Judging by the interest generated at the car’s debut, it’s quite possible

When Kia came to the U.S. market, it became known as a producer of affordable but reliable cars that were fairly comfortable and looked decent. But, none of the models were really anything to write home about, and certainly couldn’t be compared with models like the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, or anything else outside of the affordable segment. When the 2014 Detroit Auto Show kicked off, Kia Debuted the GT4 Stinger along with a promise to bring such a model into production and, three years later, Kia kept its promise and debuted the Kia Stinger at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Offered in the U.S. with a 255-horsepower four-banger or a 365-horsepower, twin-turbo, V-6, along with a very comfortable and upscale interior and a sexy exterior shell, the Stinger was a show stopper for the Korean brand as it steps into the luxury performance market. But, now that the world knows about the Stinger, it has raised a pretty interesting question: Will there be a wait list for the Stinger when the books officially open?

There’s really no way of telling quite yet, but outside of small shortages for models like the Kia Sportage, it’s hard to recall of any significant waiting period for any Kia model in the past. But, the new Stinger is a completely different breed of car that comes to offer a significantly cheaper alternative to more expensive luxury and performance models. Should Kia actually lock in even a small portion of those that are really interested in the car, it could find itself unable to keep up with demand. It comes down to a couple of factors that include when production officially starts, when the order books officially open, and that initial demand.

As of the time of this writing, neither its release date or pricing point has been officially announced, but a price tag in the range of $35,000 to $40,000 is expected while the order books should open sometime in the fall or early winter of 2017. That expected price point puts the Stinger at roughly $4,000 cheaper that the entry-level C300 from Mercedes, $6,000 cheaper than the entry-level 4 Series Gran Coupe, and a staggering $9,000 cheaper that the entry-level BMW 3 Series GT. With comparable comfort, luxury, and technology, it should be a no-brainer for those who aren’t overly loyal to the Stinger’s German competitors – as long as their willing to give the brand’s first performance luxury vehicle a chance, that is.

So, with such a low price point in comparison to its competition, the Stinger could see a lot of initial interest that could lead to a sizable waiting list. As such, it’s quite possible that dealers will find themselves in a predicament they aren’t used to: dealing with customers that want to take delivery today but simply can’t. We all saw how that went for Ford with the Focus RS, so hopefully Kia has a plan in place, just in case.

Joining an Elite Group of Car’s Worth Waiting For

2018 Kia Stinger High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2018 Kia Stinger High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Some cars, especially those in excessively high demand, are commonly found on manufacturer back logs. Of course, this extends to high-end models from manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, and the like, but it’s also true for models that don’t fall under the exotic or high-end category. Think about the Ford Focus RS, for example, or the BMW M2 in some markets. Certain markets have also seen serious wait times for the Ford Mustang as well. With that in mind, there’s a high possibility that the Kia Stinger could join the list of models that you just have to wait for. But, the good news is that, after sitting inside of the Stinger at its debut, I can say with near certainty that it will be worth the wait – especially when you factor in the potential savings over some of its competitors. I haven’t had a chance to put it through the paces yet, obviously, but with the performance figures thrown around by Kia, it should be extremely fun to drive as well.

What We Know

2018 Kia Stinger High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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In the U.S., the Stinger will hit the market with a 2.0-liter that delivers 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque or a 3.3-liter Biturbo V-6 that delivers 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, there’s no manual transmission to be had (Kia didn’t even try to develop one,) but you do get an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters and five different drive modes. The European market will also get the option of a 2.0-liter diesel that delivers 197 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Future models could be offered with even more power thanks to the strong chassis design, and Spencer Cho – Kia’s overseas Product Marketing boss – has confirmed that the Stinger will eventually see electrification as well.

2018 Kia Stinger High Resolution Drivetrain AutoShow
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Power from the engine will be transferred to the transmission via a centrifugal pendulum absorber torque converter – a first for any Kia vehicle. It will be offered with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, with the later getting a dynamic torque vectoring system. All models will have a dynamic stability control system, Brembo brake system, and will ride on 19-inch alloy wheels that are staggered and wrapped in high-performance rubbers. More importantly, however, is the framework of the vehicle, which consists of 55-percent advanced high-strength steel which makes it excessively strong and capable of supporting more power in the future. It will even come with a full suite of safety technologies:

• Driver Attention Alert (DAA), a Kia first
• Forward Collision Assistance (FCA)
• Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
• Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC)
• Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
• Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
• Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

How it Stacks Up with the Competition

Kia Stinger 2.0 BMW 330i GT BMW 430i GC Mercedes C-Class Audi A5 Sportback
Engine 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-liter Twinpower Turbo inline 4-cylinder 2.0-liter Twinpower Turbo inline 4-cylinder 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower 255 HP @ 6,200 RPM 248 HP @ 5,200 RPM 248 HP @ 5,200 RPM 241 HP @ 5,550 RPM 248 HP
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 1,400-4,000 RPM 258 LB-FT @ 1,450–4,800 RPM 258 LB-FT @ 1,450–4,800 RPM 273 LB-FT @ 1,300-4,000 RPM 273 LB-FT
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed Sport Automatic 8-speed Sport Automatic 7G-TRONIC 7-speed
Acceleration 0–60 mph 5.9 seconds 5.6 seconds 6.0 seconds 6.3 seconds
Top speed (mph) 130 130 mph 130 mph 130 mph
Fuel economy city/highway/combined TBA 23/33/26 23/24/27 24/34
Wheelbase (Inches) 114.4 115.0 115.0 111.8 111.8
Length (Inches) 190.2 190.0 182.6 184.5 186.3
Width (Inches) 73.6 72.0 71.9 71.3 72.55
Height (Inches) 55.1 59.4 54.7 56.8 54.56
Headroom, front/rear (Inches) 39.4/37.0 41.3/38.3 39.9 37.1/37.1 37.5/36.0
Legroom, front/rear (Inches) 42.6/36.4 42.0/39.2 42.2/33.7 41.7/35.2 41.3/31.7
Shoulder room, front/rear (Inches) 56.4/54.8 55.2/54.1 54.8/54.3 54.3/52.8
Cargo capacity (cu ft) 24.6 – 56.8 12.6 12.2
Curb Weight 4,015 Lbs 3,668 Lbs 3,417 Lbs 3,583 Lbs
Price $35,000 (est.) $43,950 $41,950 $39,500 $41,200
Kia Stinger 3.3 BMW 340i GT BMW 440i GC
Engine 3.3L Twin Turbo V6 Lambda II 3.0-liter Twinpower Turbo inline 6-cylinder 3.0-liter Twinpower Turbo inline 6-cylinder
Horsepower 365 HP @ 6,000 RPM 320 HP @ 5,500 RPM 320 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 376 LB-FT @ 1,300-4,500 RPM 330 LB-FT @ 1,380–5,000 RPM 330 LB-FT @ 1,380–5,000 RPM
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed Sport Automatic 8-speed Sport Automatic
Acceleration 0–60 mph 4.7 seconds 4.8 seconds
Top speed (mph) 130 130 mph
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 20/30/24 21/32/25
Wheelbase (Inches) 114.4 115.0 115.0
Length (Inches) 190.2 190.0 182.6
Width (Inches) 73.6 72.0 71.9
Height (Inches) 55.1 59.4 54.7
Headroom, front/rear (Inches) 39.4/37.0 41.3/38.3 39.9
Legroom, front/rear (Inches) 42.6/36.4 42.0/39.2 42.2/33.7
Shoulder room, front/rear (Inches) 56.4/54.8 55.2/54.1 54.8/54.3
Cargo capacity (cu ft) 24.6 – 56.8
Curb Weight 4,103 Lbs 3,799 Lbs
Price $40,000 (est.) $49,650 $48,300

Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger here.

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