Kia is preparing for the 2017 North America International Auto Show—Detroit—by with a series of video teasers, the first called “The Curve Ahead – Twists and Turns,” showing what Germany’s famed Nurburgring looks like from onboard a car, presumably a sports car the Kia will debut at the January 2017 auto show in Detroit. The video is…
What? Wait. “Kia” and “Nurburgring” in the same sentence?
Yes, there it is.
And not only Kia and Nurburgring, but “sports car” as well. My but we’ve come a long way from the humble Kia Sephia, well up into luxury with the outstanding-but-underappreciated Kia K900. Kia offers a wide range of vehicles, from smaller to small to medium to large sedan, plus a small and medium SUV, the peculiarly attractive Kia Soul (still squaring the circle where the Nissan Cube and Scion xB failed), and even a minivan, one of a few left on the market.
But now a sports car? At Nurburgring? The with the speedometer showing 244 km/h? That’s almost 150 mph on a track they call The Green Hell.
Well, it’s not that we hadn’t been warned.
At the 2014 Detroit auto show press preview days, we were hanging out at the Kia stand looking at little orange sports car. It had the trademark Kia “tiger” grille, and Kia’s oval badge on the front and rear. It was something we would have drawn in study hall, or if we had any talent, in art class. But here it was in living color, and from a Korean car company no less. And it was called the Kia GT4 Stinger.
The Stinger—what a great name for a sports car—was powered Kia’s 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged four, rated at 315 horsepower and attached to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels.
The Kia GT4 Stinger had an original chassis with independent double wishbone suspension front and rear. Its curb weight was 2,874 pounds spread 52/48 percent front to rear. We’ll guesstimate with that horsepower/weight ratio a quarter-mile time of under 14 seconds.