Kia announced that they would be sending to the Detroit Auto Show a concept car called the GT4 Stinger. Along with the official name the company announced this with car will have a new image bringing into focus the “Tiger Nose” grill.
However the grill isn’t the only eye-opener but there are also the vertical LED headlights that have a striking appearance. There are the brake cooling vents and carbon fiber front splitter just below the bumper and 20″ wheels. There is a lot of anticipation after having a look at the pictures.
To add to the attention grabbing front-end, the car has 315 horsepower carried by a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine and a manual six-speed transmission. This car is envisioned as a challenge to Subaru, Toyota and Scion to put some excitement and freshness back into their BR-Z, GT-86 and FR-S models.
The design of the car was concieved at Kia’s design team in Irvine, California. This team also came up with the Cross GT concept car. The premise behind the car is a more modern understanding of a pony car with tight angles, a long hood and shortened overhangs. The splitter on the front end of the car is made of carbon fiber and the rather large grill has is lit in such a way that the car has a soft white glow.
Compared to the Cadenza and the Forte, the exterior is shorter than the latter but the width is wider than the former. It’s 49.5 inch height and sloping roof make it sit lower than Porsche’s Cayman S. The dimensions are as follows:
wheelbase: 103.1 inches
width: 74.4 inches
height: 49.2 inches
curb weight: 2,874 pounds
weight distribution: 52 / 49
The interior design of the cockpit is consistent with the overall theme of the design as the pedals are crafted from aluminium and the floor is covered with rubber as opposed to carpet. The steering wheel is a flat-bottom unit and the seats are large and racing style bucket units. The car has a distinct minimalist appeal to it with straps on the doors instead of a handle and there is no stereo.
Featuring the 315 horsepower, 2.0 liter turbocharged engine the car can get off the line quite nicely. For the reason that the engine is based on the Optima racer which is rated at 400 horses, there is ample opportunity to up the ante if you want to increase the power.
The six-speed transmission sends all that power to the rear-wheel drive train. A clutch pedal is not the neccessity that it was some years ago due to the emergence of dual-clutch automatics. Still, there is something to be said for the raw driving aesthetic of switching the gears manually.
The 20-inch wheels are enclosed in Pirelli tires and placed intimatly into the corners of the car. The “Ignition Yellow” paint job are set nicely against the rather large rims and brake-set. The brakes in particular are Brembo Gran Turismo 15-inch, cross-drilled rotors and four-piston calipers which mimic those fitted to the Z06 Corvette.
This is a fine performance car with enough design and power to change the performance market for a while. Although there are no plans to take the car to full production, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if they did.