It could still happen, but for now, Kia wants the Stinger GT to stand on its own feet first

The Kia Stinger GT caused quite a stir when it made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Not only did it usher in a new era of Kia performance models, but it also made it known that Kia’s all set to compete in a premiumsedan market currently dominated by the likes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. It’s no surprise, then, that soon after the Stinger GT broke cover, the rumor mill was inundated with an insinuation that a “hotter” version could be in the works. A Stinger “GT-R,” as folks christened it. Well, according to no less than Albert Biermann himself – he’s the head of Kia’s high-performance division – a more powerful version of the Stinger GT is possible; it just won’t happen anytime soon.

As deflating as it sounds, Kia did offer a pretty sound explanation as to why it’s holding off on a more hardcore version of the Stinger GT. According to Biermann, the focus at this moment is to make sure that the Stinger GT is successful. Launching the car (it’s expected to arrive in the U.S. later this year) is the first step. From there, the company is intent on gauging the kind of customers it gets and understanding what these customers are looking for in terms of a more performance-oriented version of the model. It’s an approach that wouldn’t make sense if it was BMW, which already knows what its customers want. But this is Kia, a company that’s technically diving into these waters for the first time. As Biermann told Motoring Australia, entry into this premium market is something Kia needs to do “carefully.”

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Hard to disagree with Kia’s strategy

2018 Kia Stinger High Resolution Exterior
- image 700364
The focus at this moment is to make sure that the Stinger GT is successful

At this point in the Kia Stinger GT’s life, expecting it to be more than it already is would be unfair to the car. I mean, it hasn’t even arrived yet and we’re already talking about a more powerful version? How about we give the Stinger GT a go first and see what kind of car it is before we start clamoring for a more performance-oriented version. I get the urge to see something better, but I do understand Kia’s point, too, of trying to give the Stinger GT the exposure first before it starts thinking about building a more powerful variant.

The South Korean automaker wants to do this right and it has every reason to do so because it’s entering a lucrative market for the first time. Its focus has to be solely on the Stinger GT as it prepares to challenge established models like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Audi A3. It might be a little easier if it were just those three, but the entry level premium car segment also includes the likes of Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Lexus, Infiniti, and even Genesis to some extent. That’s a lot of competition for Kia, and if it doesn’t put its full collective focus on the Stinger GT, it would be a disservice to everyone.

2019 Kia Stinger GT Plus Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 702824
It wants the Stinger GT to make a name for itself first and build a strong consumer base

The Stinger GT-R, or whatever it’s going to be called, could still happen. Albert Biermann even hinted at the possibility, saying that the current Stinger GT has “more potential.” But right now, the timing isn’t where Kia wants it to be. It wants the Stinger GT to make a name for itself first and build a strong consumer base before it entertains any thought of bringing out a more potent version of the sedan. It’s a smart move, even if the thought of seeing a Stinger GT-R compete against the likes of the M3 and AMG C63 is intoxicating on so many levels.

Gotta take that first step first before the Stinger GT can run, or at least, in this case, take down those mighty, beefed-up German titans.

Current Model Specifications

Kia Stinger Kia Stinger GT Kia Stinger Diesel (Europe only)
Engine 2.0L Turbo Charged I4 Theta II 3.3L Twin Turbo V6 Lambda II 2.2-litre turbodiesel
Horsepower (est.) 255 HP @ 6,200 RPM 365 HP @ 6,000 RPM 197 HP @ 3,800 RPM
Torque (est.) 260 LB-FT @ 1,400-4,000 RPM 376 LB-FT @ 1,300-4,500 RPM 325 LB-FT @ 1,750-2,750 RPM
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Front suspension MacPherson MacPherson MacPherson
Rear suspension Multi Link (5-link) Multi Link (5-link) Multi Link (5-link)
0 to 60 mph 6 seconds (est.) 5.1 seconds 8.5 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph (est.) 168 mph 140 mph

Read our full review on the Kia Stinger GT Plus here.

Source: Motoring

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: