Published on April 21st, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


We Spot Our First Kia Stinger In Malaysia

Late last year the Kia Stinger arrived in Malaysia in two variants. There was a 2.0L twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder for RM239k and a 3.3L twin-turbo for RM309k.

“Driven by Kia’s motto ‘The Power to Surprise’, the Kia Stinger was set to usher in a new era of innovation for the Korean brand while preserving its DNA to deliver the best performance, comfort and features.

Malaysians loved its design and commented positively on its features but the asking price was too high because it was fully imported and at that price point a German sedan with less features and kit takes more attention from Malaysian buyers.

There were still a handful of buyers and we only just managed to spot one after months of its arrival. With its sleek fastback silhouette and rear-wheel-drive proportions, the Kia Stinger commands attention wherever it goes. As a gran turismo purebred, its roofline sits at a perfect angle to provide aerodynamic benefits as air flows over the bonnet and roof, and off the back of the car while maintaining a pleasing aesthetic. The wide front and rear track, along with the recessed contours along the doors, enhance the visual power of the Kia Stinger’s shoulder line as well as its fastback silhouette.

The Kia Stinger’s aerodynamic profile is further enhanced with the bodywork tapered slightly towards the rear of the car and new ‘gills’ introduced behind the front wheel arches, each serving to reduce wake turbulence as air passes over the car’s flanks.

The aggressive stance is amplified with Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille, sitting proudly at the front between complex full LED headlamps and accentuated with honeycomb-shaped, dark-chromed, hot-stamped patterns added onto a black base to ensure a premium exterior.

The Kia Stinger’s aesthetic value has already gained recognition worldwide, having received an EyesOn Design award for Production Car Design Excellence at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in 2017.

Inside, a sleek and sophisticated cabin space evokes a minimally luxurious feel with its aircraft-style design and high-quality finishes in modern key colours. Ultra-soft Nappa leather envelops the deeply contoured seats for the 3.3L V6 GT trim and natural leather is available for the 2.0L GT-Line. Both variants offer 8-way power driver seat and 4-way mechanical lumbar support, creating a space dedicated to the thrill of driving while cossetting the occupants with luxury.

Aeronautically inspired circular vents at the front and rear and a satin chrome ring tastefully encircles the rest of the cabin, creating the effect of cocooned intimacy, a feeling further elevated by warm and inviting LED lights that softly illuminate the finely-crafted interior.

Key to its road presence lies in the pounding hearts under the sculpted hood, where a choice of two turbocharged engines are available. The 2.0L twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II T-GDi engine produces 251 horsepower at 6,200 rpm with 353Nm of maximum torque available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm, propelling the Stinger from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.0 seconds. Performance credentials are further enhanced through the 3.3L twin-turbo V6 Lambda T-GDi engine, which sees the racehorse accelerating to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds with its 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and offers 510Nm of torque from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm – ultimately proving itself to be a worthy challenger to the competition.

The Kia Stinger features an in-house designed second-generation eight-speed rear-wheel drive automatic transmission. The transmission also features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter on the 2.0L GT-Line to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain, a technology more typically found in aviation- and racing-engine applications.

For intuitive control and smarter, more spirited driving, the Stinger’s innovative Shift-By-Wire transmission control allows the driver to interchange between transmission modes through electronic controls. The gearbox can be set to intuitively manage shifts on its own or selectively run through the gears via paddle shift levers mounted behind the steering wheel. As with the suspension and steering, the Stinger’s rear-wheel drive system is fully integrated with its 5-Drive Mode, offering distinct calibration between comfort and sport modes.

From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nürburgring circuit, the Kia Stinger proved its mettle to handle even the most demanding road conditions with composed poise, contributed by the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) that features the sophisticated Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system. This system monitors driver inputs and road conditions and then automatically distributes power in real-time based on the driving situation, minimising understeer in the process and gives the driver confidence to maneuver in even in the most inclement weather. Other powerful features include Electronically-Controlled Suspension (ECS) and Rack-mounted Motor-Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS).

Other industry-leading safety features include Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), Antilock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning and 7 airbags. Due to its advanced safety technologies, the Kia Stinger received the highest rating of 5 stars from Euro NCAP.

The Kia Stinger rides on a chassis comprised of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel, and the MacPherson front setup features large diameter shock absorbers, high-strength wheel bearings, and an aluminium strut brace, while the reinforced five-link rear suspension is mounted to a stiffened rear subframe for outstanding durability.

The 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder GT-Line models ride on 225/45R-18 performance all-season tires (18 inch alloy), while the 3.3L V6 GT model is equipped with staggered ultra-high performance Continental ContiSportContact 5 tires that have been specifically engineered and tuned for the Stinger – 225/40R-19 in front and 255/35R-19 at the rear (19 inch alloy).

Additionally, the Kia Stinger GT trim’s stopping power comes from standard high-performance Brembo® disc brakes featuring quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers.  The lightweight monobloc all-aluminium calipers reduce unsprung weight and are coupled with large diameter brake discs (13.8-inch front and 13.4-inch rear) that quickly dissipate heat and help to deliver short stopping distances.

The Stinger’s long wheelbase at 2,905mm is ahead of its segment, and boasts a longer and wider body than many others in the same segment at 4830mm and 1,870mm respectively. This advantage allows for generous front and rear legroom while the lowered hip point provides ample headroom even for the tallest occupants. With 406 litres of boot space, the Kia Stinger’s boot area is also larger than many of its competitors, with enough space to accommodate full-size luggage or golf bags.

Taking in-car technology to the next level is the high dashboard with a powerful dose of dynamics and pure emotion interior that lays out a strong horizontal plane for the driver. The center console is intuitively split into two specific areas: the infotainment system and an 8-inch floating navigation touchscreen integrated with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while climate and ventilation controls nestle beneath.

Central to the driver is a ‘D-cut’ type of GT and GT-Line steering wheel draped in thick hand-stitched multifunction leather for a sporty look and feel. A crystal-clear 7-inch TFT LCD landscape cluster display sits between the gauge displays to relay performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times and engine-oil temperature (available for 3.3L GT variant only), along with ancillary information such as the trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics.

Scenic drives are not complete without a superior sound system. The Kia Stinger’s 15-speaker Harman Kardon premium speaker system further amplifies the dynamic driving experience of the Kia Stinger, accompanying occupants on the road with crisp sound clarity.

Other amenities included in the Kia Stinger for a pleasurable driving experience are Colour Head-Up Display (HUD), Dynamic Bending Light (DBL), Around View (AVM) with Driving Rear-View (DRM) Monitors, Integrated Memory System (IMS) for the driver’s seat, wireless smartphone charger and electrochromic side mirrors to control the glare of incoming headlights.

The KIA Stinger’s debut stunned many on the international arena, in an industry conquered mostly by German and Japanese makes. Since its introduction to the world in August 2017, the Kia Stinger has clinched numerous global accolades from prestigious names of the industry, such as ‘Best of the Year’ & ‘Best Sports Sedan’ in MotorWeek’s 2018 Drivers’ Choice Awards, Roadshow By CNET Shift Award For 2018 Vehicle Of The Year, Wards 10 Best Interiors for 2018, AutoGuide 2018 Car Of The Year, Autotrader’s 10 Best Car Interiors under $50,000 for 2018 and many more.

Both trims of the Kia Stinger are available in four exquisite exterior colours HiChroma Red, Deep Chroma Blue, Panthera Metal and Aurora Black. Interior-wise, the 3.3L V6 GT receives an exquisite red colour package while the 2.0L GT-Line comes in a flush black one-tone.

The 3.3-litre V6 GT variant goes for RM309,888 on-the-road without insurance while the 2.0-litre GT-Line variant is priced at RM239,888 on-the-road without insurance.

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