Kia Stinger Race Car
Kia’s pre-production Stinger that featured on the BBC’s Top Gear and Amazon’s The Grand Tour has been given a second chance at life as a ruthless 422 bhp track car.
After just a few thousand miles pre-production cars usually end up in a scrapheap, however, Kia UK had other ideas for their car. The first Stinger to come to the UK was registered on February 22nd 2017 – LA66 HTG. This car was featured on Top Gear and The Grand Tour. It was also used as a show car, allowing the public to get their first view of the new model at Kia dealerships across the country.
The car was due to be demolished at the end of 2018 which would put an end to a brief but exciting life. These plans suddenly and mysteriously disappeared which lead to the collaboration between multiple departments at Kia UK alongside with the technical assistance from the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
The outcome was a one-off Stiner GT420. This version of the Stinger was stripped back entirely dropping 150kg from its original kerb weight. Kia’s Press Garage in Chippenham carried out the majority of internal work removing seat and belts, airbags, sound system, interior trim and the electric rear windows. Other items such as the engine cover, undertrays, parking sensors, boot and bonnet dampers were disposed. The sunroof was replaced with a steel panel.
Kia became proactive, adding new, lighter components. Their all-out approach saw a race-spec seat, roll cage, racing harness and a fire extinguisher. Lightweight wheels were attached, saving around 5kg per corner. They even fitted a lightweight battery which saves 22kg compared to the original unit.
Next, performance. The braking system was completely upgraded including addition cooling ducts to prevent overheating. A 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine producing 365bhp was also added, this was later transformed by Kia’s wizards to produce 422bhp. Further tweaks to the suspension were carried out lowering the car to the road improving cornering. On-board electronics were customised to make the car tail-happy in Sport+ mode.
The final touches were applied, with a Stillen front splitter and rear diffuser being, along with a subtle rear spoiler from Air Design. This was followed by a wrap that added white and grey to the current red paintwork, advertising the GT420 name and the race-spec upgrades.
It is unclear as to why Kia decided to build such a model, but we are definitely a fan of the result.