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2014-01-14 08:24

NEW KIA PACKS A STING: Kia hopes to grab its share of the sports car market with its most assertive model yet - the GT4 Stinger. Image: The NewsMarket

DETROIT, Michigan - Harkening back to the glory days of pure-bred, affordable sports cars, Kia unveiled its most assertive concept yet when the wraps came off its GT4 Stinger at the 2014 North American International Auto Show.

Kia's eye-catching design language moves in a bold new direction with the introduction of the GT4 Stinger.

Image gallery: 2014 Kia GT4 Stinger
Video: 2014 Kia GT4 Stinger in action

At 4.3m long, the GT4 Stinger is the same length as the Kia Cee'd but substantially lower and wider and with a shorter wheelbase.


Power is derived a tuned version of Kia's two-litre direct-injection petrol engine capable of 235kW. The engine transfers power to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

According to the automaker,:“The concept pushes the boundaries of performance with a rear-drive 2+2 sports car that places man and machine in harmony on road or track.”

It comes as no surprise that the GT4 Stinger is the wild child of Kia's California design team, home to its 2012 predecessor, the Track'ster concept. 


At the front there's the latest interpretation of Kia's "tiger nose" grille - now much flattened and way less like a nose - tiger's or otherwise - flanked by vertical diode-powered headlights. The clamshell bonnet has chromed accents. Its black A pillars, inspired by the Kia Soul, give the windscreen a wraparound look. The body widens at the rear and the rear LED's illuminate from a black panel that stretches the width of the car.

The interior has a minimalist look with rubber floor mats and sparse instrumentation. Kia said the GT4 Stinger's red fabric highlights were inspired by motorsport cars of the past.

Like the Track'ster, the GT4 Stinger's racy appeal is more than skin-deep. Emboldened by the track success in the Pirelli World Challenge racing series with a pair of turbocharged, GTS-class Optimas, Kia's US design team approached the GT4 Stinger project with a focus on weight reduction, functionality and performance.


Kia America's chief designer Tom Kearns told Wheels24: "Driving enjoyment was the No.1 priority in designing the GT4 Stinger. 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. If anyone were to ask if Kia has the credibility to build a car such as the GT4 Stinger. I would simply point out that Kia races – and wins – against some of the world's most legendary performance brands."

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