ISSUE NO.2
A JOURNEY OF OUR DREAM

THE FOUNDATION

AN AUTHENTIC GRAN TURISMO IS NOW A REALITY AFTER YEARS OF COMMITMENT AND HARD WORK FROM A PASSIONATE GROUP OF DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND EXECUTIVES AROUND THE WORLD.
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2018 KIA STINGER
A new paradigm of grand touring
Introducing the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger. Kia’s GT Concept Car HAS come to life as a true Grand Touring vehicle, complete with rear- or all-wheel drive, luxury amenities and head-turning design. Unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show and on sale later this year, the Kia Stinger is more than a fastback sports sedan. It’s Kia redefined.
best in show
2018 Kia Stinger makes world debut at North American International Auto Show
2018 Kia Stinger makes world debut at North American International Auto Show Click to view more
“From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”
Orth Hedrick, Vice President of Product Planning, Kia Motors America
At an event typically dominated by introductions from American auto companies, Kia Motors stole the spotlight with the world debut of the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger at the North American International Auto Show. A five-passenger fastback sports sedan poised to redefine a segment currently dominated by European automakers, the Stinger promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia Motors’ industry-leading quality and reliability. Offered with multiple engine and drivetrain configurations and luxurious amenities, the Stinger is planned to go on sale in overseas markets late this year.
“Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world,” said Orth Hedrick, Vice President of Product Planning, Kia Motors America. “From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”
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WHAT MAKES
A TRUE
GRAN TURISMO?
To bring the 2018 Kia Stinger to life, Kia Motors’ chief design officer Peter Schreyer turned to his design team in Frankfurt. But what makes it AN authentic gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance drivING? Years of commitment and passion HAVE resultED in bold style, nimble performance and undeniable luxury.
Instantly recognizable as a direct evolution of the GT concept car that preceded it, the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ Chief Design Officer, and his talented team of designers in Frankfurt. Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, Head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development, and his group of engineers in Korea as well as on the grueling Nurburgring racing circuit.
But what makes a true gran turismo? This question was the foundation for a years-long journey that began when the GT concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Although every Kia design study has a purpose, the GT concept was something considered by many outside the company as little more than a dream for a brand known for producing mass-market transportation rooted in value. But the GT ignited embers of passion that sparked a fire within the organization and over the next five years that fire would grow beyond fantasy and morph into reality.
“When I was younger
it was the time of
the gran turismo,
cars that were elegant and fast.
People traveled from Paris
to the South of France in style.
This was somehow our dream,
a gran turismo.”
Peter Schreyer, President & Chief Design Officer
Once the Stinger was green lighted, that gran turismo question became a mantra as development commenced.
2011 Kia GT Concept Model
2011 Kia GT Concept Model Click to view more
Coming from Kia, the design had to be bold. And it was. But it also had to be nimble and fast while also luxurious and quiet. It had to achieve the perfect balance of ride and handling and seat five comfortably with room for luggage. It had to be a lot of things, but most of all, it had to be an authentic gran turismo. And it is.
2011 Kia GT Concept - 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show Video
2011 Kia GT Concept - 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show Video Click to view more
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A NEW CLASS IS BORN
AN AUTHENTIC GRAN TURISMO IS NOW A REALITY AFTER YEARS OF COMMITMENT AND HARD WORK
FROM A PASSIONATE GROUP OF DESIGNERS AND ENGINEERS AROUND THE WORLD.
REINTERPRETATION OF THE PROTOTYPICAL SPORTS SEDAN
Turning a concept into a production car is no small task and Schreyer looked no further than Kia’s Frankfurt studio – the birthplace of the GT concept – to bring the Stinger to life. From its sleek front clip through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence. Key to its road presence are the rear-wheel-drive proportions; a long hood and short front overhang, an extended wheelbase to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang with strong shoulders. The Stinger’s stance and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than boy-racer aggression.
From its sleek front clip through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence. Key to its road presence are the rear-wheel-drive proportions; a long hood and short front overhang, an extended wheelbase to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang with strong shoulders. The Stinger’s stance and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than boy-racer aggression.
“A true gran turismo,
a car for spirited long-distance driving, is not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace.”
Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer, Kia Europe Design Center.
ALWAYS ONE STEP AHEAD: DRIVE WISE
High-tech amenities and unexpected features have become part of Kia’s DNA, and the Stinger continues that tradition. Multiple Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) seamlessly work together to enhance the driving experience. A Kia first is the new Driver Attention Alert (DAA) system to help combat distracted or drowsy driving. The system monitors a number of inputs from the vehicle and the driver and will sound a warning chime and display a graphic on the instrument binnacle that it’s time to take a break from driving if it senses the driver’s attention level has been significantly reduced.
2018 Kia Stinger makes world debut at North American International Auto Show
DYNAMIC + PREMIUM = DESIGN PERFECTION
The Stinger’s proportions are reminiscent of a perfectly fitting suit. Its strong mask with full LED headlamps showcase a precise sense of balance. The side flanks that quickly break away from the silhouette form “Coke bottle” curves, giving the Stinger a voluptuous look from any angle. Meanwhile, the shape and positioning of reflectors, which serve aesthetic, functional and regulatory purposes, is a hot debate among designers. What about a long nose and long rear overhangs? And to what extent should design cues from classic sports cars be drawn upon when creating a modern sports sedan? With its fastback silhouette, Kia designers have recalled supercars from yesteryear with bold, flared rear fenders, and the Stinger is as close as it comes to having perfect proportions.
COMFORT WITHOUT SACRIFICING PERFORMANCE: INGENIOUS PACKAGING
The fact that gran turismos are cars designed for long-distance driving meant that we needed to develop a vehicle that provided driver and passenger comfort. In addition, the car had to have the capacity to carry luggage. Increasing the Stinger’s wheelbase guaranteed more cabin space. Not only that, the hip-point was lowered in the front seats, thereby increasing the driver’s center of balance and improving driver posture. One of the downfalls of a sports sedan is often the cramped rear-seats, so the Stinger’s wheel-base was lengthened and overall width was increased, while the hip-point of the rear seats was lowered and the roof was optimized to to ensure maximum passenger comfort.
ZERO TO ONE HUNDRED: ADVANCED POWERTRAINS
If the chassis symbolizes the bones of a gran turismo, then surely the available powertrains represent its heart. Oriented longitudinally and set rearward beneath the long, sculpted hood, a choice of two turbocharged engines are available. The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine produces an estimated 255 horsepower at approximately 6,200 rpm. Max torque of 260 lb.-ft. is available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm. Performance credentials are further enhanced through the available 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which is anticipated to produce 365 horsepower at an estimated 6,000 rpm and offer max torque of 376 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm. Meanwhile, a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine will be available in some regions.
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ENGINEERED BY EXCELLENCE: Q&A WITH EXECS BEHIND THE STINGER’S DEVELOPMENT
INTERVIEW WITH PETER SCHREYER,
GREGORY GUILLAUME AND
ALBERT BIERMANN.
Traditional gran turismos are often known for their somewhat stereotypical design; and it is a style that has been emulated by many automakers over the years. But the Stinger, while paying tribute to the true sports sedan classics of yesteryear, aims to create a new style all its own. Nevertheless, a car cannot be called a genuine gran turismo merely based on its exterior styling, as it requires the brute performance that gives credence to its sporty appearance. Kia designers and engineers on several continents have worked more closely together than ever before to create a truly polished modern-day gran turismo that will satisfy the senses of even the most critical motoring enthusiasts. Let’s hear for ourselves how they breathed life into one of the industry’s most anticipated new cars of 2017.
Interview with Peter Schreyer and Gregory Guillaume
Interview with Peter Schreyer and Gregory Guillaume Click to view more
Tell us about the successful debut of the Stinger after such a long development process.
You cannot believe how excited I am about this car. Working on this car was a dream come true. I still get chills when I think about this car, although I have been thinking about it for a very long time. It fills me with pride, and now I cannot wait to see it on the road. People think our credo – The Power to Surprise – is just a catchphrase. It’s not. This is our ethos, and part of our lifeblood. The Stinger proves it.
“With the Stinger, the way we developed it,
it was quite a long journey. And so when I see the car now
I always think back to the original concept car, the GT. When you look at the Stinger, you can sense the passion that our designers had when working on this once-in-a-lifetime project. ”
Peter Schreyer, President & Chief Design Officer
What does the Stinger mean to Kia?
It sometimes surprises me that there are still people who don’t know just how good our cars look, and this car will reach out to them like no other Kia has done before. Kia used to be synonymous with value, but we have been a ‘challenger brand’ for quite some time now, with people recognizing our commitment to being a design-led brand. With the new Stinger, we aim to take this to a completely different level while eliciting an intuitive response from consumers thanks to the car’s style and performance.
Tell us about the origins of the GT concept car.
The idea behind the concept car was simple. It was to channel the spirit of iconic 1970s gran turismo cars. These elegant and powerful vehicles were capable of whisking passengers from Paris to the Côte d'Azur for the weekend in impeccable style and at high speed. The GT concept embodied grace, flair and dynamism, without being aggressive or gauche. But it was more than just a new design – the GT Concept was a template for Kia’s exciting and bold future.
All our concept cars have a reason, a purpose. They’re not meant for the designer’s indulgence – they illustrate what we think. Ultimately, what matters is what goes out onto the streets, and not what stays in the design studio – and we knew the GT concept would one day enter production. We were convinced from day one that we would take this concept car from a motor show plinth to the road, keeping in mind that we had the freedom within Kia to stretch the brand in many directions. There was no doubt that we were going to build it, and so it became our halo performance car. It is also why a GT performance trim is being applied to many of our current models. It’s the sire of all our performance aspirations.
What is the overall focus of the design of the Stinger?
From its sleek and sharp nose to its svelte flanks and powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence. Key to this poise are its rear-wheel drive proportions: the thrusting bonnet and short front overhang that hint at its performance, the extended wheelbase which delivers a spacious four-seater layout, and the long rear overhang complete with broad shoulders. It was all about stance, proportion and balance. We sought out elegance and athleticism rather than aggression and brutality.
what design elements set apart the Stinger as a gran turismo?
Take a walk around the vehicle and the gran turismo motifs are are clear to see. The bonnet is unique amongst Kia products with an inset ‘island’ opening, a style synonymous with performance-oriented cars. Moreover, the low roofline and narrow glasshouse are visually enhanced by the chromed accent line that runs from the A-pillar to the base of the rear screen. The distinctly creased flanks reveal, only on closer examination, a strong ‘coke bottle’ nip at the waist to reinforce the dimensions of the Stinger’s broad-shoulders
the dimensions of the Stinger’s broad-shoulders that add to the car’s muscularity. Even greater visual engagement comes from the large front air intake, the lower grille, dark chrome highlights throughout, finned wheel arch gills and a bold rear diffuser. Collectively, these elements further enhance the new Stinger’s muscularity with a subtle boost of intent and purpose. Such exterior gran turismo cues are complimented by the layout and atmosphere of the low-slung cabin. Drop down into the leather-swathed interior and it’s clear that an ideal balance has been struck between cocooning intimacy and legstretching spaciousness, with generous accommodation and storage for passengers and their luggage.
Kia Stinger Winter Testing in Sweden
Kia Stinger Winter Testing in Sweden Click to view more
“What was so special
working on this project is that
we worked hand in hand with the engineers and we got such a fantastic technical package and technical layout that enabled us as designers to just focus on creating the beautiful car the Stinger has become.”
Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer of Kia Europe Design Center
What technical steps have been taken to improve the performance of the Stinger?
Our design team wanted a car that looked the way it drove and drove the way it looked. To fulfill this brief, the ride and handling of the Stinger’s dynamics were honed at the Nürburgring to ensure the Stinger can handle even the most demanding road situations with unflappable poise.
To be a true gran turismo, it must be able to reach top speed anywhere and under any circumstance, which requires superior capacity in terms of power, drivability, safety and durability. The Stinger satisfies all the conditions. From the Nürburgring circuit in Germany, also known as the “Green Hell,” to the arctic cold of Arjeplog in Sweden, extreme testing has proven the Stinger’s brilliant power output, drivability and durability. The Stinger displays high-speed driving performance and innovation like nothing you’ve ever witnessed before from a mainstream
automaker. At the testing center in Arjeplog, for example, around 150 members of the Stinger’s engineering team keenly evaluated the myriad of safety functions interconnected with driving stability so we could perfectly fine-tune the Stinger and provide the driver with the greatest driving thrills.
The Curve Ahead-Episode2 (The Fastest-accelerating Kia)
On The Road, Kia Stinger Click to view more
“ I think for the Kia brand,
the Stinger is like a special event,
because nobody expects such
a car, not just the way it looks
but also the way it drives.
It’s a whole different animal.”
Albert Biermann, Head of Vehicle Test &
High Performance Development
Tell us about the locations where the Stinger’s performance was tested.
"THE GREEN HELL,” NÜRBURGRING CIRCUIT IN GERMANY
The Nürburgring circuit places cars under immense pressure. It is a well-known fact that driving 6,214 miles (10,000 km) on the Nürburgring is like driving 111,847 milies (180,000 km) on normal roads. The track totals 12.9 miles (20.8 km) in length and the difference in elevation between the lowest and highest parts of the circuit is 984 feet (300 m). There are 73 corners, steep downhill slopes, S-bends, high-speed straights, and so on; so nearly all road conditions are reproduced. The Stinger has proven its durability after being driven more than 6,213 miles (10,000 km) on the legendary Nürburgring.
MANDO AND MOBIS WINTER TESTING CENTER IN ARJEPLOG, SWEDEN
At the Arjeplog Testing Center, approximately 150 members of the Stinger’s engineering team tested the Stinger in low-grip conditions, and fine-tuned the Stinger’s ride and handling precision and comfort, to produce a model that leaves little to be desired – even for the true motoring enthusiast. In extreme arctic conditions, the engineering team focused on assessing the functions that were most intimately related to driving stability such as the anti-lock braking system (ABS), steering control system (TCS/ESC) and all-wheel drive capabilities (AWD).