While Volkswagen Recovers from the Diesel Emissions Scandal, Kia Bets on Diesel with New 48V Mild Hybrid System
Between the Volkswagen Emission Scandal and so many other automakers cooking their emissions figures like an accountant for the Mob, the future of diesel looks bleak. Some automakers are trying to save them while others are starting to venture away from them. After all, electric cars are the future, right? Well, be that as it may, Kia is betting on diesel to stay around a little longer and even claims it can cut emissions by as much as seven percent on the NEDC cycle thanks to a new 48-volt mild-hybrid drivetrain.
Better Get Used to Seeing Kia’s Tiger Nose Grille - Like BMW’s Kidney Grille, It Isn’t Going Away Any Time Soon
As any marketing person will tell you, building brand recognition is critical to a company’s success. To this end, automakers have a number of strategies to create awareness with customers, including the implementation of a specific design language across a lineup. As such, it appears as though Kia has their “look” set in stone.
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Kia is Considering AWD for the Niro and Optima, but the Sedona Will Have to Wait
Kia is looking into the viability of more of its vehicles all-wheel drive as demand for the system grows. Unlike in the past, more customers are now looking for the increased grip that an AWD system provides, and when that kind of demand increases, an automaker like Kia has to listen. Among the models being eyed to get standard AWD in the future include the Optima sedan, the Sedona minivan, and Niro crossover. No decision has been made yet, but Kia is looking at it as a possibility now that customers have become more vocal in their desire to see them on the Kia models that they buy.
A Kia Concept From Two Years Ago Finally Gets The Green Light
Kia’s presence at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show may have centered around the next-generation Forte, but the Korean automaker also used the show to announce plans to build a production version that’s based on a concept it introduced two years ago in the same auto show. For those who don’t remember, Kia bought the Telluride Concept at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Now, it says it’s moving forward with building a production version of the concept in the coming years.
The Kia Stinger Gives Dealers Their First Opportunity to Exploit the Markup Game
Kia has long been in the business of no-nonsense, economical cars and SUVs, but that’s changed with the 2018 Stinger. It’s the Korean automaker’s first “gotta have it” vehicle and its dealership network is apparently feeding on the frenzy. At least two pages worth of forum posts on StingerForum.org detail customer experiences of pricing markups from a few hundred dollars to an exorbitant $13,000 in one case.
Adding insult to financial injury, several forum users report dealerships aren’t very accommodating with test drives. User “Thebkguy,” said he was able to test drive a four-cylinder Stinger but was told no test drives of the Stinger GT were given unless a price was agreed upon and a credit check had been run. He eventually coerced the dealership into a test drive but turned down the purchase over a $10,000 markup. Keep in mind; the 2018 Kia Stinger GT starts at $38,350 and crests at $49,200 for the GT2 trim level. Thankfully, not all Kia dealerships are being so overtly greedy, according to other forum users. Most seem to add between $1,500 to $5,000 to the Stinger GT’s price.
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Kia Kills Pro Cee’d Hatchback to Make Another Dumb SUV
Yet another car falls victim to the SUV craze as Kia quietly kill off the three-door Pro Cee’d Hatchback to make room in its lineup for another SUV. This SUV is expected to slip in below the Kia Stonic and Kia Sportage and will compete against models like the Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai. Word has it that it will be an all-new design, but will borrow cues from the rest of KIA’s SUV range. It, too, will go by the Pro Cee’d name and will be an addition next to a now-confirmed shooting brake model as well. Want to know more? Keep reading for more info!
Kia Just Gave the Germans a Big Middle Finger
I was there when Kia pulled the covers off of the Stinger for the very first time and, in case you haven’t read my review, I was extremely pleased with the car inside and out. The seats were beyond comfortable and supportive. The fit and finish of interior and exterior panels were amazing, and there was plenty of high-end tech to compete with the big boys. When you add in the fact that It basks in the ambiance of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s good for 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque or a 3.3-liter V-6 that’s good for 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet, we’re talking about a car that not only stole the show at its debut but will be a bur in the ass of every executive over at BMW and Audi. Why? Because BMW and Audi can’t afford to beat out Kia and its newest sports sedan.
It sounds crazy, right? BMW and Audi have officially been smacked down by Kia – a brand that was once known for its econoboxes and lackluster quality that was more than sufficient thanks to extremely affordable pricing. Well, even though Kia has been producing more premium cars as of late – the Optima is pretty nice too – we kind of expected the Stinger to fall a bit on the chubby side of the finance books. We couldn’t have been more wrong, and Kia has proven to the world that it can produce a truly attractive sports car with more than enough power to take on the big boys without having to overcharge or ask you to break the bank to buy one. That’s right; we’re talking about a true sports sedan that isn’t ungodly expensive. So, how cheap is it? Well, the base model beats out the BMW 430i by nearly $10,000 and the 440i xDrive Gran Coupe by more like $11,000… Sounds crazy, right? Well, there’s more. Keep reading to learn all about it.
Don’t Expect A Hardcore Version Of The Kia Stinger For The Time Being
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.”
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BMW, Mercedes, and Audi Just Got Punked Out by the Kia Stinger
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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Kia Reveals Eight-Speed Transmission for FWD Cars
Kia’s recent advancements in the auto business have included not just more refined vehicles, but new technologies too. After four years of hard work, the South Korean automaker has unveiled its very own eight-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive cars. Developed using the experience it gained during the creation of the eight-cog unit for rear-wheel drive vehicles, the new gearbox is ready to hit the road and will do so in the 2017 Cadenza.
To be offered as a no-cost option with the 3.3-liter V-6 engine, the transmission will soon find its way into other front-wheel-drive Kia models in the future, but the company has yet to nominate them.
About the same size as a conventional six-speed automatic, the new eight-speed is said to be 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds) lighter than its old counterpart. The unit also features the smallest oil pump in any gearbox in its class, and an incorporated direct control valve body and increased capacity of the solenoid valves, thus reducing the number of control valves from 20 to 12. All of the above, paired with the additional clutch compared to the previous six-speed auto, improve fuel efficiency and gear shifting. The latter will also deliver faster acceleration.
In all, Kia patented 143 new technologies for this transmission, which is surprisingly compact, meaning it will fit in a wide range of vehicles. For now, the eight-speed is being prepared for the company’s mid- and full-size passenger cars.
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Currently, the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S are really the only electric vehicles offered on a widespread basis, but the 2015 Kia Soul EV will soon join these ranks, as Kia plans to sell the car in five more states. When it went on sale last year, the Soul EV was only available in California, but by the start of summer, customers in Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, Washington and Oregon will all be able to electrify their Soul.
Kia credits growing EV demand as the reason these five states were chosen, but of equal importance is the established electric vehicle infrastructure. According to Kia’s press release, the U.S. Department of Energy lists 1,800 charging stations in the new markets, including almost 300 in Georgia alone. Only select Kia dealerships will be able to sell the car, and those that do will get EV charging stations for customer use.
At $33,700, the Kia Soul EV is priced slightly higher than the $29,010 Nissan Leaf, but it will be interesting to see how the expanded sales of the Kia Soul EV affects the Leaf.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Kia Soul EV.
Since making its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Kia GT Concept has been largely kept under the covers by the Korean automaker. After three years, we finally heard in October 2014 that Kia’s actually planning to build a production model based on the GT. Well, here’s more good news. Motoring Australia is now reporting that development of the production GT is progressing to the point that it could be launched by 2018.
Kia Vice President of Overseas Marketing Soon-Nam Lee told the Australian auto site that positive feedback from auto scribes has given Kia the validation it needs to turn the concept over to its research and development department and see what it can do with a planned production version.
Lee pointed out that Kia has big plans for the GT Concept, especially in the U.S., where the Korean automaker is looking to consolidate its luxury image. To do that, Lee said it’s incumbent upon Kia’s R&D team to develop a production model that will have, among other things, a more powerful engine than the 3.3-liter, V-6 engine fitted into the concept.
It’s interesting that Lee would say that since the V-6 already packs 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. But in order to compete in the premium luxury sedan segment currently inhabited by the Audi A7, the Porsche Panamera, and the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, Kia needs to bump up the GT’s performance numbers. A previous report hinted that the GT could use the company’s 5.0-liter, ‘Tau’ V-8 engine, but there’s sentiment within Kia to develop the GT with a different architecture with the K900, hence the idea to steer clear from the admittedly aging Tau V-8.
It’s still anyone’s guess what kind of engine Kia’s R&D department will use on the production GT, but if we’re guessing on one, we wouldn’t rule out a bigger V-6 than the one the concept had.
Click past the jump to read more about the Kia GT Concept
NBA players are a valuable marketing resource with consumer reach as far as a full-court shot. That’s why when LeBron James approached Kia for with the idea of an endorsing deal, Kia took notice. The end result is a deal between the two, or more specifically, James and the Kia K900.
Apparently James had the chance to drive around all summer in the K900 and ended up loving the car. ESPN reports James posted a picture of the car on Instagram with captions reading, “Rolling in my K900. Love this car!!”
Tim Chaney, Kia’s vice president of marketing told ESPN.com, “We were not actively seeking another endorser, but LeBron told us, after driving the car around this summer, that he like it so much, that we decided to partner with him. He brought us instant credibility."
James said in a statement regarding the collaboration, “For me, a partnership has to be authentic and real to who I am and that’s what makes this one so special."
While the details of the multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal have not been disclosed, sources say James must show up at Cavaliers games in the K900 and will appear in several TV commercials. Thankfully for LeBron, the deal does not restrict him from driving other vehicles in his 20-car fleet, which includes the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Maybach, and Rolls Royce.
While Kia isn’t expecting the deal to create clamoring crowd of K900 buyers, the Korean automaker does expect the endorsement deal to have a positive impact on the brand’s public perception as a viable luxury automaker.
Click past the jump to read more about the Kia K900.
Well that didn’t take long, did it?
Fresh off of wowing the crowd at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Kia’s Provo Concept may be headed to production faster than anybody anticipated.
Benny Oeyen, Kia’s European Vice President of Marketing and Product Planning, recently told Auto Express that the Korean automaker is seriously considering building a production model of the Provo Concept.
“The Provo is a possible niche we can venture into," Oeyen said. "Our brand is currently rational, but there’s space for a B-Coupe."
While there’s no immediate timetable for the production of the Provo, Kia’s next step in determining the concept’s production future would be to conduct market research to determine if the model will have the kind of demand that warrants a production model being built.
The automaker’s admission that it has no problem venturing into the B-Coupe market should be a big plus in the side of those wanting to see the Provo get its production green light.
Here’s our two cents on it: if Kia decides to retain the concept’s fantastic exterior while simplifying the interior to adhere to production standards, then we have no qualms about saying that it’s a car the automaker has to have out on the road.
Kia has teamed up with DC Entertainment and Rides magazine to create a one-off version of the 2013 Optima that is inspired by the DC Comic “Batman.” This creation is slated to be part of a benefit dubbed the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign, which helps fight hunger in the Horn of Africa. The benefit itself is a great cause, but the car is simply awesome.
Kia started off with the range-topping Optima SX, which boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that pops out 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and an impressive 269 pound-feet at torque at an ultra-low 1,750 rpm. This is enough to get this sedan to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds, but still turn in a 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway EPA fuel economy rating.
Though there are no engine modifications, sans the performance exhaust system, to this Kia turned Batmobile, it does boast a lowered coil-over suspension to help it in the twist and Ksport performance brakes to grind it to a halt a little quicker. On the exterior, Kia draped the Optima in a matte- and piano-black color combination and tossed in a set of 20-inch black wheels wrapped in low-profile rubber. Kia also modified its trademark grille to look like the batman logo and even placed the batman logo in place of the “Kia” logo in the center of the grille. Wrapping up the exterior are yellow LED lights underneath the vehicle and the bat signal etched into the HID headlights.
Inside the Optima, Kia wrapped the interior in custom black leather and suede with yellow accent stitching to maintain the Batman theme. You even get a “Bat suit” in the trunk and a set of throwing stars in the center console. Two video screens on the front headrests cap of the interior and will be playing a video during the campaign that will showcase how people can get involved with the “We Can Be Heroes” project.
Our hats go off to Kia for building such an awesome car for just an awesome cause.
Click past the jump to read Kia’s press release.