Kia jumped into SEMA this year in a big way by offering attendees a chance to experience the new Stinger GT. The sportback, due next month, was tested extensively on the Nürburgring circuit. Kia’s performance car offers a rigid, stiff chassis, an advanced 8-speed automatic, and a number of aerodynamic advancements to reduce wake turbulence and move air over the vehicle. With the available 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, the Stinger arrives with more power than the Audi S5 Sportback, BMW 440i Gran Coupe, and Infiniti Q50.
While at SEMA this year, attendees can actually feel the Stinger’s capabilities as professional Formula Drift drivers take them through a unique autocross course outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. The drivers will be doing drift and other handling demonstrations in the new Stinger as attendees ride along. Following that, attendees can take the wheel of the Stinger GT to experience the autocross course firsthand, as well as a 0 to 60 launch. Such demonstrations are always a lot of fun – we enjoy them when we get the chance ourselves – and for Kia, this year’s SEMA show is particularly meaningful.
“We are so thrilled to show off what Kia has become at SEMA because 2017 is a momentous year for our Kia brand,” explained Justin Sohn, President and CEO of Kia Motors America. “We ranked number one in quality for the second year in a row in JD Power’s Initial Quality Study, we are top three in Consumer Reports reliability, and we are now introducing the all-new, 2018 four-door Stinger Sports Fastback, Kia’s fastest ever and our first performance vehicle.”
Stinger GT Wide Body
In addition to the drive demonstrations, Kia is displaying three different vehicles at SEMA. The first is the Stinger GT Wide Body, inspired by ’70s era GT cars. Kia teamed with West Coast Customs for this beautiful pearl blue rig which includes a lowered suspension, 21-inch Keen forged wheels, and quad-port exhaust tips. Inside, the Stinger GT Wide Body features custom blue leather seat piping, a distinct hand-stitched gray leather dash panel, and an alcantara-wrapped steering wheel.
Stinger GT Federation
The second of three vehicles is another take on the Stinger, billed as the GT Federation. This Stinger variant features a number of aftermarket performance parts and accessories, and signals Kia’s intent on making such parts available. The exterior accent kits by Air Design USA include a rear spoiler, rear diffuser, and redesigned hood vents. A K&N cold-air intake and a low-restriction, quad-tipped Borla exhaust are also characteristic of this Stinger variant. These accessories add another 15 horsepower to the V6 Lambda II engine.
Last but certainly not least: a special Kia Cadenza Obsidian with a lowered suspension, stiffer springs, and custom 20-inch gloss-black Keen wheels. Attendees will notice the Cosmic Copper trim, black metallic paint, and ultra-dark ceramic window tint. Inside, the Cadenza Obsidian has a hand-stitched suede dashboard top panel, butter-soft brown leather seats with suede inserts, and brown suede door panels. Kia also worked with West Coast Customs for this Cadenza variant.
The SEMA Show runs until November 3rd at the Las Vegas Convention Center, 3150 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada. Registration begins at 7:30am with the exhibits and New Products Showcase going until 5 and 6pm, respectively. More information regarding hours, floor plans, and special events can be found on the SEMA Show’s website.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.