Ushering in a new dynamic era for Kia Motors, the all-new 2018 Stinger is the culmination of a years-long journey fueled by the company’s bold and adventurous spirit. A five-passenger sportback poised to redefine a segment currently populated by European automakers, the Stinger promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia’s industry-leading quality and reliability. Offered with multiple engine and drivetrain configurations and luxurious accommodations, the Stinger is planned to go on sale in the U.S. in December. Final pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.
“Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us and after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world, that dream is now a reality,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nürburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”
Instantly recognizable as a direct evolution of the concept that preceded it, the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his talented team of designers in Frankfurt. Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in Korea and on the grueling Nürburgring racing circuit.
Now I don’t mean to ruffle any feathers here. There are definitely two philosophies to this idea and no matter which side you choose – you’re not wrong – it’s a personal preference. That being said, I’m sort of on the fence when it comes to de-badging or re-badging the Kia Stinger. Here’s why…
I was just driving along behind a Kia Optima and thought to myself, “Ya know – the Kia badge isn’t really that bad”. I’m not sure if they’ve slightly updated the design in recent years – but I think it looks kind of classy with its simplicity. On the other hand, it’s stood for a brand that sold cheap products for as long as many of us can remember.
A company’s brand perception is very important. Look at how long it’s taken Cadillac to regain any ground in the luxury automobile market. They used to be considered the “Standard of the World”. If you’re not too young, you’ll have grown up hearing people say, “It’s the Cadillac of this” or “the Cadillac of that”. Driving a Cadillac meant that you achieved a certain level of success and you could then afford to own and drive the very best the world had to offer.
The 2018 Kia Stinger
The extremely crowded midsize four-door sedan segment just got a new competitor, and it comes from, unusually, Korea. It’s no secret Kia has slowly evolved into one of the top manufacturers in the last decade or so. This once “cheap” alternative manufacturer is now a top contender, up there with Japan, America and Europe’s finest. Their latest edition to the lineup, dubbed the Stinger, is a four-door midsize sedan with a sporty twist. It’s aimed squarely at the likes of Audi’s A5 Sportback, BMW’s 4-Series Gran Coupe and even the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, but one has to wonder if this newcomer can compete with the already established line of rivals.
Well, if looks are any indication, we’d say yes. Although the unmistakable Kia DNA is still there, there’s something extremely appealing and charismatic about the Stinger. The elongated hood with the sloping roofline gives it a sporty silhouette, and the chopped off rear end is just the proverbial cherry on top. There’s no two ways about it, this is a handsome brute. It’s not as elegant as the Giulia or as understated as the A5 Sportback, but then again, it’s not trying to be. It’s a bold design, something which evokes a response. If you told us Kia would be churning out something that looked like this just a few years ago, we’d have laughed at it and quickly dismissed the statement. They have though, and to say it’s gorgeous would be an understatement. The name isn’t too bad either: Stinger. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?