It is fair and justified to be skeptical of the 2018 Kia Stinger GT. A rear-wheel drive sport sedan from Kia? With 365 horsepower? Again, from Kia? All of it seems improbable, like something you’d experience in a wild fever dream. But it is real, and apparently it’s pretty good, too.
This comes to us from Ignition’s Randy Pobst, a guy who knows a thing or two about fast cars that are good. And before he even starts on performance, he explains why it’s maybe the most interesting Kia ever, being on the same rear-drive platform as the new Genesis G70 and technically being a hatchback, not a sedan.
The Stinger is also the real first product of Albert Biermann, the former BMW M boss who got poached by Hyundai, so it’s spearheaded by someone who knows what a performance car should be. Out on the road, Randy says, the Stinger proves to be quite a lot of fun to drive, albeit on the heavy side due to the platform-sharing.
On the Streets of Willow, it falls short of being a real track car, but it’s a great sporty sedan. And the twin-turbo V6 has a lot of punch without a ton of lag, enough to spin the tires in third gear at low revs. The brakes didn’t fade, either. Perhaps best of all, the stability control can be switched off entirely—something of an increasing rarity these days, even for performance cars.
So hell yes, Kia! Good work here. It’s nice to know this thing has actual chops and isn’t another poser sport sedan.