4 Stinger, the GT 86 is powered by a a 2.0-liter, naturally-aspirated, flat-four engine that delivers a total of 200 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 151 pound-feet of torque at 6,600 rpm.
Gallery Toyota GT 86
Kia has stated that there are no plans to produce the GT4 Stinger, but if they take this general design and hardware, Kia could have a car that will disrupt the performance market for years.
Kia shocks the Motor City with rear-drive GT4 Stinger concept
- High-powered sports car focused on connection between driver and machine
- World debut at 2014 North American International Auto Show 2+2 seating configuration, 315 turbocharged horsepower and six-speed manual transmission make GT4 Stinger a true enthusiast’s machine
- Conceived by the petrolheads in Kia’s Californian design studio - birthplace of iconic concept vehicles such as the Track’ster and Cross GT
Harking back to the glory days of purebred, affordable sports cars, Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the brand’s most aggressive concept car ever when wraps came off the GT4 Stinger at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Kia’s eye-catching design language moves in a bold new direction with the introduction of the GT4 Stinger. The concept pushes the boundaries of performance with a rear-drive 2+2 sports car that places man and machine in harmony on the road or track. It comes as no surprise that the GT4 Stinger is the wild style child of Kia’s California design team, home to its 2012 predecessor, the Track’ster concept. And like the Track’ster, the GT4 Stinger’s racy appeal is more than skin deep.
"Driving enjoyment was the number one priority in designing the GT4 Stinger," said Tom Kearns, Chief Designer, Kia Design Center America (KDCA). "It’s a 2+2 sports car that can turn heads as a daily driver while also being right at home on the track. It’s about purity, simplicity and timelessness. The GT4 Stinger is a throwback to days when driving a car was a visceral experience that wasn’t muted by electronic gimmickry."
Emboldened by the brand’s on-track success in the Pirelli World Challenge racing series with a pair of turbocharged, GTS-class Optimas, Kia’s U.S. design team approached the GT4 Stinger project with an eye toward weight reduction, functionality and pure driving enjoyment. The concept shuns the luxury trappings of a traditional Grand Touring car and embraces the elemental experience of truly engaging with the vehicle.
"If anyone were to ask if Kia has the credibility to build a car like the GT4 Stinger," noted Kearns. "I would simply point out that Kia races - and wins - against some of the world’s most legendary performance brands."
Kia Racing and partner Kinetic Motorsports captured the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Drivers and Team Championships in 2012 with the Forte Koup and are currently preparing the turbocharged Optimas for their third season of duty in the Pirelli World Challenge in 2014 following a second-place finish in the Manufacturer’s Championship last year.
Power, Poise and Proven Performance
Beneath the low wedge of the GT4 Stinger’s bonnet resides a tuned version of Kia’s proven 2.0-litre turbocharged gasoline direct injected (T-GDI) four-cylinder engine putting out an impressive 315 horsepower. "Our Optima racecars use the same engine and can produce more than 400 horsepower," said Kearns. "So why not infuse our concept with the kind of power that will make people take notice?"
That power is put to the ground via a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels, which are wrapped in 275/35R20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tyres. Staggered 235/35R20 Pirelli P-Zeros nestle beneath the front wings, ensuring loads of corner-hugging grip. Custom 20-inch aluminium centre-lock wheels feature carbon fibre inserts for strength and weight reduction. Tucked inside the wheels are Brembo Gran Turismo two-piece 15-inch cross-drilled rotors and four-piston callipers with plenty of stopping power.
Underpinning the GT4 Stinger’s sculpted "Ignition Yellow" body is a custom chassis with independent double wishbone suspension. With a shorter wheelbase (2,619mm) than, and an equal overall length (4,310mm) to, a cee’d hatchback, a width (1,890mm) greater than an Optima saloon, and a swooping roofline (1,250mm) nearly nine inches (229mm) lower than a Rio hatchback, the GT4 Stinger cuts a menacing figure. It tips the scales at a scant 1,304kg, and weight distribution is spread nearly perfectly at 52 per cent up front and 48 per cent at the rear. The GT4 Stinger also features a quick-ratio steering rack for direct feedback and uncompromised control.
Simplicity By Design
Fans of Kia’s design language, set by Kia Motors Corporation President and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, will immediately recognise key styling elements of the GT4 Stinger. "We gave the car a shrink-wrapped appearance," says Kearns. "It’s as if the body panels were formed around the chassis instead of merely welded to it."
In silhouette, the GT4 Stinger is simple yet powerful. The latest iteration of the signature Kia grille rests low to the ground for maximum engine cooling and cold-air induction. The grille surround glows white and features a multi-layered, satin-black border, a theme found throughout the car. Flanking the grille on both sides are vertical LED headlamps, and front-brake cooling vents intricately molded into the bumper provide a clean, smooth appearance. A carbon fibre front splitter mounted below the bumper provides added down force for the car at high speed to keep the GT4 Stinger’s front tyres firmly planted to the road.
The long bonnet gently rises to meet the cowl. Two chrome accent pieces add visual interest to the otherwise ripple-less pond of Ignition Yellow sheet metal. The bonnet closely embraces the front wheel arches, creating two protruding muscular wings above the front tyres. The result is a pronounced edge at the vehicle’s shoulders that eventually becomes the belt line.
Continuing around the car, the transparent A-pillars provide a greater than 270-degree view from the driver’s seat. The layered slots cut into the pillars reduce weight while improving outward visibility. Paying homage to the iconic Soul, the greenhouse design provides an aggressive side profile. "It’s as if the GT4 Stinger is wearing wrap-around sunglasses," notes Kearns. Similar to the Soul, the roof of the GT4 Stinger appears to "float" from the C-pillars. Along the rocker panels are satin black accent pieces with integrated functional cooling ducts to enhance air flow to the rear brakes.
Around back, the body widens to cover the large 275-section Pirelli rubber. The glass hatch opens to reveal a built-in storage compartment and rear strut-tower brace. The LED taillights illuminate from inside the outer edge of a blacked-out panel just above the dual exhaust ports in the rear bumper.
The interior is purposeful in design and practical in nature. A pull of the billet-aluminium door handles reveals incredibly lightweight doors, but their generous width makes dropping into the molded leather race-inspired bucket seats a breeze.
There is no carpet, only a rubber floor mat underneath the billet-aluminium pedals. Front and centre to the driver is a thick D-shaped steering wheel and red LED-illuminated instrument panel with large tachometer and gear indicator. In keeping with the track theme and taking inspiration from sports and competition cars of the past, interior door handles have been replaced by red-stitched pull straps. In fact, the GT4 Stinger makes do without the luxury of a stereo. "The audio system starts under the hood and the speakers are the exhaust pipes," said Kearns. Underway, the GT4 Stinger’s free-flow exhaust burbles and blurts unabashedly and is music to the ears of driving enthusiasts everywhere.
While there are currently no plans to bring the concept to production, Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the concept that preceded them, and the GT4 Stinger provides a possible and highly provocative glimpse into Kia’s future. When asked who the GT4 Stinger is intended for, Kearns quips, "It’s a totally selfish design. The design team at KCDA is full of petrolheads and enthusiasts, and the GT4 Stinger is the perfect car for that kind of crowd."