Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Naza Kia Malaysia Launches the Kia Stinger Sports Sedan!!!

You've got to hand it to Naza Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd (NKM), the official distributor of KIA vehicles in Malaysia. They've launched the Kia Stinger for the Malaysian market. This is Kia's fastest car yet and it is the most expensive Kia to be ever sold here to date. 

The KIA Stinger caught a lot of people by surprise when it was first previewed in August 2017. It basically marked the appearance of a full fledged Korean sports sedan. This was something Kia and other Korean brands had not done before. So its debut stunned many on the international arena, especially in an industry conquered mostly by German and Japanese makes. 

Globally, the Kia Stinger has managed to win numerous global awards such as ‘Best of the Year’ & ‘Best Sports Sedan’ in MotorWeek’s 2018 Drivers’ Choice Awards, Roadshow By CNET Shift Award For 2018 Vehicle Of The Year, Wards 10 Best Interiors for 2018, AutoGuide 2018 Car Of The Year, Autotrader’s 10 Best Car Interiors under $50,000 for 2018 and many more. It seems critics and motoring journalists have accepted it with open arms.

Of course, here, the automotive journos also feel the same thing in many ways. It is a unique proposition indeed. What we are seeing in a Kia that can do 0-100kmh in 4.9 seconds (for the 3.3 GT) and it is also rear wheel drive. This is so European on so many levels. This is why those that attended the launch event last night were all eager and curious to find out more about the Stinger. This car basically takes the Koreans a notch higher up the performance car stakes.

Speaking at the launch of the Kia Stinger, Dato’ Samson Anand George, Group CEO, Automotive Group, Naza Corporation Holdings Sdn Bhd, said, “The Kia Stinger is the culmination of years of passion and commitment fuelled by the brand’s bold and adventurous spirit to amalgamate nimble performance and unyielding style. To meet customer demands in Malaysia, we are introducing two variants of the Kia Stinger, the 3.3-litre V6 GT and the 2.0-litre GT-Line, both sports sedans that exude disarming confidence, elegance and athleticism."

“Driven by Kia’s motto ‘The Power to Surprise’, the Kia Stinger ushers in a new era of innovation for the Korean brand while preserving its DNA to deliver the best performance, comfort and features. With that, we believe the Kia Stinger will elevate the brand’s identity and will be a revolutionary benchmark for the future of Kia vehicles,” added Dato’ Samson.

The styling of the Kia Stinger is a sleek fastback style and it also portrays its rear-wheel-drive DNA in terms of its stance and the lack of front overhang (and a longer rear overhang - classic rwd styling). It is a gran turismo in many ways. Couple this with the strong 2.0liter and powerful 3.3 liter turbocharged engines. It basically is a total package in terms of performance. 

The Kia Stinger does have a lot of slits, slats and large air intakes everywhere. But most of them actually work. The Stinger's aerodynamic profile is further enhanced with the bodywork tapered slightly towards the rear of the car and new ‘gills’ introduced behind the front wheel arches, each serving to reduce wake turbulence as air passes over the car’s flanks. So it isn't just mock or dummy gills like some other cars have. This one works. 

The interior is modern and sporty. Materials used are good with added soft touch bits where it counts. Material quality is very good too. The sports seats are ultra-soft Nappa leather for the 3.3L V6 GT trim and natural leather for the 2.0L GT-Line. Both variants offer 8-way power driver seat and 4-way mechanical lumbar support, for all the support needed during spirited driving.

The heart of the Kia Stinger or any performance car is the engine. This is actually more important that sporty, good looking styling. There is a choice of two turbocharged engines available for the Malaysian market - the 2,0GT Line (engine pictured above) and the 3.3 GT variants. The 2.0L twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II T-GDi engine which produces 251 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 353Nm of maximum torque available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm, allowing the Stinger GT Line to do 0 to 100km/h in just 6.0 seconds.

The 3.3L twin- turbo V6 Lambda T-GDi engine (below), does the 0-100km/h dash in 4.9 seconds with its 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 510Nm of torque from 1,300–4,500 rpm. Impressive numbers for both variants actually. 

The Kia Stinger features an in-house designed second-generation eight-speed rear-wheel drive automatic transmission. The transmission also features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter on the 2.0L GT-Line to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain, a technology more typically found in aviation- and racing-engine applications. It has Shift-By-Wire transmission control, which allows the driver to interchange between transmission modes through electronic controls. The gearbox can be set to intuitively manage shifts on its own or selectively run through the gears via paddle shift levers mounted behind the steering wheel.

As with the suspension and steering, the Stinger’s rear-wheel drive system is fully integrated with its 5-Drive Mode, offering distinct calibration between comfort and sport modes. From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nürburgring circuit, the Kia Stinger proved its mettle to handle even the most demanding road conditions with composed poise. This is because the Stinger has  Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) that features the sophisticated Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system. This system monitors driver inputs and road conditions and then automatically distributes power in real-time based on the driving situation, minimising understeer in the process and gives the driver confidence to maneuver in even in the most inclement weather. Other powerful features include Electronically-Controlled Suspension (ECS) and Rack-mounted Motor-Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS).

Other industry-leading safety features include Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), Antilock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning and 7 airbags. Due to its advanced safety technologies, the Kia Stinger received the highest rating of 5 stars from Euro NCAP.

The Kia Stinger rides on a chassis comprised of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel, and the MacPherson front setup features large diameter shock absorbers, high-strength wheel bearings, and an aluminium strut brace, while the reinforced five-link rear suspension is mounted to a stiffened rear subframe for outstanding durability.

The 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder GT-Line models ride on 225/45R-18 performance all-season tires (18 inch alloy), while the 3.3L V6 GT model is equipped with staggered ultra-high performance Continental ContiSportContact 5 tires that have been specifically engineered and tuned for the Stinger – 225/40R-19 in front and 255/35R-19 at the rear (19inch alloy).

The Kia Stinger GT gets high-performance Brembo ® disc brakes featuring quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers as standard (it needs this over the GT Line, which is fast, but not as fast as the GT). The lightweight monobloc all-aluminium calipers reduce unsprung weight and are coupled with large diameter brake discs (13.8-inch front and 13.4-inch rear) that quickly dissipate heat and help to deliver short stopping distances. Everything is proper performance car stuff here folks. Brembo, Conti CSC 5 tyres, a large capacity engine (the 3.3liter) all point to having a good recipe for performance.

It is also quite spacious. The Stinger’s long wheelbase at 2,905mm is ahead of its segment, and boasts a longer and wider body than many others in the same segment at 4830mm and 1,870mm respectively. With 406 litres of boot space, the Kia Stinger’s boot area is also larger than many of its competitors, with enough space to accommodate full-size luggage or golf bags (I hope they'd do Ulu Yam instead of go play golf).

The center console is intuitively split into two specific areas: the infotainment system and an 8-inch floating navigation touchscreen integrated with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while climate and ventilation controls nestle beneath.

Central to the driver is what Kia calls their flat bottom steering wheel - a ‘D-cut’ type of GT and GT-Line steering wheel draped in thick hand-stitched multifunction leather for a sporty look and feel. A crystal-clear 7-inch TFT LCD landscape cluster display sits between the gauge displays to relay performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times and engine-oil temperature (available for 3.3L GT variant only), along with ancillary information such as the trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics.

The Kia Stinger’s 15-speaker Harman Kardon premium speaker system further amplifies the dynamic driving experience of the Kia Stinger, accompanying occupants on the road with crisp sound clarity. Other amenities included in the Kia Stinger for a pleasurable driving experience are Colour Head-Up Display (HUD), Dynamic Bending Light (DBL), Around View (AVM) with Driving Rear-View (DRM) Monitors, Integrated Memory System (IMS) for the driver’s seat, wireless smartphone charger and electrochromic side mirrors to control the glare of incoming

Both trims of the Kia Stinger are available in four exquisite exterior colours HiChroma Red, Deep Chroma Blue, Panthera Metal and Aurora Black. Interior-wise, the 3.3L V6 GT receives an exquisite red colour package while the 2.0L GT-Line comes in a flush black one-tone.

So there are alot of goodies in both variants of the Stinger. Well specified and well equipped, with a heck of a lot of performance to boot. So all of this has a price - no free lunches. The 3.3-litre V6 GT variant goes for RM309,888 on-the-road without insurance while the 2.0-litre GT-Line variant is priced at RM239,888 on-the-road without insurance.

Some may say that this is pretty steep, but if you compare what is being given, this could be the most affordable performance sedan/fastback you can buy. The 2.0liter would give you all the performance you can find in a range topping BMW3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class (the Stinger's size is quite close or only slightly longer). But it is cheaper by a good RM60,000 to RM80,000. Even the 3.3liter comes close to something like the AMG C43 in terms of performance but with an RM60,000 lesser price tag. 

For some, this is all the reason they would try a Stinger - the lesser pricetag. The Stinger could also be for those that have tried all the performance sedans this side of RM300,000 and decided that since they haven't tried this, they are willing to give it a go. There are also those that just want one because it is slightly off tangent and different from the normal performance sedan. 

Whatever the case, almost all of us at the launch are applauding Naza Kia Malaysia for bringing in the Stinger. Lesser distributors won't even try, and for that, they deserve all the praise in the world. Also, performance figures are good and knowing how solid Korean cars are these days - they are actually a more tactile driving experience that almost all the current crop of Japanese cars, I think that this rear wheel drive Kia is going to be a fun car to drive. This certainly is a car for those that want to stand out and be different...It will be those that will have their friends say, "Wow! That fella just plonked down over RM300K for a Kia!".

Definitely a car for those attention seekers and those that are willing to try something different.

Kia Stinger GT - 3.3liter

Kia Stinger GT Line - 2.0liter


  1. Hyundai should bring in the i30N. Waiting for 2nd hand models of the Stinger hopefully in 3-4 years with a 50% reduction in price.

    1. Think with Hyundai here is that they need volume sales rather than niche models like the i30N. They seem to be unable to shift their cash cows- the IONIQ and Elantra models. Good cars but people aren't buying them.

      Hopefully Kia can sell enough Stingers for you to be able to buy 'em.



Anyone is free to comment. Spam will be deleted almost immediately..., but remember this is not a democracy. It is my blog. Tough isn't it?