2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version

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Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version - Exteriors, Interiors and Details

About the Car

2020 Kia Stinger GTS UK Version

Kia is bringing back the golden age of beautiful and elegant high-performance gran turismo cars with the stunning Stinger GT S, the most adventurous model in the company’s history.

The Stinger GT S is the first classic grand tourer from Kia and the first rear-wheel-drive model the company has introduced to Europe. With power coming from a 361bhp direct-injection twin-turbo V6 engine driving through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it is also the fastest-accelerating Kia ever, with a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds.

Six years in the making, it has evolved from the Kia GT Concept revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. In the intervening years many people questioned whether Kia would be bold enough to step outside its comfort zone and sanction a production model, but the company was simply waiting until the time was right to do so. That time is now.

The Stinger GT S was designed at Kia’s Frankfurt studios under the watch of President of Design and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer and European Head of Design Gregory Guillaume. Prototypes have covered the equivalent of 27 trips around the Equator – taking in extreme climate testing in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North and South America – to perfect the car, and many development models have done at least 480 laps (10,000 kilometres) of the tortuous Nürburgring Nordschleife. The testing regime was headed by Kia’s Head of Vehicle Test and High Performance Development, Albert Biermann.

The GT S is the first of what will eventually be a five-model Stinger range, with further versions due to be launched alongside the GT S.  As the fastest and most powerful of the five, it features electronic suspension damping and Brembo brakes, while its advanced technologies include a comprehensive suite of electronic driver assistance systems, full connectivity and a head-up display (HUD) of essential driver information onto the windscreen. The HUD and electronic tilt and reach adjustment of the steering column are yet more firsts for Kia in Europe.

gran turismo, not a sports car

The Stinger GT S is not a hard-edged sports car created to be brutally fast at the expense of comfort. Rather, it is about the joy of the journey, where getting to the final destination can be an anti-climax.

“The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive,” says Gregory Guillaume. “This car is all about the journey. It’s about passion. To embody that passion we believe that proportion is everything. From the wheelbase to the greenhouse, the width and the height – even the shape of individual body panels – getting the perfect balance is critical.” The Stinger GT S is 4,830mm long, 1,870mm wide and just 1,400mm tall, and has a 2,905mm wheelbase.

It was inspired by the elegant grand tourers Guillaume saw as a child growing up in 1970s France, wafting their occupants effortlessly from Paris to St Tropez and other glamour spots on the Riviera. Even as a young boy Guillaume was drawing his own ideas for elegant grand tourers, hoping that one day they might become reality. They were his inspiration for the 2011 GT Concept and, subsequently, the Stinger.

The car exhibits classic gran turismo proportions – long bonnet, short front overhang, long wheelbase, cabin positioned towards the rear of the car, lengthy rear overhang beneath broad shoulders and a ‘Coke-bottle’ nip in the waist. It sets a template for Kia’s bold and exciting future and is the final step in the company’s transition from a manufacturer of purely rational, durable, value-centric cars to one able to compete with the world’s best for desirability, design and technology.

This may be a new kind of Kia, but the design cues which have stood the company in good stead since Schreyer joined in 2006 are all in evidence. What Guillaume calls the “sleek and sharky” front end has a new interpretation of Kia’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille mounted between complex headlamp units. There is a castellated upper edge to the windscreen. And the flanks are simple and unadorned. Visual engagement also comes from the large lower grille and air intake, dark chrome highlights, bold rear diffuser with quad tailpipes and 19-inch wheels.

What exterior decoration does appear is there to aid aerodynamics and ensure the car remains stable at the high speeds it is capable of. At the front there are air curtains and finned gills behind the wheel arches to reduce wake as turbulent air passes around the large wheels and tyres. The final shape of the car called for intense collaboration between designers and aerodynamicists to make airflow around the car as smooth as possible without diluting the stunning styling. As a result, the bodywork has been tapered slightly towards the rear and there is a partially flat underfloor tray, while the rear spoiler has taken on a slight ducktail shape to reduce lift. Even the roof was lowered slightly to give Stinger more of an aerofoil profile.

An interior fit for cross-continent travel

The luxurious interior is a blend of cocooning intimacy and space for five people and their luggage. Occupants slip down into their low-slung Nappa leather seats. There is a horizontal sweep to the high-mounted, wing-shaped dashboard – also covered in leather – which is broken only by the 8.0-inch touchscreen for the navigation and infotainment system, and leather also adorns the door armrests, the D-shaped steering wheel and the partially chromed gearshifter.

The seats are snug and enveloping, and the two in front have eight-way power adjustment – with a memory function on the driver’s side – and a two-way power cushion extender plus four-way power lumbar adjustment. The front seats and steering wheel are heated and ventilated, while the outer rear seats are also heated. To further ensure a perfect driving position for any driver, there is electronic tilt and reach adjustment of the steering column.

The luxurious ambience is enhanced by an aluminium-finish centre console, a chrome strip running all the way around the cabin, suede-feel headlining, satin chrome interior door handles, aluminium pedals, stainless steel door scuff plates and five aeronautically inspired spoked circular air vents.

For comfort in all climates, dual automatic air conditioning is fitted, while to aid the driver there is a 7.0-inch LCD Thin Film Transistor (TFT) supervision cluster and a customisable head-up display which allows key information – speed, navigation instructions and audio, cruise control and blind spot detection messages –  to be projected onto the windscreen. There is also a 360-degree Around-View monitor.

One of the highlights of the infotainment features is a concert hall-quality, 15-speaker harman/kardon™ premium sound system with subwoofer, external amp and front centre speaker. It includes Clari-Fi, which restores the sound often lost when digital music files are heavily compressed, and QuantumLogic Surround Sound, which redistributes signals from the original recording to deliver multi-dimensional playback. The infotainment system incorporates a DAB radio, MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth with music streaming. Additionally Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ offer voice control.

Powertrain perfectly tuned for long-distance touring

Grand tourers should not only be beautiful, comfortable and luxurious – they must also be powerful. The 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbo engine chosen for the Stinger GT S is ideally suited to the car’s role as a long-distance gran turismo.

It makes the GT S the fastest-accelerating Kia ever, with a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 168mph. The engine is a member of the Lambda II family and develops its 361bhp at 6,000rpm and a huge 510Nm of torque starting at 1,300rpm and continuing uninterrupted until 4,500rpm.

It drives the rear wheels through an electronic eight-speed automatic gearbox, designed in-house, which rewards drivers with immediate shifts and optimum fuel efficiency. The transmission marks Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter more typically found in aviation and racing applications. CPA reduces torsional vibrations through the drivetrain.

The transmission offers up to five different shift and throttle programmes, accessed through the car’s electronic Drive Mode Selector. Drivers can leave the car to shift for itself, or change gears with steering wheel-mounted paddles. A limited slip differential is fitted so that torque is transferred to the rear wheel with most grip.

ISG, Kia’s engine stop/start system to ensure no fuel is wasted and no emissions are released when the car is stationary, is included. The engine cuts out as soon as the driver brakes to a standstill and restarts when the brake pedal is released.

To ensure occupants can enjoy the refined sporting tones of the engine, the GT S is fitted with an Active Sound System – another first for Kia. This relays the engine note to the cabin through the car’s audio system rather than the more conventional actuator. It was engineered in Europe and can be customised through the Drive Mode Selector according to which of the five programmable settings the driver has chosen.

Sportiness with comfort: the ideal gran turismo combination

gran turismo must provide exceptional comfort for occupants on the long distances it is designed to cover, but it must also reward enthusiastic drivers with pliant but controlled suspension, alert steering which does not make the car nervous, and powerful brakes. Thanks to the extensive testing regime on all kinds of roads, in all weathers and across several continents, culminating in the mileage accumulated by prototypes around the Nürburgring, the Stinger GT S meets those demands. Right-hand-drive cars have undergone additional testing in the UK to meet the unique challenges of the country’s roads.

The fully independent suspension features MacPherson struts at the front and a five-link set-up with double wishbones at the rear. The Stinger GT S introduces adaptive Dynamic Stability Damping Control (DSDC), which can be changed through the Drive Mode Selector. DSDC allows the driver to choose a more comfort-oriented Normal setting or a Sport setting with more powerful damping force. DSDC varies the stroke length of the shock absorbers according to information on acceleration, braking and steering obtained from sensors.

The Stinger GT S has a variable-ratio version of Kia’s rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS), and this can also be adjusted via the Drive Mode Selector. The Normal setting requires less turning effort from on-centre, becoming progressively firmer as more lock is added. Sport requires more initial effort, while shorter gearing ensures more immediate response by reducing the need for larger steering inputs. Steering response also benefits from mounting the electric motor on the rack rather than the column. The steering therefore provides the same duality as the suspension.

The brakes have had more development work than those on any previous Kia to ensure they are up to the performance of the engine. There are 350mm (front) and 340mm (rear) ventilated brake discs. The brakes were co-developed with Brembo and are holed and grooved, to provide high heat capacity with low fade, even in repeated heavy use. They were developed on some of the highest mountain passes in Austria, Germany and Spain as well as around the Nürburgring. There are quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers.

The Stinger GT S rides on 19-inch alloy wheels with 225/40 R19 tyres at the front and even wider 255/35 R19 tyres at the rear.

Fully equipped for a modern gran turismo

The Stinger GT S may evoke memories of the golden age of gran turismos, but it is not a retro car. Its advanced driver aids take into account that roads are busier and there are more distractions than yesteryear, while its 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system acknowledges that drivers no longer use maps to find their way around but expect the car to guide them to their destination, and that they expect to remain fully connected throughout the journey.

Advanced driver aids include Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, which automatically intervenes to stop the car if the driver fails to respond to a potential accident, Lane Keep Assist to prevent a driver straying into an adjoining lane accidentally and High Beam Assist to adjust the headlights according to other traffic and local lighting. Driver Attention Warning alerts a tired driver that it is time to take a break, and there is a Speed Limit Information system.

These are supplemented with Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert: together, they act as an extra pair of eyes for the driver, warning of vehicles approaching out of eye-line when changing lanes or exiting parallel parking spaces. An Active Bonnet is standard to provide additional protection for pedestrians’ heads in a collision.

The Stinger GT S also has Electronic Stability Control linked to Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) to correct potential skids without any intervention from the driver. VSM incorporates a new dynamic torque vectoring system which monitors driver inputs and road conditions and automatically applies power and braking force to the inner rear wheel to minimise understeer and enhance tractability and steering feel.

The standard touchscreen navigation has full European mapping and a Traffic Messaging Channel. Kia Connected Services with TomTom gives access to traffic, speed camera and weather information plus local search details in a number of categories, from the location of Kia dealerships to nearby restaurants. This is supplemented by Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity which, via pre-downloaded apps on a suitable smartphone, links the car to maps, music, podcasts and texts through voice commands.

There are front and rear USB ports, plus a wireless charger for powering mobile devices.

Warranty and Servicing

The extensive testing regime means that the Stinger GT S is able to enjoy the same seven-year/100,000-mile warranty as any of the company’s other models. This declaration of faith in the car’s reliability and quality covers all labour and parts except those subject to normal wear and tear, and is transferable if the car is sold before the time/mileage limit expires.

The Stinger is available with Kia’s ‘Kia Care’ service plans, which have been developed to provide customers with a wide range of service plan options for any Kia model within the first seven years of the vehicle’s life – matching its industry-leading seven-year warranty.


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