TopGear.com13 January 2014

Kia finally reveals RWD Stinger concept

Is this 311bhp back-to-basics sportster the Korean GT86?

After the slow drip of pictures comes the real thing. Welcome to the Kia GT4 Stinger concept - a rear-drive, 311bhp, pared down sportster concept revealed at this year's Detroit motor show. Yes: a 300+bhp, rear-wheel drive Kia.

It's been built on a bespoke chassis with all-round independent double-wishbone suspension, powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine you'll find in the manufacturer's Optima racer, and its 1304kg mass is distributed at 52 per cent up front and 48 per cent at the rear.

There's no fancypants double-clutch ‘box here, either - it's a resolutely analogue six-speed manual, which sends power to 20-inch rims wearing Pirelli P-Zero tyres. Behind them there's a set of 15-inch Brembo brakes. Tres racey.

Inside, it's pretty stark. Like the lightweight Porsche Boxster Spyder, it has no stereo, lightweight doors, slim bucket seats, and those silly nylon door pulls instead of proper handles. Kia's gone one step further too, leaving out the carpet and fitting rubber mats behind the billet alloy pedals instead.

Not a million miles off Toyota's back-to-basics GT86 remit, then, only with a lot more power. And yes, while it's just a concept, Kia's Chief Scribbler at the company's American design studio says, "If anyone were to ask if Kia has the credibility to build a car like the GT4 Stinger I would simply point out that Kia races Optimas - and wins - against some of the world's most legendary performance brands [in the Pirelli World Challenge series]."

Fightin' talk. And lets not forget, that this follows the racy(ish) and unfortunately named Provo concept, and an announcement that the company will build a RWD super-saloon based on the GT concept.

So it's official. Kia are officially no longer boring. Just as long as they build this...

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