Monday, 27 January 2014

Kia GT4 Stinger

Words - Daniel Bevis; photos - Kia

Remember the Kia Pride? That grim little badge-engineered Mazda 121/Ford Festiva of the late eighties? Yeah, that's not really what Kia are about any more.
Several years of quality output from Kia and Hyundai have taken the stuffing out of that 'the Koreans are coming!' hysteria, with South Korean brands positioning themselves squarely and credibly on the global map, melding quality and longevity with keen pricing and unrivalled warranty schemes. But I don't think anyone saw the GT4 Stinger coming...

Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show a couple of weeks ago, the Stinger is a 2+2 concept with a turbocharged 315bhp 2.0-litre four-pot and a six-speed 'box. Designed in California, its focus is on visceral thrills and driver engagement (hence the manual gearbox, in a world of ever-slicker self-shifters); it's got centre-lock wheels and vast Brembos to please the Gran Turismo generation, but the key element of this Ignition Yellow concept is that it's proudly wearing a Kia badge on the nose. And why not? They've brought the name from embarrassment through acceptance and into credibility, and it seems that desirability is the next rung on the ladder. With design and integrity like this, how can they fail?

No comments: