Kia GT4 Stinger Reveal: Ditching the Hamsters for Something Fierce
Chances are pretty good that if you don’t own a Kia vehicle, your most intimate familiarity with the brand is through dancing and exercising hamsters. Cute, right? Well, Kia seems to be calling for something of a sea change when it comes to their image. First, there was the sleek and luxurious look of the K900 luxury sedan. Now, Kia is stepping onto an entirely different plane with their GT4 Stinger reveal at the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). It’s fair to guess that there won’t be any cheery, smiley hamster-men shilling this sports car. More likely, Kia would opt for something feral, ferocious, and fast.
The GT4 Stinger reveal yielded more than even the teasers could have promised: a powerful-looking rear-drive 2+2 that promises to take the Kia brand to new places by recalling some of the legendary sports cars of the past. It’s got hallmarks of the 2012 Track’ster concept, and was in fact conceived by the same Kia California design team responsible for dreaming up its predecessor.
“Driving enjoyment was the number one priority in designing the GT4 Stinger,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center America (KDCA), in a press release. “It’s an authentic 2+2 sports car that can turn heads as a daily driver while also being right at home on the track. It’s about purity, simplicity and timelessness. The GT4 Stinger is a throwback to days when driving a car was a visceral experience that wasn’t muted by electronic gimmickry.”
The Kia GT4 Stinger reveal yielded the powertrain specs we were teased with late last week: a 2.0-liter turbocharged T-GDI four-cylinder supplies 315 horsepower, aided by a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission to power the rear wheels. The GT4 Stinger will sit on 275/35R-20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tires in the rear and 235/35R-20 Pirelli P-Zeros in the front, boast Brembo Gran Turismo two-piece rotors, and utilize a custom chassis with independent double wishbone suspension.
Most impressive, perhaps, was the fully-unveiled look of the GT4 Stinger: it is simple and aggressive with a low stance, bold front-fender styling that creates a prominent edge at the shoulders, and a striking floating roof/fastback profile.
The interior features molded leather bucket seats (appropriately race-inspired), intentionally-Spartan rubber floors, and an LED instrument panel. In a further ode to sports cars of the past, the GT4 Stinger replaces interior door handles with red-stitched pull straps. And for the stereo? In the GT4, you don’t need a stereo: you need only listen to the sweet music the engine makes as it tears up the track.
So, will the Kia GT4 Stinger reveal itself to a wider public by gracing showrooms in the near future? Are you ready to feel slightly cheated? Because there are currently no intentions to bring the Stinger to production. There aren’t enough sad-face Emojis in the world for that news.
“It’s a totally selfish design,” Kearns said. “The design team at KCDA is full of gearheads and enthusiasts, and the GT4 Stinger is the perfect car for that kind of crowd.”
We don’t know about you, but our mamas always taught us to play nice and share. So, we gearheads and auto enthusiasts of the world implore Kia: share the Stinger.
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