Can the 2018 Kia Stinger GT Impress Randy Pobst? Find Out on Ignition


Rear-drive four-door hits the track

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On paper, the Kia Stinger GT looks like an absolute knock-out. It’s a rear-wheel-drive, five-door grand tourer aimed squarely at the Audi S5 Sportback. Under the hood, it packs a 3.3-liter turbocharged V-6 that makes 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the Audi, though, the Stinger GT’s eight-speed transmission sends that power to the rear wheels (unless you buy the all-wheel-drive version). And while it’s a little heavy at 4,005 pounds, the GT is still quick, hitting 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. Pricing has yet to be announced, but with an estimated base price around $30,000 for the non-GT Stinger, it should seriously undercut the German competition.

But just because a car looks great on paper doesn’t mean it’s actually any good to drive. And if you’re buying a rear-wheel-drive car with 365 hp under the hood, you want it to be an enjoyable driver’s car. To figure that out, our resident hot shoe, Randy Pobst hops behind the wheel to drive it like only a real race car driver can.

To start out, Pobst takes the Stinger GT down the world-famous winding roads in the canyons north of Los Angeles. The extra weight it carries means it’s not quite as fun as a BMW, but it’s clear that Albert Biermann, the former head of BMW’s M division, made sure the Stinger could handle a corner.

But since Kia decided to launch the Stinger GT at the Nürburgring, Pobst wasn’t content to stick to public roads. That means taking it to Streets of Willow where he can drive it flat-out, far faster than he ever could on the street. There, it lays down a 1-minute, 28.9-second lap time, slightly behind the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS 2.0 and slightly ahead of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. The way Pobst tells it, the Stinger GT has a strong engine and strong brakes, but the suspension is simply too soft to be a true track car.

But after driving it on public roads and out on the race track, does Randy come away impressed? Is the Stinger GT a real competitor for the Germans? Watch the full episode below to find out.

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