• Kia GT4 Stinger rear-wheel-drive sports car teased ahead of Detroit
  • Sole photo shows a supercar-like grille that would make Iron Man proud
  • Power comes from a 315-horsepower turbo 4-cylinder 

Doubting Kia isn't a good idea these days. With Audi's former design chief at the helm and plenty of resources to play with, the Korean upstart is liable to build just about anything. Still, the Kia GT4 Stinger concept gives us pause. There's only one photo to go on, but it looks like the GT4 Stinger is a premium sports car with Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R influences. Kia wouldn't actually bring this thing to market, right? Or would it? 

Practically every vehicle in Kia's current lineup seemed a stretch when it was first unveiled. Cadenza, Optima, Sportage -- they were all radical departures from the norm in style, features and price. Then there's the full-bore K900 luxury sedan, a rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered executive jet that debuted a couple of months ago in Los Angeles. Given this history, it seems more likely that Kia will put the GT4 Stinger into production. 

Beyond that single photo, details on the Stinger are limited to a 5-line press release from Kia. We know the striking headlights are vertical LEDs, with brake-cooling vents mounted ahead of 20-inch wheels. A carbon-fiber splitter mounts below Kia's signature grille, which looks quite natural on this could-be supercar. Rear-wheel drive ensures that the Stinger will be taken seriously. 

If there's a disappointment, it's that the Stinger's engine is just a 315-hp version of (presumably) Kia's existing 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. That's not the stuff supercars are made of, unless the GT4 Stinger is a real lightweight in the vein of, say, the Lotus Evora. Hey, Kia -- if you're listening, how about throwing in the K900's 420-hp 5.0-liter V8? That would really give the doubters something to talk about. 

What it means to you: Keep an eye out for further Kia GT4 Stinger updates as its worldwide debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show approaches. This could be good.

author photo

Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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