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kia stinger is here to prick the competition

Kia Stinger is here to prick the competition

The question though remains, are the taste buds ready for some kimchi over sauerkraut?

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

10 Jul 2018

Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee is how they described Muhammad Ali and the Kia Stinger has been floated highly by the foreign motoring press but is the market ready for a Korean performance sedan that has been proven to sting the competition.

The Stinger has been launched here by Naza Kia Malaysia with two engine options; the flagship the 3.3-litre V6 GT and the 2.0-litre GT-Line.

Employing a fastback silhouette on a rear-drive platform lends the Stinger enough aesthetic credentials but it’s what’s under the hood that will determine its success here.

The entry-level The 2.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-banger is the Theta II T-GDi engine that brings a respectable 251hp and 353Nm of torque to the table. That helps it zip to 100kph in 6.0-seconds flat. That places models like the newly-launched Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line in its crosshairs.

Sitting atop the ladder though is the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 Lambda T-GDi engine. That raises the figures to 365hp and 510Nm of torque. The century sprint arrives in a brisk 4.9-seconds.

Now onto the link between the engines and the rear wheels. That’s a new in-house designed second-generation eight-speed automatic transmission. It marks Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter on the 2.0L GT-Line to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain.

Paddle shifters are standard to go along with the five driving modes available, ranging from comfort to sporty.

The platform benefits from 55 per cent advanced high-strength steel Up front, you’ll find MacPherson struts linked by an aluminium strut brace while the rear gets a proven five-link rear suspension layout. Keep in mind that the Stinger’s ride and handling was honed at the legendary Nürburgring circuit.

Much like all modern performance sedans, the shocks are Electronically-Controlled Suspension (ECS) and the steering is via a rack-mounted electric motor.

The 2.0-litre GT rides on 225/45R18 tyres while the 3.3-litre V6 GT moves up a size to 225/40R19 in the fronts and meatier 255/35R19 at the driven end. You’ll find lightweight monobloc Brembo disc brakes behind those wheels, featuring quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rears.

Those lucky to get behind the wheel (self-promotion is best promotion) of the Stinger will find themselves in a luxurious cabin that doesn’t neglect the performance aspect of the sedan.

Ultra-soft Nappa leather sports seats cosset the V6 GT driver while the 2.0-litre GT makes do with natural leather. Drivers get a eight-way powered seat and front passengers make do with four-way adjustment.

Steering input is via the flat-bottom steering and a 7.0-inch TFT LCD landscape cluster display sits between the gauge displays to relay performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times and engine-oil temperature though this is reserved solely for the V6 GT.

Apart from the brisk drive, passengers can be kept entertained by the the infotainment system and the 8.0-inch floating touchscreen integrated with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and navigation. It outputs via the 15-speaker Harman Kardon system.

With its competition being established in the premium segment, the Stinger has been packed to the brim with kit in order to level the playing field. This comprises heads-up display, Dynamic Bending Light (DBL), Around View (AVM) with Driving Rear-View (DRM) Monitors, memory function for the driver’s seat and wireless smartphone charger.

The safety suite is made up of hill-start assist, ABS, traction control, Cornering Brake Control, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and seven airbags.

You can have the Stinger in four colours; HiChroma Red, Deep Chroma Blue, Panthera Metal and Aurora Black. The black interior is reserved for the 2.0-litre GT and the V6 GT only comes in a red theme.

All this means didly squat though if the pricing isn’t just more affordable but mind-blowingly lower. So how does it stack up? The V6 GT goes for RM309,888 and the 2.0-litre GT will set you back RM239,888.

Game on indeed you Germans.

TAGS: Kia stinger