|Prior to the 2014 NAIAS (North American International Auto Show), Motorsportchannel.com featured the upcoming Kia Stinger GT4 Concept. Now, the Kia Stinger GT4 is officially a reality with its premiere in Detroit.|
It is Kia’s intentions to make an affordable and aggressively-designed sports car for the generation to come, with the Stinger GT4 Concept. This conceptual rear-drive 2+2 sports car is meant to place man and machine in harmony on the road or track. The design is loosely based on the Track’ster concept by Kia’s Design Center America. Additionally, the Stinger GT4 design is inspired by the Korean marque’s track cars, the two GT5-class Optimas, of the Pirelli World Challenge Racing series. Kia secured the runners up spot in the Pirelli World Challenge’s manufacturers’ ranking last year and previously, the brand had attained the 2012 Grand-Am Sports Car challenge Driver and Team titles with the Kia Forte Koup.
Kia Stinger GT4 hints at future of the Korean marque’s design language
The Kia Stinger GT4 concept stresses on weight reduction, functionality and an pumped up drive. It is a match between a Grand Tourer and an every day car or as Kia U.S. deemed it; embraces the elemental experience of truly engaging with the vehicle.
In a nutshell, the Kia Stinger GT4 takes on a sculpted “Ignition Yellow” body color with a customized chassis that includes independent double wishbone suspension. With a shorter wheelbase (103.1 inches) and overall length (169.7 inches) than a Forte sedan, a width (74.4 inches) greater than a Cadenza, and a swooping roofline nearly nine inches lower (49.2 inches) than a Rio subcompact, the GT4 Stinger cuts a rather ‘menacing’ figure. It tips the scales at a scant 2,874 pounds, and weight distribution is spread nearly perfectly at 52 percent up front and 48 percent at the rear. The GT4 Stinger also features a quick-ratio steering rack for direct feedback and uncompromised control.
Kia’s Chief designer Peter Schreyer who obviously had a hand in the design of the Stinger GT4 confirmed that the car has a shrink-wrapped appearance. In other words, the car’s body panels are formed around the chassis instead of welded to it. Kia’s signature Tiger grille, with a surround that glows white and has multi-layered satin black borders, makes the front-end instantly recognizable. Flanking the grille on both sides are vertical LED headlamps, and front-brake cooling vents intricately molded into the bumper provide a clean, smooth appearance. A carbon fiber front splitter mounted below the bumper provides added down force for the car at high speed to keep the GT4 Stinger’s front tyres firmly planted to the tarmac.
The long hood gently rises to meet the cowl. Two chrome accent pieces add visual interest to the otherwise ripple-less pond of Ignition Yellow sheet metal. The hood closely embraces the front wheel arches, creating two protruding muscular fenders above the front tyres. Continuing around the car, the transparent A-pillars provide a more than 270-degree view from the driver’s seat. The layered slots cut into the pillars reduce weight while improving outward visibility. Paying homage to the compact Soul, the greenhouse design provides an aggressive side profile. Similar to the Soul, the roof of the GT4 Stinger appears to “float” from the C-pillars. Along the rocker panels are satin black accent pieces with integrated functional cooling ducts to enhance air flow to the rear brakes. From the rear, the body widens to cover the large 275-series tyres. The glass hatch opens to reveal a built-in storage compartment and rear strut-tower brace. The LED rearlights illuminate from inside the outer edge of a blacked-out panel just above the dual exhaust ports in the rear bumper.
Interior-wise, the scheme is dominated by matte grey finish with chrome trimmings and yellow perforations on the front race-inspired seats. A pull of the billet-aluminum door handles reveal lightweight doors, while general carpeting is skipped for an adequately sized rubber floor mat underneath the billet-aluminum pedals. Front and center to the driver is a thick D-shaped steering and red LED-illuminated instrument panel with large tachometer and gear indicator. In keeping with the track theme and taking inspiration from sports and competition cars of the past, interior door handles have been replaced by red-stitched pull straps.
A able Turbocharged T-GDI powerplant for the Stinger GT4
A 2.0-liter turbo T-GDI 4-cylinder powerplant powers the car up to 315 horsepower and equally impressive torque which Kia U.S. has yet to denote. The power is put to the ground via a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels, which are wrapped in 275/35R-20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tyres. Whereas, the front tyres are instilled 235/35R-20 sizes for optimum grip and such. Stopping power is assured by the Brembo Gran Turismo two-piece 15-inch cross-drilled rotors and four-piston calipers.
While there are currently no plans to bring the concept to production, Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the concept that preceded them, and the GT4 Stinger provides a possible and highly provocative glimpse into Kia’s future.