The all-new 2018 Kia Stinger made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year. Kia’s first-ever premium rear-wheel drive sports sedan began life in 2011 as the GT concept car. While not a direct copy, the correlation between the concept and the Stinger is instantly recognizable. Once thought to be little more than a dream, the Kia Stinger is finally a reality.

The 2018 Kia Stinger is poised to be a major contender in its class, rivaling BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the Stinger create so much buzz.

From Design Room to Showroom, the Kia Stinger is a Hit

The Stinger was brought to life in Frankfurt, Germany, a city known for performance automobiles. To create a true Gran Turismo vehicle, chief design officer Peter Schreyer and his crew took to the legendary Nurburgring racing circuit. Studying everything from handling to aerodynamics, the GT concept was brought to life.

The Stinger’s exterior is long and wide, with a fastback silhouette. The front fascia features Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille between LED headlights. An underbody spoiler enhances the sporty look. A long hood and short front overhang are evocative of the Stinger’s rear-wheel drive proportions. The contoured body flows back along the extended wheelbase to the rear, where four oval exhaust pipes give the car a powerful appearance, even when driving away.

The upscale interior of the Stinger wraps the occupants in luxury with deeply contoured seats. The driver will enjoy a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a combination of analog and digital instrument gauges. In the center of the dashboard, a large color touchscreen controls music and infotainment, while the climate controls rest underneath.

Under the hood is a standard turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder Theta II engine producing 255 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. Those with a need for speed can upgrade to a 365-horsepower 3.3L twin turbo Lambda II V6 engine that can go from 0 to 60 MPH in just 4.9 seconds. The engines are mated to an 8-speed rear-drive automatic transmission, first designed by Kia for the K900 luxury sedan.

The Stinger is the first Kia sedan to be offered with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, for optimal control in almost any weather condition.

Stay tuned to Jack Daniels Kia for updates on when the 2018 Kia Stinger will be hitting showroom floors.