Kia’s gran turismo Stinger is a real head-turner for all the right reasons

The stunning new Kia Stinger.
The stunning new Kia Stinger.

In the words of Victor Meldrew: “I don’t believe it!!!” This is the reaction of many I met last week when driving the new Kia Stinger. Why? Because nobody could get their heads around such a car having a Kia badge. Well it does, and that’s what so surprising about one of the sexiest cars that I have tested for quite a while.

Its design is overseen by Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer of Kia Motors, and Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer at Kia Motors Europe, and is what they describe as a true gran turismo (GT), a car for spirited long-distance driving.

Indeed as they said “it’s not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace”.

“The Kia Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey. It’s about passion.”

Well you get buckets of passion from the drive and the sheer beauty of the car. Inside, too, is a revelation, with sports leather throughout and metal inserts to remind you that you are in a special car.

Key to its road presence are its rear-wheel drive proportions – a long bonnet and short front overhang, an extended wheelbase to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang with strong, broad shoulders. What you get is a balanced car with an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than aggression and brutality.

Under the bonnet of the test car nestles a 2.2-litre 200hp diesel engine mated to an electronic eight-speed automatic gearbox driving the rear wheel. There are five driving modes: Smart, ECO, Comfort, Sport and at the top end, Sport +.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.