Tag: Peter Schreyer

2018 Kia Stinger GT2 RWD Review

2018 Kia Stinger GT2 RWD Review

2018 Kia Stinger GT2

Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler

Back in the day, when General Motors was King, Chevrolet was their bread and butter brand while Pontiac was “where the action was.” At the Hyundai Group, we think it’s appropriate to consider Hyundai Motors in the Chevrolet role while Kia is “where the action is,” as seen with their new 2018 Kia Stinger GT2. Why, the action is so here that even Steven Tyler and Emerson Fittipaldi are interested!

The Upselling of an image.

kia stinger gt2
kia stinger gt2

As has been mentioned more than 10,000 times on the Internet already, the Kia Stinger GT2 is based on the Kia GT concept car that debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Impressed for sure, it merely showed some ideas that were bouncing around the design studio. Jet forward seven years and what we actually got Instead looks like a huffed-up version of the Kia Optima, with a steroid supplier on speed dial.

With a Kia Optima parked side-by-side with our Stinger tester, it is clear that they only share a passing familial resemblance, which included the familiar tiger-nose treatment at the grille. While the Optima is a front drive vehicle, the Stinger is a rear- or all-wheel-drive (AWD) Grand Touring machine. Oh, did we mention it has a liftback? So right from the get-go it’s the anti-SUV.

kia stinger gt2
kia stinger gt2

Walking around the vehicle, we notice the wide under-bumper intake for the intercooler flanked by vertical intakes for the air curtains to help trim the airflow over the front wheel wells. There is a lot of detail to like in the LED headlight area which leads to a character line stretching from the front to the rear, ending at the slightly upturned spoiler/deck/trunk lid. There are interesting doo-dads throughout, but we think the side gills tend to fussy things up, where they don’t need fussying up. Along the way, we notice design inspiration from vehicles like the Audi A5, BMWs 4series Gran Sport and even the Jaguar XF sedan.

Trimmed out.

The 2018 Kia Stinger is available in five trim levels starting with Base, Premium, GT, GT1 and highline GT2 models. Of course, we lucked out with the GT2 version (cue the smug grin). We loved the Hichroma Red metallic paint which set off our black Nappa Leather interior nicely.

kia stinger gt2
kia stinger gt2

The interior trim was a step up over anything we have seen in Kias past, and although it looked as though lifted from the interior of an early 2000-era Mercedes Benz sedan, it was nice but not ostentatious.

Being the GT2, that meant that the Stinger was dripping with every possible option from the Kia parts bin including the 3.3-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine that produced 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. That engine, which it shares with the new Hyundai G70, seemed perfectly matched to this five-door, five-passenger Grand Touring sedan that somehow managed to tip the scales at nearly 4000 pounds.

Under the hood.

kia stinger gt2
kia stinger gt2

Although the Stinger’s base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, twin scroll turbo engine producing 255 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, the Stinger really cries out for the 3.3-liter twin turbo V6 that was in our tester. Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our GT2 was equipped with an electronically controlled suspension which adapted on the fly to a specified a drive mode which included Smart, Eco, Comfort and Sport along with custom, which allowed you to pick one from column A, one from column B and so on.

The View from others.

It seemed that the general public got the advanced notice that the Kia Stinger GT2 would be arriving soon. Perhaps that’s why we had so many comments from onlookers, enthusiasts, car salesmen and just regular man on the street types who usually were heard to utter, “that’s a Kia?” We’d nod yes, and acknowledge their polite thumbs up signal with a quick wave before we were off.

Behind the wheel.

Hoofing away from a stoplight had us suddenly pushed back into the adjustable bolstered seats that managed to keep us settled as the skinny pedal unleashed the 365 horses up front. Power continued to pour out from the twin turbo V6, accompanied by a lusty brrrrrrrrrrrrrp from the quad pipes out back. This was like no other Kia we have ever driven.

Stepping into the sport mode found the Stinger holding tight through the turns in a way that almost brought a flashback of what it was truly like to driver a real rear wheel car. Oh, how we miss that! The steering was firm but not overly so, which made us feel as though we were in control at every moment. Kudos, too, to the paddle shift levers that control the eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Stinger felt planted, allowing us to apply power whenever we wanted. When we tired of driving in anger, or when the spousal unit told us to quit hooning and cool it, we were just satisfied to absorb the quietness that came from a well-designed and insulated interior.

Something Special.

From the moment we got into the Stinger, it was clear that we were settling into something special. It was a way of showing that the brand had finally arrived. Many years ago, Kia was what you could charitably call a brand of last resort. Somewhere along the way, a “come to Jesus” moment happened in Seoul, with someone saying “we are done being the laughing stock of the automotive industry.”

The result was transformational, and through the stewardship of such industry “lumineers” like Kia president and chief designer, Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Europe designer Gregory Guillaume, performance maestro Albert Biermann and numerous others, it is very clear we are not talking about the same company.

2018 Kia Stinger GT2 RWD V6

Story and photo by Mark Elias

Base MSRP: $49,200. As tested: $50,100

No options, includes $900 destination fee.

 

Kia Stinger GT2 Key Specs

Cylinders:                       V6

Displacement:               3.3-liters

Power:                             365 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque:                           376 lb-ft @ 1300-4500 rpm

Fuel System:                 Gas Direct Injection

Fuel:                                Premium recommended

Acceleration:                 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds

Drive Type:                    RWD

Gearbox:                         8-speed Automatic with paddle shift levers

Tire Size:                        225/40R19 front, 225/35R19 rear

Unladen Weight:         4,023-pounds

Length:                          190.2-inches

Width:                           73.6-inches

Height:                          55.1-inches

Wheelbase:                  114.4-inches

Cargo Volume:            23.3 cu/ft seat up, 40.9 cu/ft seat down

City:                               19

Highway:                      25

Combined:                   21

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”115″ gal_title=”2018 Kia Stinger GT2″]

Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.

mark_elias

Follow
Load More
2018 Hyundai Sonata First Drive.

2018 Hyundai Sonata First Drive.

Charleston, South Carolina is what we would call a seasoned city in the sense that it has been around for a while but is (hopefully) constantly undergoing a change for the better. The same can be said for the 2018 Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai flew us to the Low Country for a look-see at the refreshed new Sonata, and a first drive with its new smaller, but decidedly sportier younger brother, the Elantra GT Sport.

2018 Hyundai Sonata
2018 Hyundai Sonata

 Refreshing.

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata essentially received a mild refresh on the outside, but this slight restyling is more than skin deep. The new Sonata’s most obvious trait is its restyled “cascading grille,” which seemingly bears a resemblance to Audi’s “singleframe” grille, drawn by former Audi chief designer Peter Schreyer. So important to the Hyundai-Kia Motor Group, the company named him as its first non-Korean president.

Schreyer and his team did not stop at the grille, though, and added more details to the new Sonata including an enhanced front and rear fascia, more flowing lines, a reworked hood, revised trunklid, improved taillights and a wider expanse of brightwork around the greenhouse. It’s just the thing to help the 2018 version break away from its more conservative 2015 predecessor.

2018 Hyundai Sonata
2018 Hyundai Sonata

But even more, it’s just the refresh needed to compete against the new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, both scheduled to hit dealerships shortly.

Dressed up interior.

The interior of the 2018 Hyundai Sonata includes a newly designed instrument panel and centerstack that continues the contemporary vibe seen outside. A new 8.0-inch display with Navigation is part of our 2.0T Limited package, with a three-year subscription for Guidance Package Services, which automatically download updated maps to your system. A high-line Infinity premium audio system along with heated and ventilated seats help to round out the package. A Qi Wireless charging pad can be had for untethered charging of your android (and hopefully soon, Apple) devices.

While driving around Charleston and its surroundings, the rear legroom took us completely by surprise with its expansive space. If we didn’t know better, we would have sworn we were driving a full size sedan.

Safety

Blind Spot detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert…according to Hyundai it’s the only mainstream mid-size sedan with this as a standard feature.

 Motivating factors.

Three different powertrains are on tap for the 2018 Hyundai Sonata, ranging from the base SE with a 185-horsepwer 2.4-liter / six-speed automatic combo. It was followed by the 178-horsepower ECO version with its 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and seven-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission. At the pinnacle of the Sonata lineup was our 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger with eight-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission.

2018 Hyundai Sonata
2018 Hyundai Sonata

We found the 2.0-liter turbo mill to be energetic throughout the range, and really like the new eight-speed automatic slushbox. Switchable from Comfort, ECO and Sport modes, it also offers Smart mode which finds the gearbox’s sweet spot once a solid cruise mode has been established, as on a highway, for instance. It’s at that point that the EPA says the Sonata’s mileage improves from 22 city/ 31 highway to 23 city/ 32 highway. Yeehaw!

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata’s suspension has been beefed up a bit through the recalibrating of the electric rack and pinion system and thickening up of the rear trailing arms. It’s not a track day runner by any stretch but the bottom line is an improved Sonata that is still in the hunt against the revised Accord and Camry.

For how long? That’s for the marketplace to decide.

Story and photos by Mark Elias

 2018 Hyundai Sonata

Base MSRP

 SE 2.4:                                  $22,050

ECO 1.6T:                             $22,650

SEL 2.4:                                $23,700

Sport 2.4:                             $25,200

Limited 2.4:                        $27,400

Limited Ultimate 2.4:     $30,300

Sport 2.0T:                          $27,600

Limited 2.0T:                     $32,450                      

Destination:                       $      885

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                4 cylinder

Displacement:                         1.6-liter

2.4-liter

2.0-liter

Fuel System:                           Gas Direct Injection

Drive Type                              FWD

Gearbox:                                  2.4: 6-speed

1.6: 7-speed

2.0: 8-speed

Unladen Weight:                    3247-3527-pounds

Length:                                    191.1-inches

Width:                                     73.4-inches

Height:                                     58.1-inches

Wheelbase:                             110.4-inches

Cargo Volume:                       16.3-cubic feet

Cd:                                            0.27

Mileage:

2.4: 25 city/36 highway/29 avg

1.6: 28 city/37 highway/31 avg

2.0: 23 city/32 highway/26 avg

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”40″ gal_title=”2018 Hyundai Sonata”]