2017 NAIAS: This is the 2018 Kia Stinger image

The South Korean automaker has a new flagship GT sedan – the 2018 Stinger – presented in front of the worldwide audience of the 2017 edition of the North American International Auto Shwo taking place in Detroit.

We have seen Kia advertising its intentions to deliver a range-topping Gran Turismo model since way back in 2011 when it launched during the Frankfurt Motor Show the GT concept. It’s been long in the making (but the time was put to good use, with more than usual time on the Nurburgring thanks to their local testing center) but during the first days of 2017 they finally delivered at the Detroit Auto Show. It’s bearing the Stinger signature with a design inspired by the concept it preceded and penned by the design studio in Frankfurt. It lacks the concept’s suicide doors but otherwise it’s quite obviously related – and the flagship GT version looks aggressive enough to represent an affordable alternative to the Porsche Panamera.

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It’s Kia’s first sedan using both rear- and all-wheel drive – the first using a mechanical limited slip differential while the latter benefitting from a newly developed Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system. The model for the United States will get for starters a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine packing 255 horsepower (190 kilowatts) and 260 pound-feet (352 Newton-meters) of torque. Power is delivered in RWD or AWD guises via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The GT version will use a biturbo 3.3-liter V6 engine from the Genesis G90 with the same power levels – 365 hp (272 kW) and 376 lb-ft (510 Nm). By the way, the engineers benchmarked the Stinger against sporty German sedans – but mostly against BMW – and just like the Bavarians do on some models the Stinger will also get artificial sound enhancement. In the best version, top speed should be of 167 mph (269 kph) and the 62 mph time of 5.1 seconds.