Drag Battle: Kia Stinger GT With a Tune Messes With a ROUSH Ford Mustang GT - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Drag Battle: Kia Stinger GT With a Tune Messes With a ROUSH Ford Mustang GT

The Kia Stinger GT is surprisingly capable with only a tune, but a 750-horsepower, ROUSH Ford Mustang GT has something to say about it

LISTEN 03:37

When the Kia Stinger came out in 2017, it changed many people’s perceptions of the Korean brand. It also turned out to be a very quick car that responds very well to minor modifications. With this in mind, YoUTube channel Sam CarLegion has arranged for a tuned Kia Stinger GT to show up on the drag strip. However, it’s not going to run by itself, as it is joined by a ROUSH-modified Ford Mustang GT.

Kia Stinger GT

Drag Battle: Kia Stinger GT With a Tune Messes With a ROUSH Ford Mustang GT
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From the factory, the Kia Stinger GT’s 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 develops 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet (510 Nm). Thanks to a JB4 Map 3, the Korean four-door coupe now makes roughly 500 horsepower – about 430 to the wheels, according to Sam – and 435 pound-feet (590 Nm). The stock eight-speed automatic sends power to all four wheels. The car weighs a not so lightweight 4,097 pounds (1,858 kg).

Ford Mustang GT ROUSH Stage 3

Drag Battle: Kia Stinger GT With a Tune Messes With a ROUSH Ford Mustang GT
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The Ford Mustang is more powerful than the Stinger, but we have seen how, stock for stock, the Stinger GT is able to walk the Mustang GT at the quarter-mile. From the factory, the 5.0-liter V-8 makes 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet (569 Nm). Thanks to a ROUSH Stage 3 package, which adds a supercharger among other things, the Coyote V-8 now makes 750 horsepower and 670 pound-feet (908 Nm). This one is also equipped with a 10-speed automatic. At 4,182 pounds (1,897 kg), the Mustang isn’t much heavier than the Stinger.

The Drag Race

Drag Battle: Kia Stinger GT With a Tune Messes With a ROUSH Ford Mustang GT
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If you want to skip to the actual race, it’s at the 5:40 mark. After both cars show off their soundtrack, they pre for the first drag race, which is in the cars’ sportiest setting. Sam who is driving the Stinger GT seems to have left it in automatic mode (we can’t see his right hand) while the Mustang driver chooses to shift with the paddles. The ROUSH-modified Ford, however, experiences traction issues and on two of the up-shifts, the driver hits the rev limiter, failing to shift optimally. Thus Stinger takes the first win.

The second run is, again, in the sportiest setting, but this time, the Mustang driver leaves the shifting to the transmission. Kia clearly has a better launch, but this time, the substantially more powerful Mustang catches up almost immediately and takes an early lead.

Rolling Race

Drag Battle: Kia Stinger GT With a Tune Messes With a ROUSH Ford Mustang GT
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Once again, the cars go at it twice, in their sportiest setting. On the first run, the cars are left in automatic mode while in the second, the drivers shift the gears themselves. From 31 mph (50 km/h) both cars kicked down at about the same time. However, the more powerful Ford quickly took off and left the Kia for dead.

That said, the Kia Stinger GT held its own surprisingly well, considering the difference in power. Both cars show that they are great tuning platforms as well as capable performance cars that you can live with, on a daily basis.


Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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