Kia GT4 Stinger ConceptEnlarge Photo
When it comes to sports cars, we bet the first name you think of is not Kia. It's probably not even the 10th, or the 50th. It's really not even on the list. But that may change in the not too distant future.
Kia surprised many when it rolled out the striking GT4 Stinger concept at 2014’s Detroit Auto Show. But what was even more surprising were the strong hints that a production version was planned.
“Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the concept that preceded them, and the GT4 Stinger provides a possible and highly provocative glimpse into Kia’s future," the Korean automaker said at the reveal.
But a year on, senior Kia execs were downplaying the chances of a production GT4 Stinger, claiming instead that a high-performance sedan based on 2011’s GT concept was more likely. In fact, a major announcement concerning the GT concept is expected to come at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show.
Now, comments from Kia’s chief in the United Kingdom, Paul Philpott, suggest the production GT4 Stinger is back on the table. Speaking with Autocar, Philpott said Kia will have a new sports car by the end of the decade. It will be an affordable, standalone model and draw its inspiration from the previous GT and GT4 Stinger concepts. It will also be sold globally, Philpott said, meaning it will almost certainly end up in the United States.
It sounds like Kia is readying an affordable sports car along the lines of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins, and the upcoming Fiat 124 Spider. We can’t wait.