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Kia's new range topper, the Stinger GT. Image by Kia.

Kia's new range topper, the Stinger GT
Kia Stinger GT looks great, comes with a 3.3 V6, making it capable of 167mph.
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What's all this about?

This is the Kia Stinger, the Korean company's most powerful and rapid production car yet built. The elegant gran turismo (GT) will go on sale later this year and it has been winning acclaim at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this week, where it has made its debut.

Is it a Peter Schreyer design?

Naturally, as the German has been with Kia and Hyundai since 2006. The Stinger GT is described as a 'five-seat fastback sports saloon' and as such it is targeted straight at the likes of the Audi A5, BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, forthcoming Volkswagen Arteon and - as Kia daringly mentions it - the Mercedes-Benz CLS. Like any modern Kia, it has a 'tiger nose' grille and strong surfacing lines along its flanks, while the rear-end design is particularly clean... albeit, you could make the case it looks a lot like an Audi A7's backside. Note the quad oval exhaust pipes, which give a hint of the Stinger's performance potential.

Can you quickly detail the interior?

Yes, although we'll first just refer back to the body - at 4,831mm nose-to-tip and 1,869mm wide, with a 2,905mm wheelbase, it's longer than most of its compact executive opposition (be they German, Swedish, British or Japanese cars) and that wheelbase is even bigger than those found on the Merc CLS or Lexus GS vehicles from the class above. Kia says that blesses the Stinger with loads of room on the inside, as well as a class-leading boot. Furthermore, the Korean company has pepped up its traditionally clean, effective (but a touch boring) dash design with the deployment of a large centre console bulge featuring aeronautically-inspired air vents and some metallic finish switchgear. In front of the driver is a colour TFT screen between the metal-rimmed gauges. It all looks very nice inside, that's for sure.

So what's powering the Stinger? An engine making circa 250hp?

Even in its lowlier guise, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged 'Theta II' mill is said to make 258hp at 6,200rpm and 353Nm from 1,400- to 4,000rpm. But if that doesn't sound like enough for you, then the Stinger GT also comes with a twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6 petrol option called the 'Lambda II', this motor churning out a much healthier 370hp at 6,000rpm and 510Nm from 1,300- to 4,500rpm. That, claims Kia, is enough to see its new boy hit 62mph from rest in just 5.1 seconds, before going on to a 167mph top speed. Oh, and did we mention the Stinger has longitudinally mounted engines... because it is only offered with either four- or, more pertinently, rear-wheel drive? Nice one.

What else goes into the Kia Stinger's technical make-up?

All models are powered by an eight-speed automatic gearbox designed in-house by Kia. The shapely bodywork sits on a chassis made up of 55 per cent advanced high-strength steel and it will be the first car from the company to come with electronically adjustable shock absorbers, which Korea calls Dynamic Stability Damping Control. These dampers are teamed up with MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension, with the aim being to make the Stinger drive as well as it looks. Massive vented Brembo brake discs, Torque Vectoring Control on the AWD models and alloy wheels of either 18- (2.0) or 19 inches (3.3 V6) in diameter all complete the Kia's underpinnings.

And is Kia confident the Stinger will steer well?

Not half, given Albert Biermann - the man who used to head up BMW's M Division - is in charge of vehicle testing and high performance development for Kia. He said of the car: "I think, for the Kia brand, the Stinger is like a special event - because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It's a wholly different animal."

Anything else Kia will offer with the Stinger?

Every conceivable driver assist system should be offered by the company, while it will also come with the full gamut of comfort kit like satnav, a head-up display, a powerful audio system and more. We can't wait to find out more details about the Stinger ahead of the car's launch later this year.

Read about the Kia Stinger GT for the Irish market.

Matt Robinson - 10 Jan 2017

2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.

2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.2017 Kia Stinger GT. Image by Kia.    - Kia road tests
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