Kia Stinger GT Takes On Germany’s Best With 365 Horsepower Twin-Turbocharged V6 And AWD

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It might not have the brawny, rumbling ferociousness of a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, but the new Kia Stinger is going after an equally fierce product segment. The vehicle will find itself doing battle with vehicles like the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback, and it just might be a real winner.

The Stinger is based on a new rear-wheel-drive (RWD) platform, which is critical in this segment. Base vehicles are powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine that produces 255 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque. That makes it very competitive with similar engines from BMW and Audi. However, the engine that everyone will likely want to sample is the 3.3-liter V6 (found in the Stinger GT), which is twin-turbocharged and generates 365 horsepower and 376 foot-pounds of torque from 1,300 RPM to 4,500 RPM. And if you like, you can option the vehicle up with all-wheel-drive.

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Kia says that the uprated engine is good enough to send the Stinger GT from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and it will keep on accelerating to a top speed of 167 mph. However, we doubt that you’d want to test the top speed here in the States unless you’re on a test track.

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As impressive as its specs might be, the thing that will likely get people into a Kia dealership is the styling. This is one good lookin’ vehicle to our eyes and has nice “long hood” and “cab rearward” proportions. Although we can spy a bit of Kia Optima in the rear door and roofline styling, this vehicle is actually a hatchback rather than an ordinary sedan for increased versatility.

We do have a bit of bad news to deliver, however, for purist enthusiasts. The Stinger GT will not be available with a manual transmission with either engine. “There was no request from the marketplace for that,” said Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development Group. Instead, you will find a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

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The Kia Stinger GT will go on sale later this year in the United States; pricing will be announced closer to its launch. Kia does say, however, that it will be a value leader compared to its German competition.