Kia is a type of comparatively new manufacturers that is constructed its status on low-cost automobiles that pack a lot in.
But the model is hoping to interrupt out of that price-driven mould with its first ever efficiency sedan, the Stinger.
In a world of wise, sanitised automobiles the Stinger packs a 3.3-litre turbocharged punch into a classy four-door physique.
What’s extra it sends its 272kW thrust to the rear wheels, mimicking the structure of a few of the world’s most fascinating sports activities automobiles.
What’s with RWD?
Front-wheel drive automobiles have much less weight and extra inside house than an equal rear-wheel drive 1. It’s all as a result of they do not have a giant driveshaft sending drive down the size of the automotive.
But when you begin creating numerous energy – and torque – the entrance wheels alone battle to include it and nonetheless do the steering with any semblance of grace.
That’s why efficiency automobiles have lengthy retained rear-drive configurations.
And, within the rush to make automobiles extra economical most mainstream manufacturers have adopted front-wheel drive.
Which is what makes the rear-drive structure of the Stinger particular.
Under the bonnet
Throw in a robust 3.3-litre V6 twin turbo engine and it makes for a potent mixture.
With 272kW and 510Nm it falls shy of its closest rival, the Holden Commodore SS (304kW/570Nm).
But it is daylight forward of extra mundane mainstream mid-sized automobiles similar to Toyota Camrys and Mazda6s.
And, when you’ve received $50-$60Ok to spend it makes for a tempting different to the European luxurious automobiles that dominate the entry-level luxurious section.
A Mercedes-Benz C-Class, for instance, in $61,900 C200 guise makes simply 135kW/300Nm – about half of that of the Kia newcomer.
Little marvel the Stinger has triggered a web based storm amongst automotive lovers. And little marvel it is attracting individuals who would by no means have thought of the model beforehand.
It’s not deliberate to be a high vendor – Kia says demand will outstrip provide for the primary 12 months and, even when extra automobiles head our means it would promote 500 automobiles a month – however it’s hoped to shine a highlight on a model greatest identified for affordable automobiles.
V8 versus V6 turbo
Even higher is that the Stinger arrives weeks earlier than Holden stops constructing its Commodore.
There will nonetheless be a Commodore – it’s going to be imported from Germany – but it surely will not be rear-wheel drive and it will not have a high-performance engine similar to the present automotive’s 6.2-litre V8.
So do not anticipate the extra luxurious and wise imported Commodore to be something like as quick and enjoyable because the Aussie-made V8.
Which is the place the Stinger is already gaining curiosity.
How does it drive?
The massive query, although, is does the fact reside as much as the looooong-hyped promise?
Yes … and no.
Yes, the three.3-litre V6 engine is robust and versatile throughout its rev vary. It’s fast – fast sufficient to launch the Stinger to 100km/h in about 5 seconds.
But it is no V8, one thing you discover most with the sound. There’s a muted growl – barely louder as soon as you choose Sport mode – but it surely’s not a imply bark.
So whereas it ought to keep doorhandle to doorhandle with a V8 Commodore, it may well’t match its character.
That stated, it is a very assured machine and 1 with glorious stability, permitting some wagging of its tail as you energy out of corners.
It’s a genuinely enjoyable automotive on the fitting street and one which lives as much as its design.
The suspension can be properly managed, dealing admirably with Australian backroads – the place the Stinger is at house.
V6 fashions additionally get Brembo brakes that work properly in pulling issues up, though excessive velocity punishment will finally go away them smoking.
Timing is every little thing
Of course, as soon as Commodore manufacturing ceases on October 20, 2017 – in flip ending 69 years of the Australian Holden – the alternatives of inexpensive efficiency sedans might be restricted.
To some extent it is indicative of how good we have had it with regionally made massive automobiles.
That’s the place the Stinger’s enchantment steps up a gear (or 2).
It’ll be the quickest and most enjoyable four-door at its value level – for now, at the least.
And it is unlikely something will get near the efficiency value-for-money temporary within the medium time period.
How very un-Kia
So the Kia is about as removed from the Korean automobiles we have come to know as you will get.
Which is an effective factor!
That goes to the inside and options, too.
There’s the occasional chink within the presentation, however on the entire the cabin is nicely introduced with a touchscreen as much as 8.0 inches throughout and with a trio of round air vents that present the efforts which have gone into making it engaging in addition to quick.
In quick, it is a Kia you may need for the way it drives and the way it seems – not simply the value and the seven-year guarantee.
But wait, there’s extra to return
For now the Stinger V6 is fast – but it surely’s set to get even faster.
Kia Australia executives pointed to feedback from Hyundai/Kia efficiency automotive boss Albert Biermann, confirming there could be a quicker, sharper Stinger over the five-year lifespan of the automotive.
Expect stiffer suspension that ought to result in higher physique management, notably on a race observe.
It’s additionally seemingly the V6 engine will step up from its 272kW peak.
Kia additionally says it’s contemplating homologating the Michelin tyres that had been unleashed on the media for race observe driving; that they had extra grip and had been higher suited to onerous observe driving than the Continental tyres fitted to the automotive from the manufacturing facility.
Do you assume the Kia Stinger has what it takes to enter the luxurious sedan market? Share your ideas within the feedback beneath.
Toby Hagon from executivestyle.com.au