Kia set to unbox the Stinger at MIAS

KIA'S first performance GT to take center stage


Kia Philippines will be holding another major unboxing at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), which runs from April 4 to 7, 2019 at the World Trade Center, Kia is set to unveil the second of its all-new models: the Stinger, a stunning, rear-wheel drive Gran Turismo sedan.

Kia Philippines, re-launched under the management of Ayala Corporation, has lofty targets for its first full year of business under new management. No less than 10,000 units is the target for 2019. Kia certainly wasted no time in fortifying its lineup. The first product “unboxing” for this year took place during the brand relaunch in January 2019: the brand new Soluto subcompact sedan was rolled out. The Soluto took its place among nameplates already familiar to the Philippine motoring scene: the Picanto, Rio, Sorento, Sportage, and Grand Carnival.

Next up is Kia Stinger. The Stinger is Kia’s sleek sport sedan, billed as a Gran Turismo. It’s not just about outright speed and handling then, but also the comfort and of course the style. The Stinger promises handling and performance in keeping with its fastback looks. It’s a rear-wheel drive performance vehicle, targeting a 5.1-second 0-100kph time with the available 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine with 365hp. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder with 255hp is another powerful option. Eight-speed transmission, electronically variable dampers, and available all-wheel drive may just make this the year’s most surprising driver’s car.

Stinger was based on Kia’s GT Concept. It was designed in Frankfurt and had extensive development on the Nurburgring race course. Design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motor’s chief design officer. Ride and handling development was led by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development, and formerly head of BMW’s M divison.

Expanding beyond Kia’s traditional mass-market, value-driven vehicles, the Stinger aims to be a halo car for the brand. The Stinger is about stunning looks, the right balance of ride and handling, with seating for five and luggage space. The cabin features a steeply-raked windshield and backlight for a fast-while-standing-still look. Kia’s value for money is not forgotten, as all Stingers with have standard leather interior.

The Nurburgring Nordschleife, aka the “Green Hell,” is where the Stinger was put through its paces. High-strength steel was used for 55 percent of the Stinger’s chassis, providing a stiff platform for the desired ride and handling characteristics. Even the electric power steering was designed to provide better steering response and minimize vibrations.

Kia will be offering test drives at MIAS to allow customers to see, feel and experience their vehicles first-hand. For the duration of the auto show, Kia Philippines offers competitive sales packages and flexible ownership solutions.

The recently-introduced Soluto is challenging the established players in the subcompact sedan arena, as it’s packed with features even at its reasonable price point. The top-spec Soluto EX’s audio unit has Bluetooth connectivity. There’s integrated Android Auto and Apple Car Play, activated by plugging a compatible device via a USB cable into the dashboard. Remote switches for the audio are built into the left-hand spoke of the steering wheel. The trip computer slots in between the analog tach and speedometer.

The Soluto has several convenience features that we appreciated, such as the backup camera and touchscreen audio, as well as some that we were glad to know were there in case we needed it: ABS brakes, dual front airbags and anti-theft immobilizer.

Kia is pricing the Soluto to roll out of showrooms quickly. The Soluto’s top-featured EX variant, at P685,000 MT and 735,000 AT is going practically for the cost of the Vios’ base model. Potential buyers would no doubt feel reassured now that the brand is under the Ayala umbrella. The entire lineup is covered by a five-year or 160,000-km general warranty, five-year or 150,000 km warranty for anti-perforation, and service parts warranty for one year or 20,000 km. Kia Philippines is also promising to improve after-sales service and parts availability throughout its dealer network.

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