After the much-noticed world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show Kia his new sports sedan is now also presented in Europe. In contrast to the US version, the coupé-like four-door Stinger in Germany is optionally powered by a diesel engine. The version with a 2,2-liter turbodiesel (147 kW / 200 hp) will also be the entry-level model in the new Kia class.
The Stinger is a "historic turning point in the history of the Korean brand Kia," says its German chief designer Peter Schreyer. Nobody had believed the brand to be successful, especially with smaller model series. A four-door sports sedan with a coupé-like sloping roof, powerful engines and a plump package of technology under a carefully styled sheet metal dress. "The Stinger is also a turning point for us in Germany," says Steffen Cost, the German managing director, who from the end of the year will also be able to show the new Schönling in the Kia shop windows between Kiel and Garmisch and above all be allowed to sell it. “We will be interested in a lot of new people for the Kia brand. Including those that have never thought about a Kia before. ”
In fact, the Koreans are using the Stinger to advance into regions that are dominated by the three German premium giants. The name of the 4,83 meter long car, in English “sting”, is almost a program. The Stinger will certainly not be able to impale an Audi A5 Sportback or a BMW Grand Tourismo, but it could certainly poke it. The German boss in Korean services recalls the launch of the large SUV Kia Sorento. "Even then, nobody thought that they would be able to successfully sell a non-German car in this class of around 50.000 euros."
But Cost is realist enough not to expect large numbers. Kia sees the large sedan, the top version of which is at least 276kW / 370 hp, has all-wheel drive and is supposed to be up to 270 km / h as a kind of door opener. "Your positive image from the perfect combination of design, performance and security will radiate on all other models with the Kia logo," Cost expects, "because nobody really thought we could do it." A sting as a driving force for a brand that was almost bankrupt just a few years ago, was saved by the big competitor Hyundai and is now taking off worldwide.
In the eyes of many customers, Kia models have long been considered reliable and above all inexpensive, but at the same time not very exciting. That changed with cars like Soul, Ceed and, above all, the Sportage and Sorento SUV models. So now is the time for the next attack on the Europeans. The Stinger was consequently created in Kia's Frankfurt design studio, was made fit for the race against BMW, Audi and Co. at the Nürburgring and is confidently in the starting blocks. With its range of modern assistance systems, its eight-speed automatic transmission or the multi-adjustable electronic chassis, Kia also sees itself on a par with the southern German models.
The only question left is the price. Germany boss Steffen Cost remains silent, nothing can be elicited. After all, the market launch in Germany will only take many months. All that remains is speculation: the entry-level price for the weaker version will likely have to remain a bit below the 40.000 euro mark. The super sting with a full equipment package can then cost over 60.000 euros, according to the unanimous expert assessment at the Milan premiere. Whatever comes out as the sale price - with the Stinger, Kia will finally change from Cinderella to Snow White. (Peter Maahn / SP-X)