Kia South Africa is about to do what nobody else would dare, it’s launching a luxury sedan locally. At a time when Ford has retracted it sedan business in America and the notion of a four-door car with a boot is being eroded by SUVs and crossovers, Kia’s remained committed to illustrating what its engineers are capable of, by bringing Stinger GT to Mzansi.
Dimensionally it’s an A4/C-Class/3 Series rival, which is a market segment most Asian brands have long since given up competing in. Strikingly styled, as only Kia can, the Stinger GT will be South Africans first real opportunity to sample a Korean performance car.
Stinger GT specification is generous, as one would expect from a Kia, with 720Watt Harmon Kardon surround sound and every conceivable comfort and convenience cabin feature. In terms of configuration, it’s a dedicated rear-wheel drive platform, with independent suspension at all four wheel corners and an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift override.
When you are competing against S4, C43 and 340i engine performance is paramount and the 3.3-litre V6 powering Stinger GT is twin-turbocharged to that purpose. Boosting to 272kW, and producing 510Nm at only 1300rpm, this is by far the most powerful Korean car ever marketed in South Africa.
Performance statistics are keen, with a 270kph top sped (no limiter?) and 0-100kph sprint time of 4.9 seconds. It has all the elements of an inspiring performance sedan, but the rivals are amongst the best cars you can buy. And priced at R859 995, it’s right amongst them.