Kia has shown its first rear-wheel drive sports car at the Detroit motor show. The GT4 Stinger was shown to the press as the brand’s potential rival for the Toyota GT-86 and Subaru BRZ.
What is this car all about?
The GT4 Stinger is a 2+2, front-engined coupe powered by a 311bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine taken from Kia’s Optima racecars. That makes it substantially more powerful than the Toyota, with its 197bhp, but like the GT-86, the Kia is focused on being a proper driver’s car.
Hence, the 4.26-metre long coupe has been designed to weigh a mere 1315kg in production form, runs double wishbone suspension front and rear and doesn’t even have a radio. ‘The soundtrack comes from the engine and out of the exhaust,’ says the concept’s head designer, Tom Kearns.
What’s the idea of the design, and what would this car cost?
‘Our whole approach has been to do something very simple and pure, but new looking,’ Kearns says. ‘It’s a very simple shape, so that was our thinking’. While strictly a concept, Kearns says that if it makes production, the GT4 will be cheaper than the GT-86, which starts at £25k. The GT4 would run a modified version of the Genesis platform, he suggests. ‘We’ve got to make it lighter and smaller to capture the essence of this concept, but I think it’s do-able,’ Kearns says.
So is this a production-viable concept?
Most of the car is production viable, apart from the stacked LED headlights, which are too low for US regulations, while the viability of the see-through A-pillars hasn’t been evaluated either. Yet it’s not a pipedream or crazy concept. ‘We always imagine it [a concept] on the street,’ says Kia president, Peter Schreyer, ‘and that’s the same with this car’.
The Detroit reveal was the first time Kia’s board has seen the car, according to Schreyer. ‘We have not done any feasibility on it, but my gut feeling is there’s nothing about it that’s not possible.’ It’s expected that the GT4 Stinger will be in showrooms in 2016 if it’s given the green light for production.