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You can see what happened right now by watching the video above, as the mighty 3.3 litre, twin-turbo V6-engined luxury sports GT underwent the ultimate test on road and track, and take in the thoughts of world champion racing driver Rob Huff below.
So, Rob Huff, the Kia Stinger surprised you?
Well, if that car had a BMW badge, which it quite easily could, then you’d know what to expect. With a Kia badge, I didn’t know what to expect. Kia has never done a car like that before, so you wonder what will the first attempt will be like… And we all know how it turned out – I was genuinely very impressed. How Kia has managed to achieve those results, not only performance wise, but also handling wise, as well as making it aesthetically pleasing, at the first attempt, I think is very impressive.
How did the Kia Stinger perform on the track?
It was amazingly impressive. It has so much grip. And plenty of power – the mapping is very good, it’s very smooth, it’s very progressive, there are no holes in the map all the way from nothing to the top of the rev range. And behind those nice wheels it’s got Brembo brakes on it, so you know it’s going stop very well and pull itself up when you ask it too.
The grip and traction were amazing. The lap times we were doing, I imagine, were not far off race cars around Cadwell Park. And that to me is hugely impressive.
What do you like about Cadwell Park as a track?
I like the fact there’s no run-off. I’m known as a street racer – every street circuit I’ve ever raced in touring cars, I’ve won. I’ve won eight times in Macau for example, more than anyone else. Two weeks ago I was in Villareal in Portugal and got the new lap record. So street circuits are very much for me, and at Cadwell Park is quite like that, there’s no room for error. There’s no run-off, no gravel traps, if you run wide you’re straight into the grass and into an Armco barrier or tyre wall or whatever.
What did the passengers make of the track driving experience?
They was quite a lot of swearing! Cadwell Park was the perfect track because it’s so narrow and there’s no run-off, so people feel the danger of it. When you go that quick – and it’s a quick car – going sideways, one corner almost backwards, the whole experience of doing that day was amazing for them.
I would never normally look at a car like that, but after the day we had, I really would, it’s a genuinely impressive car. And that was the reaction of people in the car – how is it possible that Kia has done this, a luxury sports GT car?