A STING IN THE TALE (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The Kia Stinger took the South Korean maker into premium brand executive territory for the very first time. Now, it's been updated. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 33
Yes, it's a Kia. Yes, you might want one. No, this 'Gran Turismo' model isn't merely a copy of something German. Welcome to the Kia Stinger, now usefully improved. The looks don't lie.
Backgroundword count: 113
Back in 2017, we were offered a very different kind of Kia. The Stinger was a five-door performance GT that took on the German premium brands in the luxury sports Gran Turismo market. Since then, it's worked well as a rare but desirable halo model for the Korean brand and a respactable 10,000 global units have been sold. Enough to justify a facelift, which has brought us some useful updates. You get a smarter look of course, a slightly rortier engine note and a more up-to-date cabin with upgraded media connectivity. There are a few extra safety features too, though the range now is centred only on the top 3.3-litre V6-powered GTS variant.
Driving Experienceword count: 261
With this revised Stinger model, the only engine choice is the flagship unit used in the original GTS version of this model, a potent twin-turbo 365bhp 3.3-litre V6 T-Gdi powerplant. This now develops a fractionally higher output of 368bhp with 510Nm of torque, thanks to a new variable exhaust system that uses a butterfly valve to improve or soften the engine sound depending on drive mode. As a result, in the 'Sport' or 'Sport+' driving settings, the engine emits an exciting growl. 62mph from rest is dispatched in 4.9 seconds, so this is still the fastest-accelerating Kia ever sold in Europe. The top speed is 168mph. A little disappointingly, British customers still can't have the 4WD version of this model - that's still restricted to left hand drive markets - so an eight-speed automatic gearbox still drives the rear wheels, with five different shift and throttle programmes and the option of full manual control using the steering wheel-mounted paddles. The GTS has variable gear ratio steering and electronic suspension which can be set to one of five modes. As before, Kia has standardised a limited slip differential across the range for our market and this, in concert with a torque vectoring system that lightly brakes the inside front wheel at speed through fast corners, means that the Stinger is quite adept at overcoming its rather portly 1.8-tonne body weight and hurling itself from bend to bend, should you be inclined to drive it in such a fashion. As before, this car is almost everything you wouldn't expect a Kia to be.
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Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates
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