Kia Stinger GT SNo Hyundai N-style high-performance offshoot, however as an alternative, GT fashions with a extra real-world efficiency focus
Kia plans to make its vehicles ever sportier, extra enjoyable and extra involving to drive, however is not going to crown that course of with the launch of a high-performance Hyundai N-style offshoot.
As a substitute, it desires to additional develop a small vary of GT fashions with a extra real-world efficiency focus, and be sure that the well-received Stinger sports-saloon has a wider impression in influencing Kia engineers to make higher dealing with on a regular basis fashions, in line with Hyundai-Kia high-performance growth boss Albert Biermann.
“For Kia, it’s not the choice to enter with high-performance vehicles. We did it with Hyundai N however there’s a transparent determination to not with Kia, and GT must be an affordable package deal. With the Ceed GT now, the minute you go high-performance, it’s good to work at a race monitor, after which the prices go up and the enterprise case will get very difficult. Doing that subsequent step will not be a simple step.”
He didn’t rule it out fully sooner or later – “Kia is the ability to shock,” stated Biermann – however stated the choice had been made for now.
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The two.Zero-litre turbo petrol engine from the Stinger is known to slot in the Ceed and will in concept energy the Ceed GT range-topper, however the carryover 201bhp 1.6-litre was as an alternative chosen to energy the brand new heat hatch and keep away from pushing its efficiency too excessive.
Nevertheless, Biermann stated that the next-generation Optima GT is prone to push the efficiency transient additional, with out changing into a monitor automobile. “For the subsequent Optima GT, you cane anticipate an attention-grabbing powertrain and suspension on the subsequent stage. It’ll be the subsequent stage of Kia driving efficiency.”
Additional GTs may observe, however there gained’t be one in each mannequin line-up. “There gained’t be an enormous roll-out,” stated Biermann.
The next-performance model of the Stinger GT S will not be presently deliberate, regardless of the platform being able to taking a drivetrain with higher efficiency than now.
Away from GT fashions, Biermann’s mission at Kia has been to offer the vehicles a sportier driving really feel, notably on European-spec vehicles, sacrificing a little bit of trip consolation and higher dealing with, heftier steering really feel, and higher physique management. “You’ll be able to settle for a bit compromise on trip consolation, particularly in Europe, for some sportiness.”
Biermann is happy with progress made at Kia and the dynamics of its fashions, however stated the method was continually evolving. “It may be the best way the gearshift feels, the best way you are feeling once you sit down within the cabin – it’s a wider philosophy that’s being launched and there are numerous extra issues to observe,” stated Biermann.
The subsequent mannequin to really feel Biermann’s affect would be the third-generation Soul. The funky crossover is about to launch quickly, and Biermann stated that automobile had ultimately been given the dynamic character to match its distinctive styling, with “a stage of agility not there earlier than” promised by the ex-BMW M chief engineer.
Kia has additionally developed high-performance electrical take a look at automobiles to evaluate what sort of idea and proposition future sporty electrical vehicles needs to be.
Whereas the corporate has no plans to provide high-performance variations of its present vary, that would change sooner or later with electrical vehicles.
“We’re engaged on EVs for the longer term,” stated high-performance car boss Biermann. “The primary begin is Niro EV, and we’ve a Sport mode on that the place it modifications responses, the ability and steering really feel. However there’s extra to return sooner or later. We’re taking a look at what to do to make a hit and a hero of an EV.”
To that finish, Biermann stated Kia had “labored on ideas” to “take a look at what a high-performance EV wants”. As for what such a automobile would want, Biermann stated: “You want energy and good suggestions even with the additional weight. You want sound, methods to make an excellent sound. Spory EVs are actually enjoyable to drive – I’m excited about it.”
There gained’t be a sporty GT model of the Niro, nonetheless, as Biermann stated the market wouldn’t help such a automobile. Nevertheless, “when there are extra Evs on the market, what do you do to face out? It’s worthwhile to present your individual strengths,” stated Biermann, saying that merely having an electrical automobile wouldn’t be sufficient sooner or later, and automobile makers would want to point out key factors of distinction.
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