New turbocharged rear-wheel-drive Kia sports car concept designed to provide "superb driving enjoyment, whether on the road or at the track"; will go on sale "in a couple of years"
2 January 2014

The Kia GT4 Stinger concept has been revealed at the Detroit motor show. It is expected the car will go on sale by 2016, pitched as a Toyota GT86 rival.

The concept “harks back to the days of affordable sports cars”, according to the company. The rear-wheel-drive Stinger coupé uses a 315bhp turbocharged version of Kia’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, driving a six-speed manual gearbox.

The 4.3m-long Stinger, which was created at Kia’s California design studio, is based on a bespoke platform, uses double wishbone suspension and gets transparent A-pillars. As part of the car’s ‘rawness’, it does without carpets. The firm says the Stinger provides a “possible glimpse into Kia’s future”.

Tom Kearns, designer chief at Kia’s American design centre said: "Driving enjoyment was the number one priority in designing the GT4 Stinger. It's a 2+2 sports car that can turn heads as a daily driver while also being right at home on the track.

“It's about purity, simplicity and timelessness. The GT4 Stinger is a throwback to days when driving a car was a visceral experience that wasn't muted by electronic gimmickry.”

Development of the GT4 Stinger was made possible by Kia’s success in the Pirelli World Challenge in a pair of Kia Optimas. Kearns said that its race wins provided “credibility” to the project.

The car is powered by a 315bhp version of Kia’s 2.0-litre T-GDI petrol engine, and is shared with the Optima racers. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

The transparent A-pillars are said to provide a 270-degree view from the driver’s seat and the glasshouse provides a profile similar to that of the Kia Soul.

Kia says that while there are no plans bring the concept to production, Kia says it has a “history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the concept that preceded them, and the GT4 Stinger provides a possible and highly provocative glimpse into Kia's future”.

Vice president of Kia in the US Tom Loveless said: "Stinger is a tribute to a day when performance about a direct link between driver and machine, not a list of electronic aids."

Read more Detroit motor show news.

Our Verdict

The Kia Optima has looks, practicality and value on its side. But in a class of talented models, it is an also-ran.

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Comments
13

2 January 2014
Every time I see yet another stunning Peter Schreyer design I think this is what Audi should be doing. Audi design language more or less froze after the TT.

2 January 2014
fadyady wrote:
Every time I see yet another stunning Peter Schreyer design I think this is what Audi should be doing. Audi design language more or less froze after the TT.
Well there's definitely rather a lot of the R8 in there judging from that front view!

13 January 2014
fadyady wrote:
Every time I see yet another stunning Peter Schreyer design I think this is what Audi should be doing. Audi design language more or less froze after the TT.
I presume you mean the original TT. Like the A6 alongside it, they changed the scope of 'car design'. However, from the front, this looks too similar to a Camaro and a Volvo C30 from the back. There is also a lot of last generation SAAB in there too (as with most larger Kias at the moment), especially in the A pillar and flanks. I think Schreyer is capable of great things but he needs to move away from cliches in his work. I personally think Bangle would be good for Audi right now, or even Le Quement.

14 January 2014
The Stinger is nothing less than a breath of fresh air in an ageing motoring world of conformity, monotony, shameless profitability and nerve-wrecking design boredom.
marj wrote:
fadyady wrote:
...Audi design language more or less froze after the TT.
I presume you mean the original TT...
You presume right, Marj.

9 January 2014
Is there a chance Peter Schreyer returns to the VW Group to revive their increasingly morose design language?

13 January 2014
...as his cars are getting built. This one is almost sure to be. And what a lift this thing will grant the KIA brand. Great looking truly.

MrJ

13 January 2014
Ace looker that will do Kia a power of good - especially if the company actually goes ahead and make it. Kia seems to have had a design-led revolution, thanks to Schreyer's work, and it's so nice here to see an oriental design that's not overstyled with swoops, slashes, and other meaningless design flourishes.

13 January 2014
I really like the styling, even though the front end looks like an R8 and c-pillar and strong shoulder line looks like the recent quattro concepts. This would make a great halo model for Kia. If they get the pricing right it would make a nice alternative to a 330i or 335i.

"Will accept donation of a Carrera GT, EB110 SS or McLaren F1...oh yeah or a Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder"

14 January 2014
this is from KIA's califonia based design studio. I like it, freedom uninterrupted bonnet line with those lights down low

14 January 2014
250bhp, correct wheel drive, a handy 2+2 layout AND a 7 year warranty. They should have called it the GT-having your cake and eating it. I hope the production version does the concept proud.

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