2014 Detroit - Kia stuns with the GT4 Stinger Concept

Affordable, rear wheel drive sports cars are becoming a rare breed these days, thanks to the widespread fetish on economy and efficiency. Kia wants to change that and, if the GT4 Stinger Concept that debuted at the recently-concluded 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is any indication, we are mighty impressed.

If we are asked to pick one automotive brand that completely reinvented itself over the last few years, our unanimous choice would be Kia. There might be a few eyebrows raised out there, but Kia just stole the show and bowled us over of late with it's stunning new design language.

The GT4 Stinger Concept is no exception. The car sits low and wide, with the latest iteration of Kia's signature grille hogging the limelight up front. Flanking it on either sides are vertical LED headlamps and air vents for cooling the brakes. In profile, the muscular fenders that protrude on top of chunky wheel arches, the transparent A-pillars with slots cut out in the sheet metal and the floating roof creates a lasting impression. The twin, circular exhaust pipes and the LED taillights that glow from inside a glossy black panel stand out at the rear. The interiors are minimalist and functional, but there is very little chance that this cabin will be carried over, even if the GT4 Stinger makes it to production.

A tuned version of Kia's 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injected four-cylinder engine (T-GDI) resides under the hood, putting out 315 horsepower. A 6-speed manual transmission transmits all this power to the ground through the rear wheels. Further highlighting the performance credentials are the Pirelli P-Zero tires, 20-inch aluminium wheels with carbon fiber inserts and Brembo brakes.

Though Kia says that this concept isn't headed to production, our experience with cars like the Soul before make us secretly wish that the GT4 Stinger does make it production with a design that's not far off from this stunning concept. Kia has surprised us a lot of late and we hope that trend continues with this affordable, rear wheel drive sports car.

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