Kia took the wraps off its previously announced 2+2 coupe concept at today's 2014 Detroit Auto Show, a bold new design for a brand that's never offered a sports car. The Kia GT4 Stinger concept is a rear-wheel-drive coupe powered by a 315-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission, a design Kia says is intended to harken back to the "glory days of purebred, affordable sports cars."
It was designed, the company says, by the "gearheads and enthusiasts" at Kia's U.S. design center in Irvine, California, to maximize driving enjoyment in a car that provides a "visceral experience [not] muted by electronic gimmickry.”
Traditional sports car touches include aluminum center-lock 20-inch wheels, with carbon-fiber inserts to cut weight as well as increasing strength. Inside the wheels are Brembo disc brakes with 15-inch cross-drilled rotors. Fully independent double-wishbone suspension front and rear are said to give the Stinger excellent roadholding, both on the road and on the race track. Weight distribution is a close-to-ideal 52 percent front/48 percent rear.
The concept itself is slightly shorter than the compact Kia Forte sedan, and it sits nearly 9 inches lower than the company's Rio subcompact. Weight is a minimal 2,874 pounds.
The design is intended to look "shrink-wrapped" over the wheels, led by Kia's characteristic grille with a glowing white surround and vertical LED headlights. The front fascia includes a carbon-fiber front splitter and brake-cooling vents. Other design flourishes include transparent windshield pillars with layered slots cut into them, and a roof that appears to "float" above its rear pillars.
The rear hatch is a panel of glass, with LED taillights hidden by a black panel just above twin exhaust ports in the rear bumper surround. The GT4 Stinger's bright yellow paint color is known as "Ignition Yellow."
Inside the concept, bucket seats covered in molded leather sit above a rubber mat, with billet-aluminum pedals and a flat-bottomed steering wheel underscoring the car's racing intentions. Rather than interior door handles, pull straps with red stitching recall sports cars of half a century before--as does the lack of any audio system at all.
While Kia calls its GT4 Stinger just a concept, the company tipped its hand by saying, " 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."
Can't get much plainer than that, can you?