There was a time when the sports car was an affordable vehicle option, and that is exactly what Kia are trying to deliver with the GT4 Stinger.
This is a car that definitely catches the eye, thanks in large part to a bold design that may give a clue as to where Kia are headed with future releases.
The GT4 Stinger is a rear-wheel-drive 2+2 concept vehicle that takes drivers to new performance levels both on the street and at the track.
Anyone who caught a look at the GT4 Stinger today will doubtless not be surprised to learn that it is the brainchild of the same California design team that came up with the Track’ster concept back in 2012.
It’s fair to say that the design team were more than just a little inspired by the performance of their turbocharged, GTS class Optimas at the Pirelli World Challenge racing series.
While driving enjoyment was a major part of the creation of the GT4 Stinger, the designers used the racing model to create a car that was lightweight and functional.
Gone are the luxurious features you would expect in a traditional GT, all of which were ditched in favor of creating an experience that connected the driver with the car.
GT4 turbo engine specs, performance tires
To get a feel for the power displayed by the Stinger GT4, you need look no further than under the hood, where you will find a tuned version of the 2.0L turbocharged gasoline direct injected (T-GDI) 4-cylinder engine that delivers a whopping 315 horsepower.
That power is sent to the ground via a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission that kicks it to the rear wheels.
In back there are 275/35R-20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tires, while up front, 235/35R-20 Pirelli P-Zeros deliver a grip that allows the GT4 to rocket around corners.
Part of the weight reduction efforts we spoke about earlier can be seen in the carbon fiber inserts that sit in the 20-inch aluminum wheels.
Sitting behind those are Brembo Gran Turismo two-piece 15-inch cross-drilled rotors and four-piston calipers that stop the car on a dime.
Kia GT4 Stinger dimensions, color
Hiding beneath that Ignition Yellow chassis sported by the Kia GT4 Stinger is a custom chassis with independent double wishbone suspension.
The wheelbase (103.1 inches) comes in a little shorter than the Forte, as does the overall length (169.7 inches).
The GT4 is a little wider (74.4 inches) than the Cadenza premium sedan, while its sweeping roofline is 9 inches lower than the entry-level Kia Rio, making tis little beauty a real menacing figure.
The overall weight of the Stinger comes in at a lightweight 2,874 pounds, and also has a weight ratio that is quite near perfect at 52%/48% front/rear.
GT4 Stinger video
Anyone who knows the work of Kia’s chief design officer Peter Schreyer will no doubt see his familiar styling elements all over the car.
The overall look is one that evokes shrink wrapping, as though the individual body parts were formed around the chassis as opposed to welded on.
The profile that the GT4 Stinger shows off is equal parts simplicity and power. The signature Kia grille is moved lower to the ground to aid with engine cooling.
A glowing white surround highlights the shape of the grille, whilst also showing off a satin-black border, which is something that is carried to other parts of the vehicle.
LED headlights sit on the side of the grille, while the cooling vents for the front brakes are smoothly molded into the front bumper.
Carbon fiber is used again, this time in the form of a front splitter below the bumper that is there to add down force when the GT4 Stinger hits high speeds.
The hood is long and has a gentle rise to meet the cowl. A pair of chrome pieces have been added to the Ignition Yellow body to add a little visual interest.
The hood sticks close to the front wheel arches, creating a pair of sculpted, muscular fenders over the tires. That give the car a definite edge at the shoulders that turns into the belt line.
The transparent A-pillars featured on the GT4 Stinger give the driver a 270-degree view when behind the steering wheel.
Visibility is improved by layered slots in the pillars, which actually also help bring the weight down somewhat. The greenhouse design will remind many of the iconic look of the Kia Soul.
Another likeness to the Soul can be found in the way that the roof of the GT4 appears to float over the C-pillars. The rocker panels feature more of the satin black accent pieces we discussed when describing the grille.
The body begins to get wider as you move round the back. Opening the glass hatch reveals a rear-strut tower brace and a built-in storage compartment.
Sitting above the dual exhaust ports in the rear bumper is a blacked out panel that has LED taillights sitting on the outer edges.
Inside the 4GT Stinger coupe
One of the first things that strikes is how lightweight the doors feel when you open them.
The opening they present is incredibly wide, and one that makes getting into the bucket seats pretty easy.
A rubber floor mat is used in place of carpet, with billet-aluminum pedals resting just over the surface. The D-shaped steering wheel sits front and center, as is the red LED-lit instrument panel.
You can’t help but think of a sports car when you see those elements, and that feeling is further enhanced by the use of red-stitched pull-straps for the interior door handles. One item notably absent is a stereo system.
Who needs music, though, when the GT4 Stinger makes such sweet sounds once it is on the road and running at full speed ahead?
GT4 Stinger Release Date?
“Car enthusiasts will demand Kia to build this striking sports coupe!“
As beautiful as this concept is, Kia has no plans to deliver a production model.
That said, the automaker has a history of introducing new Kia models that are very much based on the concept that preceded it, which may mean that the GT4 Stinger is a little glimpse into what Kia has in store for us in the coming years.