Racy versions of Kia Stinger put on ice
PLANS for a hardcore Kia Stinger are on the backburner.
Kia's global executives were all singing from the same hymn sheet this week at the Detroit motor show, hosing down speculation of an even more racy version of the fastback sedan.
Head of vehicle test and high performance development at Kia, Albert Biermann, ruled out any chance of a V8 derivative or greater power output from the current range-topping twin turbo V6.
"We have the GT label for the more sportier Kia cars...at this time there is no plan and no need. I think with the Stinger GT we are entering an area we haven't been before and I think we should go step by step,” he said.
Kia Design Center Europe chief Gregory Guillaume was beating the same drum, when casting aside discussion about possible Kia coupe, convertible and wagon derivatives.
"We did take a big risk with Stinger. Even if we minimised the risk as much as we could by doing what we believed has the most potential in the sports cars format which mean five or four doors,” Guillaume said.
"Since it's new we don't have the answer. We need to go one footstep at a time.
"Everybody is super positive but we need to sell cars.”
There could ultimately be more GT versions of Kias. Expect GT derivatives of the new Cerato, but there could be SUVs given the athletic treatment.
The Stinger has only just reached showrooms around the world. During October the Stinger was launched in Australia.
While Stinger sales numbers have been strong, there has been a negative impact on the mid-size Optima and sharper pricing may need to be implemented.
"Has Stinger affected Optima? You would have to say yes to a degree,” Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith said.
"We just have to make it work.
"I don't want to discount the car dramatically...but we won't be scared to do it. We have to be thorough with how we treat Optima against its competitors and how it sits against Stinger.”
Kia has confirmed its working on the seven-seat Telluride SUV. At 5m in length it would sit above the marque's current largest SUV, the Sorento.
It is yet to be confirmed in right-hand drive production.