Detroit Auto Show

News | Detroit 2017 | Kia Stinger GT

How do you ensure you get attention on the first day of the 2017 North American International Auto Show? Launch a stunning new sports saloon the night before. It certainly worked for Kia and the bold new Stinger.

2017 Kia Stinger GT

We’ve covered the Korean brands of Kia and Hyundai on ESM quite a lot. Their commitment to continuous improvement and rapid development, interesting design, and those lengthy warranties have always impressed us. The Hyundai i30 Turbo showed potential, and the Kia Cee’d GT has always garnered praise. So should we really be shocked by Kia launching a serious sports saloon?

2017 Kia Stinger GT

Perhaps not, but there will still be a lot of people less open-minded to try to win over here. Thankfully, the genuinely handsome and attractive styling of the Stinger should go a long way to persuading them. It’s probably the best interpretation of the Peter Schreyer’s vision for how Kia models should look. We can actually bring ourselves to forgive the front end of the latest Sportage now, just. The Stinger features the most aggressive version of the ‘Tiger Nose’ grille at the front, with some fearsome scoops and apertures. The rear three-quarter view is perhaps our favourite, as it seems to channel both US muscle car influence, combined with European elements, too.

2017 Kia Stinger GT

That international mixture is quite important, as the Stinger will be available on both sides of the Atlantic. But if the styling doesn’t quite do enough to convince buyers to consider it, the drivetrain will probably do the rest. The base Stinger features a 255bhp (with 260lb-ft of torque) 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, using an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Most importantly power goes to the rear wheels, unless you happen to live in a market where AWD appears on the options list. But pick the rear driver regardless, as it comes with a mechanical limited-slip differential. Mmm, yes, there’s drift potential here.

2017 Kia Stinger GT

However, the entry-level version isn’t what has got us most excited. No, the Stinger GT is the real reason that this becomes a big deal. Using the Lambda II T-GDI engine from the Genesis G90 saloon, the range-topping GT gets 365bhp from the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6. Torque is an equally impressive 376lb-ft, with that peak available from just 1,400rpm. This all sounds suitably muscular, as does the claimed 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds and top speed of 167mph. Indeed, we’re talking about a Kia with the potential to nail 0-60mph in 5 seconds. To think we wrote 2016 off as being crazy…

2017 Kia Stinger GT

Most importantly, one of the five drive mode choices is a sport mode. This adapts the Dynamic Stability Damping Control of the suspension system, weights up the steering, and also quickens throttle response and paddle-shift gearbox changes. Textbook sport mode integration – well done, Kia. We also deeply approve of the staggered 225/40/R19 and 255/35/R19 tyres fitted to the Stinger GT, along with vented Brembo brakes front and back. Kia has attempted to kit out the Stinger with a sizeable performance arsenal, which should hopefully translate to a genuine driver’s car.

2017 Kia Stinger GT

The interior is also driver focussed, with a TFT screen between the analogue dials detailing data such as lap times, G-forces, and engine oil temperature. The dashboard itself is neat, with slivers of satin chrome trim and circular air vents keeping it classy. We’re not huge fans of what resembles an iPad being stuck to the top of the dash, but the standard touchscreen will control what Kia promises to be an impressive standard sound system at least. There is also a Harman/Kardon 720 watt system, with 15 speakers and under-seat mounted subwoofers, on the options list as well.

Prices are not yet confirmed, but it’s safe to bet that this will be the most expensive Kia offered to date. European sales are expected to begin at the end of 2017, so we should get more information before then. Ultimately, we’re very impressed with the Stinger. Kia has produced a bespoke sports saloon, with genuine performance equipment and bold styling. We just hope it delivers on the high expectations it’s now set for itself.


Detroit 2015 – Friday Photo Gallery

The 2015 Detroit North American International Auto Show has been a pretty good one, to say the least. We’ve seen two brand new supercars, and a host of other special new models rolled out. It might seem like we’re repeating ourselves, but it really is good to see the US car industry returning to form. Here are our photo highlights from this week:

Ford’s new GT took centre stage at Detroit 2015. Our car of the show.


Detroit 2015 – New Acura NSX is finally here

We’ve been teased for months, but now the all-new second-generation Acura (Honda) NSX is finally here. So, has it been worth the several years of waiting?

Next-Generation Acura NSX ExteriorIt’s taken a long time to get here. Having first been aired in 2007, the Acura ASCC (Advanced Sports Car Concept) was killed off in late 2008 as the global recession took hold. Before that we’d seen the HSC concept as far back as 2003, such has been the length of time Honda has deliberated on how to replace the NSX. It wasn’t until the Detroit Auto Show in 2012 that the NSX Concept, in the now familiar mid-engine format, finally surfaced.  But, at last, we can now see it in full production glory.

Next-Generation Acura NSX ExteriorOverall the car is little unchanged from the concept versions we’ve seen, save for some additional detailing to bring it into line with the rest of the Honda model range. It’s certainly not a bad-looking car, although some have derided it for appearing too generic, or like a Grand Theft Auto creation, rather than having its own unique personality. Others have also suggested the new NSX looks a few years old already; the long gestation period potentially being the cause of this. Compared to the new Ford GT it’s a lot less dramatic, although it does seem to share the floating buttresses and huge vents in front of the rear wheels, with the American car. Frankly, it looks like a modern Japanese supercar; whether that’s your bag is personal preference, but we at ESM like it.

Next-Generation Acura NSX ExteriorLike it’s predecessor, the new NSX is built out of an aluminium space frame chassis, with a mid-mounted V6 engine. However, that’s about where the similarities end with its older brother end. (more…)

Friday Photo – Acura NSX Production Model Teaser

It seems like we’ve been waiting ages for the production ready Acura (Honda) NSX to be unveiled, with various concepts and disguised versions being displayed. However, we’ve got less than a month until we finally see the real deal:

2015 Acura NSX 003

Due to make its official debut at the North American International Auto Show – the Detroit Motor Show to everyone else – the new NSX will be shown off to the world on the 12th January 2015. That’s only 23 days!

2015 Acura NSX 001

To further build suspense Honda has released these teaser images, along with 30 second video that lets you hear the sound of the twin-turbocharged hybrid supercar. You can also see that the basic shape is exactly what the concepts would have us believe, although minor detailing may be slightly different.

Having been designed in California, developed by a research and development team centred in Ohio, and due to be built in the same state, the new NSX is very much an American production. How that translates into a product for the rest of the world remains to be seen, but a new supercar from a major manufacturer has to be celebrated. With this, and the new Civic Type-R, hopefully we’ll see Honda rebuild the performance image that seems to have gone missing during the recession years.