• BMW, Mercedes, and Audi Just Got Punked Out by the Kia Stinger

Kia gains some ground in the Korean-German war

There was a time when getting bullied meant you fought back and reclaimed your dignity, and after years of being bullied by the world, Kia finally started swinging back at the competition. You could say Kia fired its first shots with the 2017 Kia Cadenza and the 2016 Kia Optima, but it went full-on nuclear when it showed up at the Detroit Auto Show with the Kia Stinger. It’s sporty, insanely comfortable, packed to the brim with technology, and offered in range-topping form with a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 that we now know is capable of pushing it up to 62 mph in as little as 4.9 seconds – 0.2-seconds faster than Kia’s original estimate of 5.1 seconds.

News of its official 0-to-60 time comes courtesy of is Asian-market debut at the 2017 Seoul Motor Show, where it’s being displayed, for the first time, next to the Stinger GT Concept from which it got a lot of its DNA. So, for those of you still on the fence about this Korean brand, it’s time to accept that it’s not the econobox, throw-away car maker that it once was. I mean, after all, we’re talking about a Kia with as much as 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. But, the real question is, how does its 0-to-60 time stack up against the competition? Keep reading to find out.

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BMW, Mercedes, and Audi Just Got Punked Out by the Kia Stinger High Resolution Exterior
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So, the Stingers main competition is the BMW Grand Coupe and the Audi A4 Sportback. And the Germans should be worried. See, the Grand Coupe 440i, which competes directly with the range-topping Stinger, has 320 ponies and 330 pound-feet on tap and hits 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. Meanwhile, the 2018 Audi A5 Sportback is advertised on Audi’s U.S. portal as toting a 2.0-liter with 252 ponies and 272 pound-feet of torque in range-topping form. That’s enough for a 6.5-second sprint to 60 mph. The BMW GC 440i hits a top speed of just 130 mph, and the A5 can hit 155. That means the new Stinger will best both of them all the way around, and when you pair that with the style, comfort, and technology that the Stinger brings to the table, it’s a winner hands down.

But, before we call it a day, let’s look at how the Stinger compares to some other sports cars out there. Let’s throw down the Porsche 718 Cayman, for example. Granted, it’s a completely different class of vehicle, but it’s a true sports car, and it’s 2.0-liter flat-four isn’t exactly a joke either. It delivers 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet, which is enough to push the Cayman up to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds on the way to 170 mph. So, Kia’s estimated top speed might fall a few mph short, but the Stinger will run right next to it up to 62 mph, and that’s saying a lot. How about the Mercedes CLS Coupe? Well, it’s got a 3.0-liter V-6 with 329 horsepower on tap, but the Korean-made Stinger is going to kick its ass too. It hits 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and tops out at 155 mph.

BMW 440i Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI Mercedes-Benz CLS Porsche 718 Cayman
Engine 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder 2.0-liter Inline four-cylinder 4.7-liter turbocharged 8-cylinder 2.0-liter boxer-4
Horsepower 320 HP @ 5,500 RPM 252 HP @ 5,000-6,000 RPM 402 HP @ 5,000 RPM 300 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque 330 LB-F @ 1,380–5,000 RPM 272.9 LB-FT @ 1,600-4,500 RPM 443 LB-FT @ 1,600 RPM 280 LB-FT
Transmission 8-speed Sport Automatic 7-speed dual-clutch 9-Speed Automatic 9G-TRONIC 6-speed manual
Acceleration 0–60 mph 4.8 6.5 5.1 4.9
Top speed 130 mph 155 mph 131 170

So, what does this tell us? Well, it’s proof that Kia isn’t playing around anymore, and the fact that there’s something with a Kia badge that can truly compete with models from BMW, Mercedes, and even the Porsche 718 Boxster, is proof that the automotive industry is in a constant state of change. There’s no telling what will happen next or what we’ll see from Kia, but something tells me that Kia isn’t going to stop with the Stinger. Furthermore, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes all need to step up their game before the new kid in town starts claiming too much territory.

Read our full review on the Kia Stinger here.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Press Release

The new Kia Stinger fastback sports sedan makes its Asian premiere today at the 2017 Seoul Motor Show. Shown in a new color and specification specially prepared for the show, the car is displayed alongside the 2011 Kia GT Concept, the vehicle which provided a template for the production Stinger’s final design.

In addition to the Stinger, Kia’s futuristic motor show display showcases the brand’s latest in-car technologies, with a Virtual Reality (VR) theatre demonstrating Kia’s DRiVE WISE driver assistive systems, alongside a range of fully-interactive exhibits dedicated to the future of car-to-car and car-to-environment connectivity.

Asian premiere for fastback Kia Stinger
Displayed in public for the first time in the brand’s domestic market, Kia’s powerful new fastback sports sedan channels the spirit of historic grand tourers – powerful, elegant vehicles capable of moving their owners in style and at speed. The Stinger features a head-turning aesthetic, ample room to accommodate five occupants and their luggage, a stable, unruffled ride, and nimble handling with engaging, rear-biased power delivery.

When the Stinger goes on sale in Korea, it will be available with a choice of three powerful engines. These include a powerful 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, producing 370 ps with a maximum torque output of 52 kgf.m, giving the Stinger 0-to-100 kph acceleration of just 4.9 seconds, and making this the fastest-accelerating and most powerful car Kia has ever produced. Also available is a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine (250 ps power output, and 36 kgf.m maximum torque) and - depending on market – a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine producing 202 ps and 45 kgf.m torque.

The Stinger will be available with a choice of rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, as well as a range of DRiVE WISE active safety systems and an electronically-adjustable Dynamic Stability Damping Control suspension system. A five-mode Drive Mode Select system will give drivers the ability to customize the driving experience, altering suspension, throttle and steering characteristics to offer drivers sportier ride and handling, a more relaxed gran turismo-inspired ride for taking on long-distance drives, and everything in between.

The Kia Stinger displayed in Seoul features a new design interpretation, with a new rich yellow paint finish, as well as a new front grille, air intakes and bonnet louvres finished in lightweight carbon fiber, emphasizing the car’s subtle curves and muscular appearance.

For the first time at a motor show, the Stinger is to be displayed next to the Kia GT Concept, first revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Kia GT Concept provided the inspiration for the Stinger production car, and its presence in Seoul will give visitors to the show the opportunity to see how Kia adapted the design for a dramatic production debut.

Interactive exhibition of connectivity and autonomous technology
Kia’s motor show stand in Seoul will offer visitors the opportunity to experience the company’s DRiVE WISE Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) with an advanced VR theatre.

DRiVE WISE embodies Kia’s philosophy to realize intelligently safe vehicles and improve safety for all road users. The VR theatre allows visitors to fully interact with Kia’s futuristic driver assistive technologies and learn more about the way that these innovations will shape the future of driving. Visitors will be able to experience a range of technologies already available on new cars, such as Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), as well as get a feel for how the technology will improve driver safety and enjoyment in future. DRiVE WISE employs advanced camera and sensor technology developed by Kia to aid drivers and help prevent collisions.

Kia is also exhibiting a series of connectivity technologies, showcasing innovative ‘car to home’ innovations which could one day allow cars and homes to communicate with one another. Users can access the technologies through a fully-interactive display made up of Kia’s latest in-car audio-visual navigation systems, which enable them to control their TV, lights and house heating from the wheel of their Kia; or start their car and adjust the heating and ventilation systems from within their house to maximize cabin comfort from the very start of a journey.

Kia’s display of its car connectivity technology envisions a future of intelligently connected vehicles which communicate more closely to their environment to maximize safety, comfort and convenience.

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