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Will Anyone Actually Buy the Kia Stinger GT?

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author photo by Will Kinton February 2017

The Kia Stinger GT is the car that auto enthusiasts have been begging brands to make for a long time. It's attractive. It's powerful. It's (probably) quick. It's a rear-wheel-drive sport sedan in a world where front-wheel drive is rapidly spreading -- so much so that even BMW has decided to join in on the fun. And it's such an exciting idea: Kia, a company known for affordable front-wheel-drive cars, has decided to build a fastback rear-wheel-drive sedan aimed squarely at the BMW 3 Series.

But will anybody buy it?

The Kia Stinger GT looks like it has the chops to cut it as a performance sedan. It's handsome and stylish, with proportions reminiscent of those of the Alfa Romeo Guilia and the Audi A7. The Stinger GT will offer either a 255-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder or a 365-hp twin-turbo V6 -- an engine that'll allow it to do zero to 60 in about 5 seconds and reach a top speed of 167 mph. Kia took the Stinger GT to the Nurburgring for testing during development -- and by all accounts, it seems to have paid off quite well. The price should be right too: It's said to start around $30,000 and max out a bit below $50,000. That's a good formula, and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

But unfortunately, the biggest thing in Kia's way is the badge it puts on every car. The Korean company's previous bid for the upper echelons of the market, the K900, has sold very poorly -- despite being a great value for money (and despite an endorsement from LeBron James). Kia isn't building the same cars it was producing 10 to 15 years ago, but its brand name isn't likely to be mentioned in the same breath as BMW, Audi or Mercedes. In other words: No matter how good the Stinger GT is, I'm not sure people can really look past the brand.

With that said, I really hope the Stinger GT succeeds -- for two reasons. The first is that if it does well, it'll send a message to other companies that there's demand for cars like it -- which would be great for car enthusiasts like us. It would also demonstrate that Kia has finally shed its reputation as a company that makes "cheap cars" -- which is something it's been trying to do for a long time.

Although we haven't driven it, the Stinger GT looks great on paper -- and I think it could be Kia's magnum opus.

Let's hope the market agrees.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Will Anyone Actually Buy the Kia Stinger GT? - Autotrader