While the auto industry has been recently preoccupied with electric vehicles, Kia has outed a more mainstream car that revealed its sportier ambition at the North American International Auto Show. This vehicle is the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger, which looks delightfully out of place in the current stable of the South Korean automaker.

Enthusiasts first got an inkling of the Stinger several years ago when Kia showcased a rear-wheel driven GT concept car at 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

More than five years on, we now have the production version in our midst and it is due to hit showrooms in the latter part of this year. At this stage, it is bound to be one of the most notable rides showcased in recent international auto shows.

Unprecedented Kia Design

When the spotlight shined on the Kia Stinger, there was a palpable buzz on account of the sleek and muscular design. Its fastback-style will hold its own when set side by side competing cars such as the BMW 4 Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback. The striking looks could be attributed to the fact that it has been designed in Germany, counting the likes of Albert Biermann, former top engineer for BMW M, in its production team.

"I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is like a special event," Biermann said. "Because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It's a whole different animal."

Kia Stinger Under The Hood

The hubbub at the event has grown even louder as the Stinger's tech credentials have been revealed one by one.

For starters, the base model will be rocking a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, capable of 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet torque. The higher-end variant is outfitted with better performing power train: 3.3-liter V-6 twin-turbo engine that could manage 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet torque.

The engines are reportedly still under development but the expectation is that they could zoom from 0 to 62 miles in 5.1 seconds. To contextualize its power, Kia officials tout that the Stinger can be considered a gran turismo sedan, stressing how it is the most dynamic car the company has ever built.

Kia also stated that the Stinger holds key competitive edge over potential rivals. For example, the vehicle's wheelbase has more length than Audi A4, Lexus IS or the GS, BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe, and the Mercedes CLS1. It is also wider and offers larger cargo space.

Dream Car

Based on its confident look, power, and technology, the Stinger is clearly a game-changer for Kia. Indeed, the company claims that it can underpin a shift in the way the company's brand will be perceived today and in the future.

"Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world," Orth Hedrick, vice president at Kia Motors America said in a news release. "From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning."

The Stinger is also expected to contribute in sustaining Kia's strong performance in the U.S. auto market last year, when it claimed a 3.5 percent sales growth.

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