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    Kia has revealed their EV6 first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) ahead of the world premier this month.

    Kia Corporation revealed ahead of their planned world premiere the EV6. This is Kia's first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) influenced by an all new Design philosophy, embracing Kia's shifting focus to global electrification.
    Kia announced that the EV6 was their first BEV to embrace the following:
    'Opposites United' is Kia's design philosophy for the Future vehicles Philosophy formed of five pillars: Bold for Nature, Joy for Reason, Power to Progress, Technology for Life, and Tension for Serenity EV6 exterior design characterized by High-tech details Modern and spacious interior design made possible by Kia's first dedicated EV platform (E-GMP) The EV6 strikes strong in the companies new Opposites United taking inspiration from nature and humanity. The visual identity evoking positive forces with natural energy and contracting combinations of sharp stylistic elements and sculptural shapes. This distinctive crossover inspired BEV is a showcase of human-centered, progressive design and electrification.
    Welcome to the Future of Kia

    Power to Progress is the tag that Kia has for the EV6 as this is a global collaborative effort between Namyang Korea, Frankfurt Germany and Irvine California USA design studios.
    At the front, characteristic daytime running lights display a sleek, modern appearance. They form part of the car’s ‘Digital Tiger Face’, a design progression evoking the spirit of Kia’s ‘Tiger Nose Grille’ for the electrified era. The design of the lamps also includes a ‘sequential’ dynamic light pattern. Below this, a low air intake visually widens the front of the car, accentuating its high-tech image. Part of the optimization of air flow from the front, the air is channeled through and under the car’s flat floor for optimum aerodynamics.
    The side profile displays a crossover-inspired design aesthetic, which is modern, sleek and aerodynamic. This contrasts with sharp lines and high-tech details to create a sense of tension in the design. A swept-back windshield provides dynamism and purpose, while bold rear haunches add volume. A character line runs along the bottom of the doors curving upwards towards the rear wheel arches, visually elongating the profile of the car.

    The interior design is to profile an innovative use of space, creating a unique spatial and driving experience.
    One of the most striking elements of the new interior is a seamless high-tech curved high-definition audio visual and navigation (AVN) screen. The simple form language of the wide curved screen and the slim dashboard give the space an open feel. Extending from the steering wheel across to the center of the car, it displays an instrument cluster in front of the driver, and infotainment and navigation above the center console. The width of the screen creates an immersive experience for the driver, while a minimal number of physical buttons offer an uncluttered and soothing driving experience.
    Underneath the AVN screen, passengers control HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) settings by using haptic ‘buttons’, while below this panel, the dashboard slopes away towards the front of the car, creating a sense of space and openness for the front-seat passengers.
    The seats are slim, lightweight and contemporary, and clad in modern, visually interesting and robust fabrics created using recycled plastics, which create yet greater openness in the cabin.
    To quote Senior Vice President and Head of Global Design Center for Kia Karim Habib:
    “We want our products to deliver an instinctive and natural experience that improves the daily lives of our customers. Our aim is to design the physical experience of our brand and to create original, inventive, and exciting electric vehicles. The ideas of our designers and the purpose of the brand are becoming more connected than ever, with our customers at the center of what we do and influencing every decision that we make,” added Karim Habib.
    Kia reveals new design philosophy and full images of EV6 (kiamedia.com)

    William Maley

    A number of factors played into this

    When Kia revealed the new Soul to the U.S. in 2018, they announced that the EV would be arriving sometime a year later. 2019 came and the automaker announced that the Soul EV had been pushed back to 2020. A few months later, the launch date was pushed to 2021. Now, an internal source at Kia's U.S. office has revealed to Roadshow that the Soul EV isn't coming at all.
    According to the source, a number of factors played into this decision. Some of the factors such as limited supply of batteries and motors, along with increased demand for the model Europe were used to explain the last delay. Also, the Soul EV has independent rear suspension. The standard Soul doesn't, which would make the EV more expensive to bring to the U.S. and add complexity. 
    Adding fuel to the fire, Kia has removed any mention of the Soul EV on their U.S. consumer and media sites. There is also no mention of the Soul EV on the EPA site. Previously, the vehicle was mentioned with a range of 243 miles.
    When reached by Roadshow, a Kia spokesperson said they haven't heard anything about the Soul EV being canned for the U.S., but did confirm they have "no pending plans to introduce before 2021 at the earliest."
    We'll keep you posted on this story.
    Source: Roadshow

    Drew Dowdell

    ...following the path of the Sonata...

    The Kia K5 was unveiled in South Korea last month, but now we have some technical details to go with it. It sounds like Kia will ditch the Optima name in the U.S. and go with the K5 name used in South Korea going forward.
    The engine selection is similar to that of the Hyundai Sonata.  There will be a 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder with 178 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft of torque. There will also be a 2.5 liter naturally aspirated and direct injected 4-cylinder that produces 191 hp and 181 lb.-ft of torque. The bigger news is that the Kia K5 GT will also get the 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder going into the Sonata N-Line, that motor produces 286 hp and 311 lb.-ft of torque. That final engine is paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and should get the sedan from 0-60 in 6.6 seconds. Sometime in the future, a hybrid version of the car will be released, but Kia isn't going into detail on that just yet.
    Probably the biggest news for the K5 is that it will gain an all-wheel drive system that can shift power to the rear axle based on road conditions and driver input. It should be noted that the Sonata doesn't get an all-wheel drive option, so this gives the Kia a point of distinction over its cousin.
    The K5 has a sporty exterior with a wide tiger nose grille running the entire width of the vehicle. New headlights with a 'heart beat' daytime running light feature flank both sides. The stance of the K5 is said to lean forward with a rakish windshield and sloping roof.  In the rear is a dual exhaust system and integrated spoiler along with a LED light bar.  Wheels start at 16-inches and range up to 19-inches on the GT.
    The K5 is 193.1 inches long, longer than its predecessor, it's also lower and wider.  Wheelbase grows by 1.8-inches. 
    The cabin is all new with fancy new seats and a flat bottom steering wheel. There is an availabe infotainment system that sports a 10.25-inch screen while an available gauge cluster is fully digital and 12.3 inches complimented by an 8.0-inch heads up display. Some models of K5 will get a rotary gear selector while others get a more traditional T-Shifter.
    The K5 will have a bunch of driver assistance technologies including forward collision avoidance assist, blind-spot monitoring and assist, smart cruise control, driver attention warning, and highway driving assist.  Also available is a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system and a remote park assist that will allow users to move their vehicle forwards or backwards with a key fob in order to get into or out of a tight parking spot.
    The 2021 Kia K5 goes on sale in the first half of 2020.

    Drew Dowdell

    Kia K5 Previews US 2021 Optima

    By Drew Dowdell, in Kia,

    ...This is probably the next Optima...

    After a fairly clear teaser image last month, the South Korean market Kia K5 has been unveiled. Kia hopes to make the same splash that Hyundai did with the mechanically similar 2020 Sonata.  While this K5 is in Korean domestic market spec, we're fairly certain that the North American Optima will look virtually identical to this K5.
    The K5 may look like a hatchback similar to the Volkswagen Arteon or Buick Regal, but it is still in fact a sedan, the swoopiness of the car accentuated by the frameless windows.  The new K5 is bigger than the outgoing Kia Optima by about 2 inches in length, and widened nearly an inch.   Wheelbase has also been lengthened about 1.8 inches. 
    In Korean spec, the base model will come with 16-inch wheels while 17, 18, and 19-inch upgrades are available. The interior hasn't been revealed yet, but a concept sketch shows a more upmarket interior with large LCD screens. 
    Powertrains for the U.S. will likely mirror those of the Hyundai Sonata with a 191 horsepower 2.5 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder or an upgrade to a 1.6-liter turbo-direct-injection with 180 horsepower and a wide torque band maxing out at 195 lb.-ft. 
    The K5 goes on sale in the Korean market in December.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...a swoopier image for the staid family sedan...

    Kia's styling lately has been on a good run with the handsome Kia Telluride, the Kia Stinger, and the new Kia Soul.  Next up looks to be the redesigned Kia Optima. Though the current model is only 4 years old, Kia is looking at a major redesign for 2020-2021 in the Korean market where it is dubbed the K5.
    The company released a series of concept photos to show the direction in styling they are aiming for. The flowing lines give the car a couple like silhouette, while a larger, blunter "tiger nose" grille takes up most of the front.  The running lights take on a Z shape like on the larger Cadenza and the headlamps merge into the wide front grille. Around back is a trunk lid with a small lip of a rear spoiler and full-width tail lamps. A chrome strip runs from the base of the A-pillar, up and along the roofline and then down under the rear window glass. 
    Inside is a fully digital instrument cluster and a minimal number of buttons and dials on the center stack. The standard style gear shifter has been replaced with a rotary selector. 

    We don't know when the actual reveal will be, but it can't be that far away, perhaps at the Los Angeles Auto Show coming up in November. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Saved from the crusher to ride again...

    The first Kia Stinger in the UK, a homologation test car, was saved from the crusher.  As a pre-production car, it couldn't be sold to the public.  As it sat in Kia's headquarters showroom, the Product and Press relations team were scheming up ways to keep the HiChroma Red GT S.  After all, during its testing, it has racked up 10,000 miles, an unusually high amount for a test mule. 
    Instead of being sent to the crusher, Kia brought in an engineering team from Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany. The team upgraded the Twin Turbo V6 from 365 hp to 422 hp and peak torque from 376 lb-ft to 413 lb-ft.  They replaced the exhaust with a lightweight Milltek Sport exhaust with cats removed. An upgraded transmission cooler was added. and the transmission was recalibrated for quicker shifting in Sport and Sport+ mode. The team then "Added lightness" to the car by removal of all unneeded weight. Interior trim, airbags, engine cover, rear bumper beam were all removed. The rear windows were glued in place and lightweight door cards added.  After the needed safety equipment and underbody stiffening were installed, the net weight reduction came to about 331 lbs off the stock car. 
    Once the mechanical modifications were complete, the  team added a Stillen front splitter and a rear spoiler, and a body wrap that advertises the racing specs and the GT420 name. 
    There are no plans to build such a car from Kia, but it is an interesting study of what can be done with a car that is otherwise headed to the crusher. 

    Drew Dowdell

    Kia Unveils the Seltos

    By Drew Dowdell, in Kia,

    ...this tiny crossover is likely coming to the U.S....

    In Delhi, India today Kia has taken the wraps off their tiny SUV calling it the Seltos.  While this model signals Kia's entry into the Indian market, it is highly likely that the Seltos will be sold in the U.S.  Kia is planning a massive launch in India with the most dealerships ever seen for a new brand entry.  
    The Seltos is essentially a production version of the Kia SP Signature Concept that debuted in March of 2019. While it is a small crossover, the Seltos design affords a sporty look with a relatively long hood and strong character lines. LED lights surround the exterior. In the Indian market, the Seltos comes with 16", 17", or 18" wheels, however the US market model may skip the base 16" wheels. 
    Depending on the market (read: the U.S. isn't getting the diesel), the Seltos is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder making about 175 horsepower, a 2.0 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder making 147 horsepower, or a 1.6 liter diesel with 134 horsepower. Transmission choices are a 7-speed dual clutch, a 6-speed auto, or a CVT.   The driver can select different powertrain modes of normal, ECO, and Sport. 
    Inside the Kia's UVO infotainment system is there with a 10.25 inch screen that feature split screen ability to display up to 3 different applications on the screen at the same time. Unfortunately, we don't have any images of the interior yet. But it does come with a "Sound Mood Lighting" option with 6 themes and 8 colors that synchronizes to the beat of the music. 
    The Kia Seltos will be built in India and Korea.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...small, but larger than the Venue...

    Sometimes sibling rivalries work.  Such is the case with Hyundai and Kia.  Hyundai unveiled the tiny crossover Hyundai Venue this month at the New York International Auto Show.  Once it hits the market, it will be the shortest crossover available.  One of the downsides of the Venue and its main rival the Nissan Kicks is the lack of all-wheel drive.  Even Kia's own Soul does not have all-wheel drive.
    Kia, with an eye on the Venue, is looking for its own small crossover, but with all-wheel drive capability.   They recently showed the Kia SP Signature Concept which shares its dirty bits with the next generation of the Hyundai Creta, a small SUV only sold overseas. Still larger than the Venue, this model is likely to see production for the US market under the Kia badge.   The timeline for such an introduction is still uncertain, but it could happen as soon as the Los Angeles Auto Show late in 2019.

    Drew Dowdell

    .... Two concepts to show the future design direction of the brand.

    Kia unveiled two SUV concepts at the Seoul Motor Show this week.  Both concepts preview design directions for the brand.
    First up is the Kia Masterpiece (Shown Above and right).  Sporting a profile similar to the Kia Telluride, the Masterpiece is a take on a more rugged SUV.  The front end shows off a new variation of Kia's Tiger Nose grille that extends outwards across the entire of the concept with 12 vertical bars in a Hummer-like fashion. The body has been raised and it has a strong all-wheel drive system to match its go-anywhere looks. 
    Secondly is the Signature Concept (Shown Below). This is an update to the Kia SP Concept that was seen late last year and is slated to come to the US at some point.  Kia says that this concept is nearly production ready and the production version will be revealed later in 2019.  Up front, the Tiger Nose grille connect to thin LED lamps. Its strong shoulder line, with a glasshouse which tapers towards the rear of the car, lends the compact SUV an air of understated sportiness.

    Drew Dowdell

    Slightly more range than the Kia Niro Electric

    The EPA has released the estimated range rating for the 2020 Kia Soul EV and the results look good.  With its 64 kWh battery, the Kia Soul EV should be able to travel 243 miles on a single charge.  That's down 15 miles from the more aerodynamic Hyundai Kona EV with the same battery and up 4 miles from the slightly larger and heavier Kia Niro EV.  It also manages to beat the Bolt EV with its 60 kWh battery and the Nissan Leaf E+ with its 62 kWh battery.  Most importantly, it handily beats the 111 mile range the 2019 Kia Soul Electric was capable of.

    The Soul EV is capable of using DC fast charging to get to 80% charge in as little as an hour.  Level 2 charging from empty will take 9 hours, while charging on a standard household plug will take 59 hours from zero.  Buyers of the Kia Soul EV will want a Level 2 charger at their house. 
    The Soul EV packs an electric motor rated for 201 HP and 291 lb-ft of torque, a substantial upgrade from the prior model's 109/210 respectively. 
    While we don't have pricing yet, we do know that the Soul EV will be a limited release model, selling mostly to drivers in California. 

    William Maley

    Kia hopes some new crossovers will reverse their sales drop in the U.S.

    Kia's car-heavy lineup has been hurting them in terms of sales as consumers want more truck and utilities. Through September, Kia sales in the U.S. dropped 1.3 percent to 452,042 vehicles. But Kia CEO Han-Woo Park tells Automotive News that he expects "our performance in the U.S. market to rebound soon."
    This will be due in part to two new crossovers arriving next year; the Telluride next Spring, followed by a new subcompact crossover in the second half. The subcompact crossover will be based on the SP Concept that debuted at India's Auto Expo in March. Production of the U.S. version will take place in South Korea.
    Park said Kia would consider other crossover models and possibly a small truck, though there are no plans for the latter.
    "It's not an easy market, the pickup market in the U.S.," he said.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Putting on the "Texas" Ritz

    Kia surprised everyone over the weekend by revealing the new 2020 Telluride during New York Fashion week. This particular model was dressed up by Texan fashion designer Brandon Maxwell complete with various off-road features, leather-wrapped door handles, and a set of roof-mounted luggage. Pull off those various touches and we can see that Kia has kept most of the design from the Telluride concept shown at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. The interior looks to be quite premium with new center stack design and large infotainment system. There will be seating for up to eight people.
    Kia has said the production model will have a V6 engine - whether that is a naturally-aspirated or a twin-turbo version remains to be seen. We know Hyundai will have their own version of the Telluride called the Palisade.
    The Telluride is expected to debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show in January, with production to begin at Kia's West Point, GA later in the year.
    Source: Kia

    All-New Kia Telluride Makes Texas-Sized Statement on Brandon Maxwell's Runway At New York Fashion Week
    Kia’s Largest and Most Refined SUV Confirmed for U.S. with Production in West Point, GA Influenced by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s latest Texas-inspired runway collection, a ranch-ready Telluride with saddle-like leather accents debuted at New York Fashion Week Penned at Kia’s U.S. design studio, the Telluride production model is scheduled to arrive in showrooms in early 2019 Together with Maxwell, Kia is donating substantial funding to the public school system of Marfa, Texas, where Maxwell designed his SS’19 collection IRVINE, Calif., September 8, 2018 – Breaking new ground, a bespoke version of Kia Motors America’s largest and most refined SUV – the all-new 2020 Telluride – made its first public appearance today at fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s New York Fashion Week show. Created by Kia’s U.S. design studio in Irvine, California, the customized Telluride that appeared on the runway drew influence from Maxwell’s inspiration for the Spring Summer 2019 collection: Texas.
    “Telluride summits Kia’s SUV lineup and forged a surprising new path with its runway debut at New York Fashion Week,” said Saad Chehab, vice president of marketing communications, Kia Motors America. “Only a brand as forward-thinking as Kia could collaborate with Brandon Maxwell to launch the Telluride ahead of its official debut at the North American International Auto Show in January.”
    The eight passenger Telluride production model – which will be assembled at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – will provide a new, V6-powered option that is several inches longer and wider than Kia’s award-winning, seven passenger Sorento midsize SUV.          
    For Brandon Maxwell, the combination of childhood nostalgia and an exclusive preview of Kia’s largest and most refined SUV provided an opportunity to give back to the Marfa, Texas, community.
    “My Mom drove me to school in East Texas in a Kia Sedona, and my adoration for the brand runs deep,” said Maxwell. “When I left Marfa, Texas, where I designed my SS’19 collection, I started talking with Kia. I wanted a partner who could help fill a need in Marfa’s public school system and Kia was looking to create a unique integration for their new Telluride. It was a natural fit as Kia has a long history of philanthropic initiatives that support education. Kia is not just funding necessary technological purchases and educational programming to give the children of Marfa the quality education they deserve, but also providing a vehicle for local teachers’ use. I am honored to collaborate with Kia Motors.”
    The one-of-a-kind Telluride featured in the show provides a thought-provoking glimpse into the creative process that takes place when designers in separate industries collaborate. This specially tailored Telluride includes several nods to Maxwell’s Texas roots, including natural wood interior trim and saddle-inspired double-stitched leather adornments on the dash, door panels and grab handles. Similar leather details cover the outside rearview mirrors and door handles. Outside, the Telluride’s deep green paint reflects the color of the concept vehicle that debuted in Detroit two years ago. Custom front and rear bumpers, skidplates and sidestep sills exude a ranch-ready look that’s backed up with a hidden winch and a snorkel for deep-river fording. Burly 265/50R-20 off-road tires wrap around flat-black alloy wheels and the spare tire has been custom mounted to the rear hatch, which opens to a metal- and leather-trimmed cargo area. A custom wood and aluminum roof rack with a beautiful custom leather tow strap tongue provide the perfect finishing touches.

    William Maley

    Could we be seeing something like this in the U.S. in the future?

    Last week, Kia announced a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system that would be paired up with a diesel engine to improve performance and emissions. The first model will be the European-market Sportage. Today, Kia has unveiled a lightly refreshed Sportage with minor updates and more information on the mild-hybrid system.
    Exterior changes are quite small with new bumpers and headlights. The top GT-Line comes with new chrome trim and metallic skid plates. Inside, Kia has fitted a new steering wheel and instrument cluster. For safety, the 2019 Sportage gets Kia's Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, around-view camera system, and a driver attention warning.
    As for the mild-hybrid powertrain, it will come paired with a 2.0L ‘R’ diesel four-cylinder. No power figures or fuel economy figures were provided by Kia. The company also announced a new 1.6L diesel that will take the place of the 1.7. 
    Kia will launch the 2019 Sportage in Europe in the next quarter. We're expecting Kia to do something similar to the U.S. Sportage, minus the diesel mild-hybrid engine. But it should be noted that Kia is working on a mild-hybrid system for gas engines, so our updated Sportage could have a mild-hybrid powertrain of its own.
    Source: Kia

    Wednesday, 23 May 2018
    Updated interior and exterior design for UK and global best-seller Revised powertrain line-up includes EcoDynamics+ 2.0-litre diesel mild-hybrid and efficient new 1.6-litre ‘U3’ diesel EcoDynamics+ powertrain reduces CO2 emissions by up to four per cent under WLTP New technologies include upgraded infotainment and active driver aids On-sale in Europe during Q3 2018 Kia Motors has revealed the New Kia Sportage, introducing a range of enhancements to the brand’s UK, European and global best-seller. The new model pairs an updated exterior and interior design with new safety and infotainment technologies. Powertrains are also fully-compliant with future emissions standards.
    The Sportage’s advanced new EcoDynamic+ 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain is the first to be launched as part of the brand’s global powertrain electrification strategy. Kia is the first manufacturer to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and 48-volt mild-hybrid technology across its full model line-up. Kia will launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including five new hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five battery-electric vehicles and, in 2020, a new fuel-cell electric vehicle.
    Kia sold more than 131,000 examples of the Sportage in 2017, representing a quarter of the brand’s total European sales. In the UK, the Sportage continues to be the brand’s biggest seller with 39,683 delivered to customers in 2017, making up over a third of UK sales last year. Updates to the Sportage range also include modifications to ‘GT-Line’ models. European customer deliveries of the new model will start during Q3 2018.
    Upgraded powertrains include new EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid
    The Sportage now offers a wider range of engines, including Kia’s new ‘EcoDynamics+’ 2.0-litre ‘R’ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain. EcoDynamics+ supplements acceleration with power from a 48-volt battery, and extends engine ‘off time’ with a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator unit. It can reduce CO2 emissions by up to four per cent on the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).
    The Sportage’s existing 1.7-litre CRDi (Common-Rail Direct injection) diesel engine has been replaced with Kia’s efficient new 1.6-litre ‘U3’ CRDi engine, the cleanest diesel engine Kia has ever made. The new 1.6-litre diesel engine produces 115 or 136ps, with higher-powered models available with all-wheel drive and seven-speed double-clutch transmission.
    All powertrains are now fully compliant with the Euro 6d TEMP emissions standards.
    Updates to attractive Kia SUV design
    Improvements to the Sportage’s sporty exterior design include new front and rear bumpers, as well as redesigned front and rear lamps and new 16-, 17- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs. Options include chrome sill trim and metallic skid plates, and five new paint colours.
    ‘GT-Line’ models are equipped with a gloss black hot-stamped radiator grille, a gloss black and silver skid plate, and dark chrome inserts on the side sills and rear tailgate. The GT-Line’s unique 19-inch alloy wheels have been redesigned, and all models are fitted with a dual exhaust rear valance and revised ‘ice cube’ LED fog lamp designs.
    The newly-refined cabin features a new steering wheel and revised instrument cluster, as well as new black-and-grey two-tone upholstery. ‘GT-Line’ models are available with new black-and-grey two-tone leather seats, or optional black leather with red accents.
    Smart safety technologies and new infotainment systems
    The new Sportage adopts Kia’s latest advanced driving assistance systems, including Smart Cruise Control with Stop&Go, an Around View Monitor for easier parking manoeuvres, and Driver Attention Warning, to combat fatigue and inattentiveness at the wheel. European customers have a choice of Kia’s new infotainment systems: a 7.0-inch touchscreen, or a new ‘frameless’ 8.0-inch infotainment system.
    UK on-sale date, pricing and specification will be announced in due course.

    William Maley

    Two battery options will be available

    Back at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Kia rolled out the Niro EV concept. Aside from the wild design cues, the Niro EV concept featured a 150 kW (201 horsepower) electric motor and 64 kWh battery pack. Range was estimated at 231 miles. 
    Just a couple of days ago, Kia revealed the production version of the Niro EV. Unsurprisingly, the electric version doesn't look significantly different from the hybrid/plug-in hybrid Niros. The only changes are a closed-off, body-colored grille with a door for charging port; faux grilles on the front and rear bumpers, and LED foglights.
    The Niro EV features Kia's new electric powertrain that includes an electric motor with a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack. Overall range is estimated at 450 kilometers (about 280 miles) on the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Expect the EPA estimate to be slightly lower. There will also be 39.2 kWh battery available that is said to offer a range of more than 300 kilometers.
    We expect to have more details on the Niro EV such as power ratings and a release timeframe when the Niro EV debuts at the Paris Motor Show in September.
    Source: Kia
    First images of Niro electric crossover display sporty and versatile design European debut at Paris Motor Show in October 2018 Stylish and modern exterior inspired by design concept seen at CES 2018 New Kia Niro EV to deliver more than 450 km range* Frankfurt, 2 May 2018 –  Kia has today unveiled a new all-electric version of Niro at the 5th International Electric Vehicle Expo in Jeju, Korea. Due to receive its European debut at the Paris Motor Show in October 2018, the sporty and versatile Niro EV combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design and functional utility.
    Designed at Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea, the Niro EV incorporates the practicality and appeal of a compact SUV, in a sleek, aerodynamic body with subtly sculptured surfaces.
    Taking inspiration from the Niro EV Concept unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Niro EV features an exclusive radiator grille, futuristic air intake and arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights. With a ‘Clean and High-tech’ design concept, the slim character line and tapered rear windows emphasize the car’s sleek profile, while allowing greater room for the Niro EV’s muscular wheel arches.
    The Niro EV is powered by Kia’s next-generation electric vehicle powertrain, using new production technologies developed specifically for Kia EVs. Equipped with a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, the Niro EV will be able to drive over 450 km* on a single charge with zero emissions, or more than 300 km* on an optional 39.2 kWh battery system.
    The Niro EV demonstrates the considerable steps Kia has made over recent years to deliver comfortable, fun-to-drive vehicles that lead the way in zero emissions motoring.
    The Niro EV will go on sale in Korea during the second half of 2018 and introduced to other markets in due course.

    William Maley

    But they are interested in creating their own performance sub-brand

    While automakers are going crazy in terms planning new crossovers, Kia is showing some restraint. Speaking with Wards Auto, Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning for Kia Motors America said the company doesn't see an opportunity to introduce an A-Segment crossover.
    “I don’t think we see an opportunity there. We have a lot of coverage in the marketplace now, and that is not a priority at this point. I think we would see more opportunity in C-segment (CUVs) then we would in A- or B-(segment models),” said Hedrick.
    Kia will also not join Hyundai with entering the pickup truck market.
    “It’s a big step to take and I think it’s a major commitment.” 
    Hedrick points out that Nissan and Toyota have had issues in trying make a dent into the stronghold of large pickups by Ford, GM, and Ram.
    "It’s a fierce battle. You have to go into it eyes wide open,” said Hedrick.
    One interesting tidbit from Ward Auto's piece is that Kia is considering doing something similar to Hyundai's N performance sub-brand.
    Source: Wards Auto

    William Maley

    Kia gives the flagship sedan another try

    We cannot fault anyone who forgets Kia sells a flagship sedan. No, we're not talking about the Stinger. We're referring to the K900 which sounds like the name of a knock-off Doctor Who character. Later this year, Kia will be launching the second-generation K900 in select markets like the U.S.. Today, Kia dropped a teaser photo of the new model.
    Compared to the current K900, the new model looks much leaner and the A-Pillar has been pushed back slightly. The headlights feature LED accents. We think the new K900 will use the underpinnings of the Genesis G90, which would allow it to have rear and all-wheel drive. Engines are expected to be the twin-turbo 3.3L V6 and 5.0L V8.
    As for when we'll see it, some believe it will debut at Geneva while others have it at New York. Our money is on New York.
    (Author's Note: I actually reviewed the K900 back in 2015 and thought it was a nice sedan for the money. You can check out the review here. -WM)
    Source: Kia 
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Kia previews second-generation K900
    Kia Motors has previewed its flagship luxury sedan, the K900, ahead of its world debut later in the year.
    The new model combines sophisticated exterior design, effortless performance and a spacious cabin distinguished by luxurious materials and elegant styling. New technologies protect occupants, enhance interior comfort and give the driver greater confidence at the wheel.
    Created through joint efforts by Kia’s designers in Korea and in the U.S., the new K900 will be manufactured at the company’s production facility in Korea. The new flagship sedan will go on sale in selected global markets from the second quarter of 2018.

    William Maley

    How much will Kia's new RWD sedan set you back?

    Kia has revealed the pricing for the 2018 Stinger and Stinger GT that will be arriving at dealers next month. The base Stinger with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder will begin at $32,800. The twin-turbo 3.3 V6 Stinger GT kicks off at $39,250. Prices include a $900 destination charge.
    The Stinger comes standard with 18-inch wheels, limited slip differential, leather upholstery, power adjustable front seats with heat, dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition, and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Stinger GT models add adaptive dampers, Brembo brakes, and a nine-speaker audio system with external amplifier. All-wheel drive is available for an extra $2,200 with either engine.
    “Although the Stinger is unlike any other Kia that has come before it in terms of pure driving enjoyment, it is still very much a traditional Kia in that it offers consumers a very compelling value proposition, providing excellent performance and handling, premium features and functionality when compared to its much higher-priced competitors.” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning for Kia Motor America.
    Source: Kia
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Fastback Performance Sedan Brings Kia to New Heights While Maintaining Remarkable Value Stinger delivers head-turning design, premium amenities and heart-pounding power at an incredibly value-packed price Combination of aggressive pricing and spirited performance makes Stinger a compelling alternative to substantially more expensive luxury sport sedans IRVINE, Calif., November 16, 2017 — Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced pricing for the highly anticipated all-new 2018 Stinger fastback sport sedan.  Expected to arrive in Kia dealers in December1, the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history will be offered in five trim levels – Stinger, Stinger Premium, GT, GT1, and GT2.
    Stinger starts at $31,900 Stinger Premium starts at $37,100 GT starts at $38,350 GT1 starts at $43,250 GT2 starts at $49,200 All-wheel drive:  $2,200 Destination: $900 “The Stinger is a prime example of Kia’s commitment to surpassing consumers’ expectations in everything we do,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “Although the Stinger is unlike any other Kia that has come before it in terms of pure driving enjoyment, it is still very much a traditional Kia in that it offers consumers a very compelling value proposition, providing excellent performance and handling, premium features and functionality when compared to its much higher-priced competitors.”
    Designed in Frankfurt, developed on the Nürburgring, and built by the brand ranked highest by J.D. Power in initial quality3, the Stinger is offered with multiple engine and drivetrain configurations and luxurious accommodations. All Stingers come standard with a leather-appointed interior, though ultra-soft Nappa leather is available. A thick hand-stitched multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters sits front and center of the driver, while the GT trim gets a flat-bottom steering wheel.  All Stingers are available with a large color TFT instrument cluster with performance gauges including a track timer, and in true gran turismo fashion, the Stinger has a generous 23.3 cu.-ft. of cargo space that can be accessed via a power liftgate with available Smart Trunk functionality.
    The base Stinger rides on a passive suspension tuned to offer a balance of handling and ride comfort, while the GT is available with Kia’s first electronically controlled Dynamic Stability Damping Control and standard high-performance Brembo®4 disc brakes. Two turbocharged engines are available: The base Stinger and Premium trims get a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 255 horsepower at 6,200 rpm with 260 lb.-ft. of maximum torque available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm. Stingers wearing the GT moniker get a more powerful 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 which produces 365 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and offers 376 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm.  Both engines are matched to a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission. All-wheel drive also is available across all trims.
    Multiple Advance Driver Assistance systems work together to enhance the driving experience, including Driver Attention Warning (DAW)5, Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA)6 with pedestrian detection, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w/ S&G)6, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) 6, Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW) 6, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW)6.  A height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD)7 display is also available.
    The base audio system for the 2.0-liter turbo features six speakers and a seven-inch color touchscreen with the latest version of UVO, Kia’s award-winning telematics systems8. The standard system found in the GT trim ups the speaker count to nine and includes an external amplifier. A premium Harman/Kardon®9 audio system that features Clari-Fi™10 and next-generation QuantumLogic™11 Surround Sound technology is also available.

    William Maley

    You might want to skip the base model though

    The 2018 Kia Rio will be arriving at dealers next month and will still be one of the cheapest vehicles in the U.S. The base LX will set you back $14,795 for the sedan and $15,095 for the hatchback - prices include a $895 destination charge. 
    The LX fits the definition of being a stripper as you don't get power windows, cruise control, or a center console. You do get steering-wheel audio controls, satellite radio, and a USB port.
    Next up is the S which begins at $16,995 (sedan) and $17,295 (hatch). It comes with power windows, cruise control, keyless entry, center console, backup camera, Bluetooth, and an additional USB port.
    The EX rounds out the Rio lineup with prices of $19,295 (sedan) and $19,595 (hatchback). Standard equipment includes 15-inch wheels, 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and automatic emergency braking.
    All Rios come with a 1.6L four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 116 pound-feet. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or automatic.
    “Value has always been a core tenet for the Kia brand and the all-new Rio sedan and 5-door continue to underscore our commitment to buyers looking for an entry-level vehicle but desire more than what the subcompact segment offers. This fourth-generation Rio makes significant improvements over its predecessor in design, technology and passenger comfort, resulting in an even better value proposition, while raising the bar in the small-car segment,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning for Kia Motors America.
    Source: Kia
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Kia Motors America Announces 2018 Rio Pricing
    Feature-Rich Subcompact Sedan and Hatchback Provide Tremendous Value Coupled with Outstanding Design All-new Kia Rio has lower starting price than outgoing model, yet offers technology typically not found in the subcompact segment Rio delivers value-conscious consumers an eye-catching European-inspired design, fuel efficiency, innovative technology, everyday convenience and fun-to-drive character IRVINE, Calif., September 20, 2017 — Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced pricing for the all-new 2018 Rio sedan and 5-door hatchback.  Expected to arrive in Kia retailers beginning early October, the subcompact duo will be offered in three trim levels – LX, S and EX. 
    LX starts at $13,900 (sedan)/ $14,200(5-door) S starts at $16,100 (sedan)/ $16,400 (5-door) EX trim starts at $18,400 (sedan)/ $18,700 (5-door) “Value has always been a core tenet for the Kia brand and the all-new Rio sedan and 5-door continue to underscore our commitment to buyers looking for an entry-level vehicle but desire more than what the subcompact segment offers,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA.  “This fourth-generation Rio makes significant improvements over its predecessor in design, technology and passenger comfort, resulting in an even better value proposition, while raising the bar in the small-car segment.”
    Rio offers value-conscious consumers a roster of everyday convenience and technology features coupled with a solid structure.  On the tech front, the Rio offers Bluetooth® hands-free functionality3, a six-speaker stereo with satellite radio and a rear-view camera system4.  Available only on the top-tier EX trim is a seven-inch floating touchscreen interface, UVO3 voice recognition infotainment system and smartphone integration through Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlayTM  as well as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)5.  On the safety front, the all-new Rio is targeting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick designation and a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

    William Maley

    It is up in the air at the moment

    If you were hoping that Kia would bring over the Stonic crossover as an alternative to the upcoming Hyundai Kona, we have some bad news. A Kia representative told Autoblog there are no current plans for selling the Stonic in the U.S. This is a bit surprising as the U.S. has gone crossover crazy and automakers are beginning to fill out their lineups with models of varying sizes.
    Autoblog throws out the suggestion that the Stonic could cannibalize the sales of the Soul and upcoming Rio (which the Stonic is based on). We would also throw in the Niro crossover as it's about the same size as the Stonic (both are considered subcompacts). But there might be another reason. Kia may be watching closely how its sister brand, Hyundai does with Kona. If sales are ok in the U.S., then Kia might make plans to sell the Stonic. Note, we're only guessing this might happen because of 'current' appearing in the representative's answer.
    Source: Autoblog

    William Maley

    It's going to be a while

    Hyundai-Kia's performance head said there is more performance to be unlocked in the Stinger, but it isn't going to happen anytime soon.
    “The car technically has more potential no doubt, but at this point there is no plan to do more,” said Albert Biermann to Motoring.
    “We have to launch this car and see how it does in the market place. What kind of customers do we get? What would be their next requirement from Kia? I think first we need to establish some sort of customer base of these kinds of cars and then maybe next steps can happen. But we need to do this carefully. Step by step."
    In the meantime, Biermann suggested that Kia could do GT variants of existing models - think changes to the exterior, suspension, and powertrain. We know there are GT versions of the Optima and Rio in the cards. Once this happens, Kia might consider hopping up the Stinger.
    “At a later stage, when the GT is more established into a stronger sub-label within Kia, then maybe at some point we need a GTR or something,” said Biermann.
    “But for now there is nothing going on.”
    Source: Motoring

    William Maley

    Another subcompact crossover enters the fray

    A week after Hyundai raised the curtain on the Kona subcompact crossover, Kia has unveiled their subcompact crossover contender, the Stonic.
    Whereas Hyundai went with a polarizing look for the Kona, Kia went with a more down-to-earth design for the Stonic. You can tell it's a Kia as the various design elements such as the tiger nose grille, distinctive character lines, and sculpting. Kia will be offering a two-tone color exterior paint scheme that will be available in 20 different combinations.
    The interior matches up with the subcompact Rio - body color accents, large knobs and buttons, stitching on the seats, and a touchscreen system featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 
    For the European market, Kia will offer a 1.0L turbocharged three-cylinder, 1.25 and 1.4L naturally aspirated four-cylinders, and a 1.6L turbodiesel. 
    A range of safety features such as autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning.
    Kia says the Stonic will go on sale in Europe in the third-quarter of this year. It is unknown if the Stonic will come to the U.S., but we have a hunch it might.
    Source: Kia
    Press Release is on Page 2

    An important all-new model for Kia in a fast-growing segment Eye-catching, confident, SUV inspired design Combines agile handling and a sporty ride for an exciting drive Powered by a range of lightweight, downsized engines Cabin combines style and technology options Smart packaging for a spacious and versatile cabin Strong, lightweight body with new driver-assist technologies On sale in Europe during Q3 2017  The all-new Kia Stonic is an eye-catching and confident compact crossover, and is set to become an important conquest model for Kia in one of Europe’s newest and fastest-growing vehicle segments. 
    The B-SUV segment currently accounts for 1.1 million new car sales in Europe each year – around seven per cent of the market – and is forecast to expand to more than two million annual sales by 2020. 
    Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Kia Stonic will be one of the most compelling new cars in this rapidly-expanding class, backed by Kia’s unique warranty, and the brand’s reputation for reliability, quality and contemporary design. As the segment expands, the Stonic looks set to become one of our best-selling cars.” 
     “By volume, the B-SUV market is expected to overtake the C-SUV segment by 2020, when more than one in ten new cars sold in Europe will be from the Stonic’s segment. The B-SUV segment attracts buyers from across the spectrum, with 21 per cent of all customers upsizing from a supermini, and another 15 per cent downsizing from their family hatchbacks. Cars like the Stonic also appeal to those looking to replace their compact MPVs.” 
    The design of the car is one of the brand’s most striking to date, yet it is immediately recognisable as a Kia thanks to key signature design elements, such as the ‘tiger-nose’ grille. Designed in Europe, in collaboration with Kia’s Korean design studio, the body blends sharp horizontal feature lines with softer sculpted surfaces. Induviduality is important to many customers in the B-SUV segment, and the Stonic’s ‘Targa’-style roof enables buyers to choose a two-tone paint finish, inspired by the design of the 2013 Kia Provo concept. It will be available in Europe with up to 20 two-tone colour combinations, with a choice of up to five distinctive colours for the roof. 
    A range of lightweight, downsized, turbocharged petrol and diesel engines are available, each paired with a manual transmission, maximising driver engagement and efficiency. Buyers have the choice of Kia’s lightweight 1.0-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine, producing 120 ps, as well as 1.25- or 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated MPI (multi-point injection) petrol engines. An efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine completes the range, offering the lowest emissions in the line-up. 
    The car’s European-tuned steering and suspension are designed to offer an exciting drive, with immediate handling responses and a stable ride. The car is fitted as standard with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), ensuring the front-wheel drive Stonic remains enjoyable and confidence-inspiring to drive in all conditions. Specific functions of VSM include Torque Vectoring by Braking, Straight Line Stability, and Cornering Brake Control. 
    The Stonic’s European-designed cabin places technology and ergonomics at its heart, offering buyers as much potential for individuality as the exterior with a range of vivid colour packs for buyers to choose from. One of the smartest cars in its class, it provides owners infotainment technologies designed to enhance safety, comfort and convenience. The car gets Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ as standard, bringing seamless smartphone functionality to the touchscreen infotainment system. Like other Kia models, it is available with a broad range of technologies to enhance comfort and convenience, including heated front seats, cruise control and keyless entry. 
    Within its compact exterior dimensions, the Stonic’s smart packaging maximises interior space for all occupants. The car offers class-leading shoulder room and generous leg- and head-room, while the versatile 352-litre (VDA) boot has a two-step boot floor. 
    The car is built on a strong, safe and lightweight platform and bodyshell, with Advanced High Strength Steel accounting for 51 per cent of materials used. The body ensures driving confidence, passenger comfort and refinement in all conditions. Buyers can choose from a selection of Kia’s DRiVE WISE Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to further enhance active safety. These technologies include Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition and Forward Collision Alert; Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert; and Lane Departure Warning System. Backed by a new fusion camera system, Stonic offers High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Warning to further satisfy the safety needs of customers. 
    Backed by Kia’s quality promise, the car will be sold as standard with the company’s unique seven-year, 100,000 mile warranty. It goes on sale across Europe during the third quarter of 2017.

    William Maley

    Kia readies its subcompact crossover contender

    Not wanting to be left in dust, Kia has released some sketches of their upcoming subcompact crossover called the Stonic. No, we're not sure how to pronounce it. But Kia explains the name comes from combining "‘Speedy’ and ‘Tonic’, which refers to the first and last note in the musical scale."
    Let's move on to the crossover itself. It is clear that Kia is pulling from the Nissan Juke and Toyota C-HR design playbook as the Stonic. The concept sketches show a low roofline, angled headlights, and a tailgate design from the Sportage. The interior is mostly the same as the upcoming Rio subcompact with the floating infotainment screen and control layout.
    Kia isn't spilling any details on the Stonic's powertrain, but we're guessing a four-cylinder of some kind with the option of front or all-wheel drive.
    The Stonic will debut later this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with sales following sometime after.
    Source: Kia
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Kia introduces the Stonic: an eye-catching and confident compact crossover
    Kia’s new B-segment crossover will be named ‘Stonic’. An eye-catching and confident compact crossover with true European design flair, the Stonic is inspired by the form and function of larger Kia SUVs.
    The name ‘Stonic’ combines ‘Speedy’ and ‘Tonic’, which refers to the first and last note in the musical scale. Thus, ‘Stonic’ suggests that the vehicle is agile and offers something new and fresh in the compact SUV segment.
    A sweeping roofline and uniquely designed roof rack add a sporty look to the vehicle. The unique tail lamp graphics amplify Stonic’s young and futuristic appearance.
    The car blends sharp horizontal feature lines with softer sculpted surfaces, and brings compact dimensions and a low centre of gravity to the class.
    The European-designed cabin echoes the appearance of the exterior, with straight lines, smooth surfaces and geometric design forms. The Stonic’s interior places technology and ergonomics at its heart, with smart packaging maximising space for all occupants, and a ‘floating’ HMI (human-machine interface) seamlessly blending smartphone access with the car’s many functions.
    On sale in the second half of 2017, the Stonic will be the most customisable Kia ever, inside and out.

    William Maley

    Yes, we're already talking about possible new powertrains for the Stinger

    Even though it was launched a week ago, there is already about possible powertrains for the Kia Stinger.
    Spencer Cho, Kia’s overseas product marketing boss told Car and Driver that Stinger would benefit from the electrification options developed for the Optima, despite the different powertrain layouts - Optima uses a transverse layout, while the Stinger uses a longitudinal layout.
    “We can utilize the currently available hybrid, plug-in-hybrid, and EV technology” for the Stinger’s benefit, said Cho.
    While there are no immediate plans to do an electric Stinger, Cho said they could develop one very quickly. The development team behind the Stinger have considered this possibility and looked into ways to perform this change. One idea was to use transmission tunnel for battery storage.
    “We don’t have any EV in the plan yet, but we have the capability to bring EVs in the near future if the demand is there, based on market reception. The global EV market is still small, but it is getting bigger and bigger due to CAFE in the U.S. and European emissions standards,” said Cho.
    I have full confidence in our engineers and if we need the EV Stinger to come to light, our engineers can come up with ideas for putting the batteries into this vehicle.”
    Source: Car and Driver
    Pic Credit: NewspressUSA

    William Maley

    A rear-wheel drive Kia sedan that is also stylish?!

    It has been over six years since Kia revealed to the world the fantastic looking GT concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Now fast forward to today and Kia has unveiled the production version known as the 2018 Stinger GT.
    Yes, it may not be as striking at the GT concept. But let's be honest for a moment, have most production vehicles ever lived up in terms of design when compared to the concept? Not really. The Stinger GT retains the overall sportback profile of the GT concept, but adds a bit more sharpness. The front gets dual grilles, cooling ducts for the brakes, and hood vents.
    Power will come from two engines; a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque or a twin-turbo 3.3L V6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet. Both engines will come paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of rear-wheel drive with a limited-slip differential or all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. The GT Stinger will also be the first Kia model with an electronically-adjustable suspension.
    We'll have more details later tonight as Kia will debut the Stinger GT at an event tonight in Detroit.
    UPDATE: As promised, we have more details on the Stinger GT along with pictures!
    Let's begin with the interior which appears to take some ideas from Mercedes-Benz with the circular air vents and some material choices. A large amount of technology such as wireless device charging, 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, navigation, and a small color screen in the instrument cluster. An optional Harman/Kardon audio system packs 15 speakers.
    Size-wise, the Stinger GT is bigger than many of it competitors (Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class to name a couple). Overall length is 190.2-inch, while width comes in at 73.6 inches. The model rides on a 114.4 inch wheelbase.
    No matter which engine you pick, it will feature a set of performance tires as standard. The turbo-four rides on 18-inch wheels, while the twin-turbo V6 gets 19-inch wheels along with Brembo brakes.
    Sales are expected to begin this summer.
    Source: Kia
    Press Release is on Page 2

    2018 Kia Stinger Makes World Debut At North American International Auto Show
    Powerful all-new Fastback Sport Sedan Redefines the Kia Brand  Kia Motors follows through on the promise of a production model of the GT concept Designed in Frankfurt, developed on the Nurburgring, industry-leading quality by Kia DETROIT, January 8, 2017 – At an event typically dominated by introductions from American auto companies, Kia Motors America (KMA) today stole the spotlight with the world debut of the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger (hereafter Stinger) at the North American International Auto Show.  A five-passenger fastback sports sedan poised to redefine a segment currently populated by European automakers, the Stinger promises to be the highest-performance production vehicle in the company’s history and is backed by Kia Motors’ industry-leading quality and reliability.  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.
    “Unlike any Kia that has come before it, the Stinger really is a dream car for us, and here today in Detroit, that dream is now a reality after years of commitment and hard work from a passionate group of designers, engineers and executives around the world,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America. “From its GT concept-car origins to the years of tuning and refining on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, no detail was too small to be obsessed over, and the result is simply stunning.”
    Instantly recognizable as a direct evolution of the concept that preceded it, the all-new 2018 Kia Stinger design was overseen by Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors’ chief design officer, and his talented team of designers in Frankfurt.  Ride and handling development was looked after by Albert Biermann, head of Kia’s Vehicle Test and High Performance Development and his group of engineers in Korea and on the grueling Nurburgring racing circuit.  
    But what makes a true gran turismo?  This question was the foundation for a years-long journey that began when the GT concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.  Although every Kia design study has a purpose, the GT concept was something considered by many outside the company as little more than a dream for a brand known for producing mass-market transportation rooted in value.  But the GT ignited embers of passion that sparked a fire within the organization and over the next five years that fire would grow beyond fantasy and morph into reality.
    Once the Stinger was green lighted, that gran turismo question became a mantra as development commenced.  Coming from Kia, the design had to be bold.  And it was.  But it also had to be nimble and fast while also luxurious and quiet.  It had to achieve the perfect balance of ride and handling and seat five comfortably with room for luggage. It had to be a lot of things, but most of all, it had to be an authentic gran turismo.  And it is.
    Turning a concept into a production car is no small task and Schreyer looked no further than Kia’s Frankfurt studio – the birthplace of the GT concept – to bring the Stinger to life.  “A true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving, is not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling, all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace,” notes Gregory Guillaume, chief designer, Kia Motors Europe.  “The Stinger has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey.  It’s about passion.”
    From its sleek front clip through its svelte flanks, and up to its powerful haunches, the Stinger exudes a muscular confidence.  Key to its road presence are the rear-wheel-drive proportions; a long hood and short front overhang, an extended wheelbase to deliver a spacious cabin, and a long rear overhang with strong shoulders.  The Stinger’s stance and visual balance are designed to lend the car an air of elegance and athleticism, rather than boy-racer aggression.
    The wide front and rear track, along with the recessed contours along the doors, enhance the visual power of the Stinger’s shoulder line as well as its fastback silhouette.  Other purely functional elements of the exterior design – the front air curtains, wheel arch gills, smooth underbody, and integrated rear diffuser – aid its aerodynamic efficiency.  The rear valance houses four oval exhaust pipes. Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille sits proudly between complex LED headlamps.
    The low-slung cabin with its steeply raked windshield and backlight, sits toward the rear of vehicle, creating a fast silhouette.  Inside is a space dedicated to the thrill of driving while cossetting the occupants in luxury.  Available ultra-soft Nappa leather covers the deeply contoured seats and the driver’s seat has available air-cell bladders in the seatback and bolsters for optimal support and comfort.  A confident dashboard creates a strong horizontal plane for the driver to work.  The center console is intuitively split into two specific areas: the infotainment controls sit neatly below a large color touchscreen, while the climate and ventilation controls nestle beneath.   Front and center of the driver is a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a single instrument binnacle with a combination of analog and digital instrumentation.  The large gauges are ringed in metal and accentuated with sweeping red needles.  A color TFT screen between the gauges relays performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times and engine-oil temperature, along with ancillary information such as the trip computer, driver settings, navigation and diagnostics.  Aeronautically-inspired spoked circular vents are found front and rear and a tasteful satin chrome trim piece encircles the cabin.  The effect is a feeling of cocooned intimacy.  But the long wheelbase allows for generous front and rear leg room and the low seating position provides ample head room front and back.
    Joining the company from BMW in December, 2014,  Albert Biermann’s first look at the Stinger signaled to him a car that had to live up to its stunning design from behind the wheel.  “I think for the Kia brand, the Stinger is like a special event,” notes Biermann.  “Because nobody expects such a car, not just the way it looks but also the way it drives. It's a whole different animal.”
    Setting the manufacturing hard-points of the body-in-white would define Stinger and the engineers looked carefully across a landscape dotted with contenders.  At 114.4 inches, the Stinger’s wheelbase is longer than the Audi A4, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, BMW 4 Gran Coupe and even the Lexus GS and Mercedes CLS1.  It’s also longer overall (190.2 inches) and wider (73.6 inches) than the others in the segment, allowing for spacious accommodations.  The Stinger’s cargo area is also larger than many in its class, with enough space for full-size luggage or golf bags and a power liftgate with Smart Trunk functionality is available.   
    Riding on a chassis comprised of 55 percent advanced high-strength steel, the Stinger provides an ultra-stiff foundation for the ride-and-handling engineers to work with.  This rigidity also contributes to reduced NVH and a quiet cabin.  The MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension has been tuned to provide optimal feedback to the driver.  A Kia first, ride-damping and vehicle handling traits may be modified by the driver through an electronically adjustable suspension known as Dynamic Stability Damping Control.  While always reacting predictably to the driver’s inputs, depending on road conditions and driving style, the Stinger can be tuned to respond with more agility through corners as the system softens the front shocks and firms up the rear.  Conversely, improved high-speed stability is achieved when the system stiffens the front shocks and softens the rear.  The system is accessed through five drive modes (another Kia first): Personal, Eco, Sport, Comfort and Smart.  
    Standard variable ratio Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) offers razor-sharp feedback through direct mounting of the electric motor on the steering rack, enhancing steering response and reducing unwanted vibration from transmitting through the column.  Steering boost is also adjustable through the five selectable drive modes.
    If the chassis symbolizes the bones of a gran turismo, then surely the available powertrains represent its heart.  Oriented longitudinally and set rearward beneath the long, sculpted hood, a choice of two turbocharged engines are available.
    While both engines are still under development, the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine produces an estimated 255 horsepower at approximately 6,200 rpm.  Max torque of 260 lb.-ft. is available from 1,400 – 4,000 rpm.  Performance credentials are further enhanced through the available 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, which is anticipated to produce 365 horsepower at an estimated 6,000 rpm and offer max torque of 376 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm.  Kia is targeting 5.1 seconds to 62 mph and a top speed of 167 mph with the twin turbocharged V6.
    The Stinger features a second-generation eight-speed rear-drive automatic transmission.  First offered in the K900 luxury sedan, the gearbox has been designed in-house and rewards drivers with crisp shifts and maximized fuel efficiency.  More typically found in aviation- and racing-engine applications, the transmission features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter to help reduce torsional vibrations through the drivetrain.  Drivers can let the gearbox manage shifts on its own or may selectively run through the gears via paddle shifters mounted aft of the steering wheel.  As with the suspension and steering, up to five different shift patterns may be selected through the vehicle’s electronic drive-mode system.  Throttle mapping is also adjusted accordingly.
    Recognizing that passionate drivers may not always reside in optimal climes, the Stinger is Kia’s first sedan available with rear- or all-wheel drive.  Rear-wheel biased for optimal control in the wet or dry, the AWD system features a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control system which monitors driver inputs and road conditions and automatically applies power and braking force to the appropriate wheels to maintain course in adverse conditions.  Rear-drive vehicles get the benefit of a mechanical limited slip differential to help evenly distribute power through the rear wheels.
    A choice of alloy wheels and tires are also offered.  The 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder models ride on 225/45R-18 performance tires while the 3.3-liter V6 is shod with staggered ultra-high performance rubber; 225/40R-19 in front and 255/35R-19 at the rear. Vented Brembo®2 disc brakes are standard on the 3.3-liter twin turbo and feature quad-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers.
    Advanced Technology & Convenience
    Offering luxurious amenities and unexpected features have become part of Kia’s DNA and the Stinger continues that tradition.  Multiple Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) seamlessly work together to enhance the driving experience.
    In the United States, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year3.  This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, and 71,000 injuries annually.  A Kia first is the new Driver Attention Alert (DAA)4 system to help combat distracted or drowsy driving.  The system monitors a number of inputs from the vehicle and the driver and will sound a warning chime and display a graphic in the instrument binnacle that it’s time to take a break from driving if it senses the driver’s attention level has been significantly reduced.
    Forward Collision Assistance (FCA)3 with integrated Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)3 with pedestrian detection can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the car to a halt.  Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC)3 maintains a pre-set distance between the Stinger and the vehicle in front and can bring the car to a full stop in congested traffic.  Lane Keep Assist (LKA)3 actively monitors the vehicle’s intended lane and will alert the driver with an audible warning along with providing steering input to help maintain the vehicle’s position.  Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)3 scans the area behind the vehicle when backing from a parking space and will alert the driver with an audible warning if cross traffic is detected.
    Connectivity, entertainment and vehicle information can be as important as a dynamic driving experience and the Stinger comes to market with the latest infotainment systems.  The height-adjustable color Head-Up Display (HUD)5 display enables the driver to see key driving information reflected on the windshield glass, including speed, turn-by-turn navigation, audio and cruise control settings and Blind Spot Detection information.  Resting within the center console is a wireless Smartphone charging pad and Bluetooth®6 hands-free operation is standard while many of the vehicle’s subsystems may be accessed through the steering-wheel-mounted controls.
    Long-distance travel is a hallmark of the gran turismo ownership experience and there is a trio of high-performance audio systems designed to turn the interior into a dynamic concert hall as the miles blur by.  The base audio system for the 2.0-liter turbo features six-speakers and a seven-inch haptic touchscreen with the latest version of UVO, Kia’s award-winning telematics systems.  The standard system found in the 3.3-liter twin turbo ups the speaker count to nine and includes an external amplifier.  The available premium Harman/Kardon®7 audio system pumps out 720 watts through an external amplifier to provide crystal-clear music.  With 15 speakers and Kia’s first under-seat mounted subwoofers tucked beneath the driver and passenger seats, the system features Clari-Fi™8, a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process.  This technology returns a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source.  The system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™9 Surround Sound technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail.        

    William Maley

    Meet the upcoming Kia GT, minus the camouflage 

    Only a few months after we got the first spy shots of the upcoming Kia GT on U.S. soil, a leaked photo showing the production GT without any camouflage has come out.
    Kia-World.net got their hands on this photo which shows a pre-production GT sitting in one of Kia's factory. The design is toned down from the 2011 GT Concept, but the key details are here - similar roofline, vents on the hood, and taillights that extend into the rear fenders. It is expected that the GT will feature a turbocharged 3.3L V6 - introduced in the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport - along with a turbo-four.
    Kia-World says the GT will be called the K8 in Korea.
    No word on when Kia will show off the production version.
    Source: Kia-World.net
    Image Credit: Kia-World.net

  • Posts

    • Spotted sort of deliberately, by going into the showroom while my car was being serviced. It's about the rear pillar area ... - - - - - NO This was on the new 2021 Buick Envision - - - - - POSSIBLY This was on a new 2021 Acadia - - - - - I liked the outgoing Envision more.  Regardless, I wouldn't want to be in crowded traffic conditions and with rowdy drivers in a place like Manhattan and be driving the uppermost of these 2 scenarios.
    • • IDK... my friend with the Infinity doesn't have to "hose out" or vacuum it whenever he hauls something around. Mulch is bagged at the HomeDepot, not loose- why are people vacuuming up after bagged items? A few pieces drop off, you shake off the blanket (or tip out the cargo liner), fold it up & you're done. It's not a major calamity. Same with the 'spilled fuel' (don't you have an electric snow thrower yet??  ) - how is that readily happening?  • Full-size SUV's (say; a Suburban) has the interior length, but there are a number of things I mentioned earlier that it's not well suited for. Loose material is one, dumped material is another, actual dirt (for the 'dirty' aspect), leaking/significantly odiferous material, and anything involving -say- demo'd building materials studded with nails or vastly-irregular pieces - these pose actual damage hazards to the interior, whereas a lined pick-up bed can carry extreme lengths, dirt, garbage, stone, 90 cubic feet of brush/grass clippings, mouse-contaminated goods, propane tanks, etc etc. I would not peg the capability of an enclosed SUV vs. a pickup at anywhere "98% overlap". Maybe 70%. SUVs do offer 2 considerable aspects over pickups: security and weather protection. But this discussion (full-size pickups vs. full-size SUVs) seems to be another discussion. • The whole pitch about leaving the tailgate open is a rubber crutch for a 4-ft bed, no two ways around it. "Ledges", please. If dropping the gate means a 4-ft bed is practically a 6-ft bed, then the 6-ft bed is now practically an 8-ft bed and the 2 no longer compete.
    • -So we are back to pick ups, not SUVs? I say that because you sure are not hauling 4x8 plywood in most if not any SUV. BTW, with the tail gate down, the Santa Cruz gains two more feet back there, putting it pretty close to a short bed full size pick up. From an article regarding the tailgate.   "The bed is also 4 feet wide, designed specifically to be wide enough to carry home sheets of plywood from the big box store. That plywood rests on molded-in ledges above the wheelwells, and the tailgate can be adjusted to a half-open position level with the ledges to support the end of the plywood hanging out the back." Making it pretty damn useful for 95% of the population.   -Oh sure. Take the plastic tarp in and out when ever you think you'll need it while still having to vacuum your SUV of the dirt that will still find its way to other parts of said car (to say NOTHING of the smell of said mulch). Now, I throw few hundred pounds in the back of the Santa Fe and all I have to do afterwards is hose it down. Sorry but you can't tout pick ups on one hand and then $h! on them with the other when bringing up SUVs.   -And you go right on ahead and lay that fridge down in any SUV and wait 24-48 hours before you can plug in said fridge because of the freon. Me? I prefer to bring it home and plug it right away. Again, you are picking and choosing between full size pick ups and SUVs whenever it suits your argument. To a point, a full size SUV can do 98% of the stuff your HD can do yet we are not on here touting it over the other because the HD suits YOUR needs. See the problem her yet? BTW, don't even have to fold the handles down on the lawn mower or the snow blower to get it in the car or SUV and I don't have to worry about fuel/fluid spillage INSIDE may car or SUV.   -And of course its not competing with mid-size pick ups because it is not one itself. Not sure what argument you're trying to make here.   One last thing. Two weeks ago, I picked up a used duo grill (gas and charcoal) that was fully put together. As such, it was not going to fit inside my Flex without damaging the inside walls of the car (even with a tarp). Instead, I had to borrow a trailer to haul it. Now, if I had the Hyundai, it would have fit perfectly in the back standing upright, no fuss and no trailer or tarp needed. You have to stop seeing it like there isn't a use for one of these just because you wouldn't have a use for one.
    • mid-'80s : I can remember one of these in my favorite junkyard haunt, esp that peaked center section of the decklid. It was a '67 Fury 4-dr, very dark blue, and someone had painted (very well) 'BUILT TO' and 'BOOGIE' in the large flats to either side of that peaked center.  It was at the end of one of the 2 rows the arrows point to, nose facing 'south'.  Now ask me what I had for dinner last night. 
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