Kia NZ has begun talking about the big rear-drive sedan it’ll have here toward year-end.
PRICING held by current Holden factory-built performance Commodores could well slide across to Korea’s equivalent car when it comes later this year.
The Kia Stinger, a large rear-drive sports sedan whose arrival in the final quarter of this year sets set to more or less synch with a period when stock of the biggest-selling car of that format – the VF Commodore – begins to dry out, is charged with providing a fundamental shift in public perception of the Hyundai sub-brand.
Kia New Zealand has confirmed it will piggyback with its equivalent in Australia in respect to the model line.
This means that in addition to the potent 3.3-litre turbo V6 car that has been making headlines we could also very likely see another version with the 2.0-litre turbo four that runs in the Optima GT.
The outputs are cited by Kia as being 187kW and 353Nm for the four-cylinder and 272kW and 510Nm for the six.
What price these variants? Kia NZ boss Todd McDonald says his people won’t be able to nail down firm stickers until they know the final specifications – and that might not happen until perhaps a month before the first shipment arrives.
He believes, however, it will not be unreasonable to expect to see the car placing somewhere between $60,000 and $80,000.
That’s mainly Commodore sports model territory, though Holden starts off at $56,990 for the SV6, its most popular variant, that runs a 210kW engine. The SS and SS-V V8 sedans, which pack the 304kW V8, range from $64,990 to $76,490.
Will Stinger be seen as a ‘Korean Kommodore’? McDonald doesn’t discount the possibility of the sleek and sporty liftback being viewed that way, but says it’s hard to say until the equipment and trim levels and engine choices are finalised.
He says the 2.0-litre is under evaluation and is reluctant to therefore say how many versions of Stinger will definitely be offered here.
However it goes, the car provides exciting opportunity to lift Kia into a segment that, though perhaps only worth 30 sales per month – a far cry from even five years ago – is still a key spot.
“I’m happy to put a vehicle into that space. It will hold an icon status and is a premium vehicle that will support our sports utility range. There is good opportunity – it has to be exciting.”
Kia Motors president and chief design officer Peter Schreyer recently told overaeas media that Kia was now more focused on developing sportier, more exciting models. Stinger was a great example of this.
Kia suggests the V6 will clock 0-100kmh in 5.1 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating production Kia ever. The brand is targeting a top speed of 270kmh.
The Stinger features the second-generation of Kia’s electronic eight-speed automatic transmission, which offers up to five different shift and throttle programmes which drivers can select through the car’s electronic Drive Mode Select. It also has steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for those who prefer to shift manually.
Once Commodore VF is sold out, the only non-prestige rear drive six-cylinder sedan rival for Stinger might be the Chrysler 300.