Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kia GT4 Stinger Concept on Detroit Auto Show 2014

To be honest, when somebody says “sports car,” the word “Kia” doesn’t leap to mind. However, the South Korean car maker wants to rectify that and after dropping a trail of hints, Kia’s GT4 Stinger concept got its world première on Monday at the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Kia sees this stripped down track car as “hearkening back to the glory days of pure-bred, affordable sports cars.”
Don’t be confused by the name. The GT4 in the Kia Stinger Concept’s name doesn’t mean the company is two generations out of step with other manufacturers producing cars specifically for a certain PlayStation racing game (non-gamers you'll see what we mean in our Toyota FT-1 concept car hands-on). No, the GT4 in GT4 Stinger refers to its 4-seat Gran Tourismo body style. The car itself is the latest step in the Kia brand’s effort to turn its vehicles into something you really lust after.
When we named the Kia GT4 Stinger Concept as our top debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, our comments section had, let's call it, a tantrum. People were not pleased. Debuting alongside hugely significant production cars like the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Ford Mustang, Ford F-150, Lexus RC F, BMW M3/M4 and Chrysler 200(not to mention great concepts like the Toyota FT-1, Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge and Volvo Concept XC Coupe), what business did a tiny, turbocharged, rear-drive Kia concept car have winning the prize as the best of Detroit?
From a hardware standpoint, the 2,874-lb. Kia GT4 Stinger is equipped with a 315-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox that powers the car's rear wheels. Weight is distributed 52% over the front axle and 48% over the rear axle, and the GT4 Stinger Concept sits on staggered-width 20-inch center-lock wheels with Pirelli P-Zero performance tires measuring 235/35 in front and 275/35 in back. Front and rear double-wishbone suspension, quick ratio steering, and Brembo Gran Turismo braking components featuring 2-piece, 15-inch cross-drilled rotors with 4-piston calipers are also installed in order to deliver on the promise of performance.
GT86/FR-S/BRZ: 2.0L Flat-4 Boxer, 200 hp, 151 lb-ft of torque
GT4 Stinger: 2.0L Turbo-4 T-GDI, 315 hp
The Stinger still uses a 2.0L engine, but massively trumps the Toyubarus. That, obviously, is helped by the turbo, something that BRZ owners have been CLAMORING for in an STi model (so far they've only seen the tS and a premium sports edition. Even more interesting is the fact that the Kia engine comes from Optima racecars, which produce around 400 hp, meaning that this thing, technically, could beef up even more. The sad part is remembering it's a concept, meaning the production version might have less
Kia flatly states that it has no intention of producing the GT4 Stinger Concept for public consumption. However, and this might put a smile on your face, the automaker does concede the following: "Kia 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."