My 2017 NAIAS Highlight: The 2018 Kia Stinger

Kia premiers the 2018 Stinger in Detroit

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When I think of a premium, performance-oriented sedan, European brands come to my mind. Probably the same goes for you. Over the time, the BMW M3, the Audi S4 or the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG have established a strong presence in this market.

However, after the 2017 North American International Auto Show, you might want to consider another brand. Kia used the show in Detroit to present their all-new model, the 2018 Kia Stinger. But why would I consider the Kia Stinger to be my highlight of this years show? I tell you why!

Reason 1: It’s not an SUV!
The Detroit motor show is popular for the world premiere of SUVs. Of course,  we are in the United States and Americans love their SUVs. And also the 2017 show was no difference. We saw the Audi Q8 Concept and the all-new Volkswagen Atlas. Chevrolet premiered the all-new 2018 Traverse and GMC the all-new Terrain. And so on, and so on. Kia decided to go for a different approach. After we saw the Kia GT concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, the Korean automaker decided to present a fastback sports sedan instead of a SUV in Detroit. Nice!

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Reason 2: Kia focuses on performance!
Honestly, I can not hear it anymore. Autonomous driving and the connected car is much vaunted as the future of mobility. And of course it must be an electric-powered car. While I understand that the automotive industry focuses on the future, they tend to forget the present. Kia does not. Kia focuses on performance! The 2018 Kia Stinger is an emotional, performance-oriented fastback sports sedan. Its turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 engine accelerates the car from 0 to 62 mph (0 – 100 km/h) within only 5.1 seconds. Additionally, the Stinger combines the advantages of a daily driver with the performance of a sports car.

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Reason 3: Kia shows courage!
The Kia brand isn’t known across automotive enthuisasts for performance-oriented cars. While Kia offers sporty cars in Europe, such as the Kia Cee’d GT, a true sports car is missing. This gap will now be closed. It truly needs some courage for this step. Consequently, Kia has staffed some well-known and well-expierenced engineers and designers. Albert Biermann, a former BMW M engineer, was made responsible for all technical details. The design language of the Stinger comes from Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer and a former Audi designer.

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The Kia Stinger has truly impressed me. I hope that all effort and courage of Kia will pay off at the end. However, it needs more than just a great car to be successful. Kia faces the challenge to change the mindset of customers. Honestly, before I saw the Kia Stinger in Detroit, I also didn’t associate Kia with sporty cars.

In conclusion, my mindset already started to change.

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