DETROIT — Seoul, Korea-based Kia Motors is known for its value vehicles, but hopes to spread out in a new direction with production of the Stinger, a speedy performance car that hopes to compete with models like the BMW 6 Series and Audi A6.
The 2018 Stinger was unveiled at the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit, and via a live Internet stream on Kia’s The Curve Ahead website .
The Detroit warehouse was decorated to look, feel and sound like an upscale night club with a slew of red spotlights, giving faces and fancy clothes that surrounded the car a reddish hue.
Servers meandered through the thick, mingling crowds carrying platters of hors d’oeuvres, including a spicy chickpea appetizer delivered on end of paintbrushes, Asian pork, beef tartar and red deviled eggs with salmon.
A Kia representative, who described the gritty exterior of the large warehouse as something straight out of the movie « Robocop, » said the event was all about « having fun with cars. »
Albert Biermann, Kia’s head of vehicle testing and high-performance development, said the Stinger offers a driver confidence because of its stability, even while making sharp turns at high speeds that « make your heart thump. »
The Stinger is a five-passenger sports hatchback sedan that « promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia Motors’ industry-leading quality and reliability, » according to the company website. « Offered with multiple engine and drivetrain configurations and luxurious accommodations, the Stinger is planned to go on sale in the U. S. late this year. » Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date. »
Its initial market launch and production is expected in Korea this summer. Biermann declined to reveal an expected sale price.
Kia has dubbed the V6 Stinger it’s « fastest-accelerating » model to date.
A concept model of the Stinger was revealed in 2011.
Leading up to the event, Kia had not released many details about the specifics of the car, but launched a website to highlight some of its features through a series of videos. More details about the Sttinger were released on the website Sunday.
« 0-to-100 kph. A benchmark for any car operating on a higher level of performance, and the number that enthusiasts look for first, » a teaser from Kia reads. « The fastest-accelerating Kia to date represents a new paradigm of performance, its heart-pounding power encouraging you to grip the wheel a little more tightly. »
Detroit auto show press preview days run through Tuesday. Industry days are Jan. 11-12, and the show will be open to the public Jan. 14-22.
The Detroit auto show is expected to draw more than 800,000 visitors during its two-week run.