Kia GT4 Stinger concept takes on Mustang

  • Korean firm shows muscle car concept in Detroit
  • Rear-drive, 315bhp turbocharged petrol engine
  • No plans for production
Words ByJohn McIlroy

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This is the Kia GT4 Stinger, a rear-wheel-drive concept designed to show how the Korean manufacturer could take on established American muscle cars with a sports car of its own.

The GT4 Stinger, which is making its public debut this week at the Detroit motor show, is the work of Kia's design studio in California. Tom Kearns, the chief designer at Kia's American design centre, describes the 2+2 as 'a daily driver that's also right at home on the track'.

The concept is about the same length as the Ceed family hatchback, and is wider than the Optima saloon. It is also around 10cm lower than an Audi TT. The aggressive styling incorporates vertical headlights, extremely short overhangs and surfaces that look like they've been 'stretched' over the chassis.

The cabin gets leather bucket seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and lots of exposed metal finish and bare rubber to give a 'stripped-out' feel.

The GT4 Stinger is designed to rival American muscle cars such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, but while those vehicles made their names with V8 power, Kia's offering uses a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 315bhp. The motorsport-derived engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

Kia has not announced performance figures; however, the car weighs just 1304kg so it should crack the 0-62mph dash in as little as five seconds.

Kia's official statement says 'there are no plans to bring the concept to production'. Howdever, several of the firm's key regions – including the United States and Europe – are said to be enthusiastic about the idea of a pure sports car, particularly with sister firm Hyundai already committed to a performance sub-brand and the World Rally Championship.

By John McIlroy