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Souped-up Kia Stinger GT to Get V-8 Engine

Souped-up Kia Stinger GT to Get V-8 Engine

Is Kia finally giving us an alternative to the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63?

Rumors of a more powerful version of the awesome Kia Stinger GT have been flying around ever since the Korean brand launched the sedan – and we have a rendering and speculative review for it – but the Asian carmaker has yet to confirm such plans exist. However, the company’s Australian communications manager just hinted that a higher performance version could come to the U.S. soon. What’s more, it appears that instead of a beefed-up V-6, Kia may use a V-8 powerplant for the range-topping four-door.

Speaking to CarAdvice, Kevin Hepworth, the brand’s communications manager in Australia, said, "I believe they’re developing one" when asked about a V-8-powered Kia Stinger. And while he pointed out that such a model won’t make it Down Under, he added that "there may be a possibility the U.S. could pick it up." There’s no word as to when it could arrive, but as we mentioned in our speculative review, a 2018 launch for the 2019 model year seems very likely. What specific engine will it use and how much power will it send to the wheels? Keep reading to find out.

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Hit the Slopes in Style With the Ski Gondola

Hit the Slopes in Style With the Ski Gondola

Kia ushers in the future with the Ski Gondola, a self-driving, terrain-decimating Kia Sorento custom built for SEMA

SEMA is that one auto show where manufacturers put serious time and effort into building the coolest custom cars you can imagine. We’ve already learned about a lot of custom cars, but Kia has been pretty secretive about what they’re bringing to the show – at least until now, that is. Meet the Ski Gondola, a heavily customized Kia Sorento. Focusing on a theme of autonomy, Kia pulled out all the stops, fitting this custom Sorento with equipment like you’ve never seen. Dubbed the Ski Gondola, it’s most notable feature are those wild tank tracks that give it the ability to navigate just about any terrain with ease. Pair that with those ridiculously bright LEDs, the custom roof rack, and those side-view cameras, and this Sorento is ready to play anytime, day or night, with eagerness and enthusiasm. But, that’s not all that makes this one-of-a-kind Sorento special.

The moment you try to open the doors, you realize there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. The doors open in suicide fashion, and entry is super easy thanks to the removal of that B-pillar. Beyond that, this concept is all about function and comfort. Since Kia’s theme this year was autonomy, the Ski Gondola mixes all-terrain prowess with the luxury of autonomous technology. As such, the front seats have been turned around for easy interaction with rear passengers and the entire vehicle can be controlled by that custom center console and tablet. The seats themselves have been upholstered in black and orange leather, all of which is held together by orange stitching for the perfect amount of contrast. Finally, since this amazing concept is built to spend time on the slopes, the entire floor has been equipped with weatherized rubber coating.

As you can see from the video, Kia wasn’t playing around this year and is showcasing what the future of autonomous vehicles could look like. This specific model is focused on off-road or all-terrain duty, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s a Sorento that can literally go anywhere, and it will take you there all by itself – now that’s style and class rolled into one impressive package. Stay tuned for a full picture gallery and in-depth review of one of the coolest concepts at SEMA 2016.

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Autonomy meets luxury in the First Class Kia Soul.

Autonomy meets luxury in the First Class Kia Soul.

The Kia Soul is special in the essence that it has an unmistakable design in a world where models tend to blend together these days. At the 2016 SEMA show, Kia has taken the Soul’s unmistakable design and stepped it up a notch, effectively creating an autonomous vehicle design that will make you happy to give up the steering wheel. On the outside, Kia blessed this beautiful concept with a Lux Electric Blue finish that is enhanced by the electric blue accent lighting that glows so brightly from behind the front grille. The most notable modifications, however, take place inside where the front seats are installed in a reversed position.

This custom Soul only offers seating for two in executive style with automatic leg rests located just ahead of the seats in the floor. The lack of rear seats isn’t a bad thing, though, as their sacrifice makes way for a massive display screen that is mounted to the rear wall. The custom tablets near the front seats allow for complete control of the entire vehicle including selecting a destination, engaging travel, and controlling the television or browsing the internet on the way. Perhaps more important is the quality of materials that make up the ambiance of the cabin. Most of the inside is wrapped in a beautiful suede material, including most of the interior panels and the headliner. The seats are wrapped in leather, and the custom door trim panels have a custom leather insert that is stitched into a diamond layout. The floor has been lined in one of the finest wood selections available and fits right in with the accent lighting below and around the TV and from the door panels.

With all of the various concepts that show up to SEMA every year, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. But, this autonomous Kia Soul is definitely a showstopper if we’ve ever seen one. On top of that, it goes to show just how luxurious and functional the fully autonomous Kia’s of the future can be. Giving up the steering wheel is a hard thing to face for most, myself included, but a design like this will certainly make giving up the steering wheel so much easier. MY only question is: When can I get a ride in this amazing feat of engineering?

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