Exclusive: Test Kia Stinger 3.3 T-GDI AWD GT: Korea has arrived

“Excuse me, can you tell me a little bit about this car?”, “I did not know that Kia is building such sports cars”, “Looks like a Maserati” – Driving with the Stinger means honest admiration The data sheet throws the reserved into a stream of knowledge: A 3.3-liter V6 biturbo converts 370 hp into thunderous all-wheel traction by means of an eight-speed automatic transmission developed in Korea Reaching 200 kilometers per hour for 4 seconds is just one of the countless features that the Gran Turismo brings. 

On the streets and parking lots, in the underground garages or in front of the Pommesbude – the Kia Stinger mutates people into curious meerkats. Here and there, someone is approaching to sniff the Korean, who visually makes a show that it just flashes. That Kia bends around the corner with a car that is so much cooler than the premium top dogs, is a message. And by eliminating the increased brand symbolism, people no longer fear to show their interest. As a Stinger driver you can therefore adjust to some extra time when refueling or on the supermarket parking lot. The high chroma red of our test vehicle, which is available for 590 euros extra, will certainly add to that effect.

In many automobile media, the Stinger GT was compared with the German premium class. An obvious thought, which seems absurd in the cultural-scientific perspective: For those who have spared no expense and efforts to buy an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz will continue to do so. There is better processing there. The big brand histories of the Kia can not offer either. Because he is currently writing. Driving pleasure at a low price – and extras are no longer necessary with the extensive standard equipment – it sounds like a dream.

Based on the Hyundai Genesis G80, Kia has created a five-door coupé, which is embedded in the background of sounding name: Peter Schreyer, chief designer at Kia since 2006, together with Gregory Guillaume a small concert of the best European designs of recent years on. From behind the Stinger GT reminds of Maserati, in profile to Jaguar and the front goes with the characteristic tiger nose a third in the direction of the M department. The Best Of Symphony is 4.83 meters long at the end, 1.87 wide and only 1.40 meters high.

The interior is similar. The switches in the center console are reminiscent of Stuttgart, the supplier of the terrific audio system actually drinks its coffee in Munich and the steering wheel is a blueprint from Ingolstadt. All manufacturers can chalk – but at Kia you are looking for it. For a brand that until a decade ago has made cars, the most important extra was a fold-down rear seat, now drives the trunk lid by remote control. Certainly not all elements emit the high quality charm of a modern Audi S model. The air vents seem a bit carelessly used and the steering wheel cover is cast from the cheapest plastic that does not appear anywhere else in the car. To cap it all, the cap of the automatic-selector lever has play. So what?

In the Stinger GT concept and technology work perfectly otherwise. The feel has improved so much in recent years that one imagines with closed eyes in a premium vehicle from the upper middle class. As soon as you open them, however, you realize that there are still a few meters left to go until you get a real premium feeling. The electric sports seats with lumbar support are comfortable and lead the occupants precisely even in fast corners. On the rear seat, people over 1.90 meters still sit comfortably. Electrically adjustable is the well in the hand lying flattened sports steering wheel with heating function. For the exit, the seat and steering wheel then return to a shallow music that is reminiscent of the start-up melody of an old smartphone. Such cleanliness makes the Stinger GT sympathetic with all its strength.

1971. The look in the vehicle registration looks like a shock. Because so many kilos weighs the five-door sports coupe. Kia owes that to his ancestor, the Hyundai G80. An intelligent four-wheel drive, which travels up to 100 percent to the rear axle, depending on the situation, provides propulsion from six cylinders and two turbochargers. These are also from Hyundai. Even fully occupied, the driving experience remains sporty to comfortable and is dominated even by winter tires of tremendous traction. From a standstill, the Stinger GT accelerates to 100 km / h in 4.9 seconds – unless it has a Euro 6d Temp standard (then 5.5 seconds). With the launch control function catapult launches are possible, which can turn the passenger’s belly into a laundry drum.

A highlight of the Stinger GT is the eight-speed automatic transmission. At the available torque of 510 Newton-meters, it does not show the track of overload with the high weight. Four driving programs are available: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport +. In Ecomodus, the gears glide almost unnoticed through the low speed range, the Comfort mode represents a balanced variant, in which enough power is available at any time. If the driver sets the dial to sport, the gears fly in by pressing the paddle shifters in as though they have been hit in the drive with the hammer. Even at the slightest foot movement, the turbochargers crave for more boost pressure and the speedometer becomes an electricity meter.

If the Stinger GT tends to oversteer due to the rear-wheel-driven four-wheel drive when too much acceleration is required, even countersteering is required in the Sport + + drive program. Here all driving aids are switched off. The normal sports mode already allows more than enough play instinct and steers against with a pleasantly tuned stability program. Responsible for the good driving characteristics is the former BMW M development chief Albert Biermann. Switched to Hyundai and Kia years ago, he missed the heavy four-wheel drive on the Nürburgring Nordschleife a sporty-agile touch. This makes the Kia not a race car, but a well-tuned luxury-class coupe. Unfortunately, the brakes are undersized for the weight.

The powerful Gran Turismo consumes at least 14 liters when you drive it. Twelve liters are possible if you transport it comfortably on its own axis. Well over 25 liters would fly on a racetrack. This is neither good nor bad in this performance class. It is part of it. Whoever buys the Stinger GT at the end, has agreed to it and sees the exciting challenger from the Far East as an enrichment for everyday life. Stretching beyond 600 kilometers can be completed with the elegant eye-catcher – as long as you refuel in between. Or it may be the maintenance costs on the level of a Jaguar F-Type, which let the Stinger GT run its red tear from the taillights. After all: A Kia is now in a column with a Jaguar.

The Kia comes into play where someone is looking for a car that is fun but does not get in the way of the family – assuming the piggy bank is well filled: you have to invest 55,000 euros for a Kia Stinger. For the money he is so highly equipped that he still offers a price advantage of over 25 000 euros compared to an Audi S5. Leather upholstery with seat heating and seat ventilation, heated steering wheel, four-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seat, Harmann & Kardon sound system, cross traffic alarm, blind spot detector, emergency brake assist, cruise control, lane departure warning, head-up display, navigation system, 360-degree rear-view camera – and everything works , There is also a seven-year manufacturer’s warranty in a high-maintenance and expensive vehicle class. With such arguments, it does not surprise, that in the last year 1149 copies of the Stinger were allowed – of course, not all with the powerful 3.3 T-GDi and all-wheel drive.

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