When the topic of “Redusernab Car of the Year” started to float across our team of editors’ on Slack this weekend, one brand immediately came to my mind for nomination: Kia. No joke.
This brand, has completely taken the spotlight this past year and shaken up the new car scene. Ever since I’ve been into cars, not once have I told myself “Oh I really want to drive that Kia,” or “Mmmhmm I would totally buy that Kia.” It’s not really a sad realization, but rather just there hasn’t been a model in their lineup for as long as I can remember that’s screamed “Robby look at me, look!”
That has now changed, with this machine called the Stinger, and it’s brilliant. In conversations with friends and other obsessed car geeks about this intriguing sports sedan, there’s been this collective mutual shock of just how Kia came out of nowhere with the Stinger.
365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged six-cylinder engine (even the base model has a turbocharged four-cylinder!), a limited slip differential, optional Brembo brakes and a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. Don’t overlook its gorgeous exterior and high-end interior too. I first saw the car in concept car form at last year’s Greater Milwaukee Auto Show, and my jaw dropped. At the same time though, I said quietly to myself, “Gosh I hope people buy this car….” My fingers are still crossed and I’m cheering for the Korean underdog, hoping the Stinger will steal the concrete, shortsighted hearts of potential BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Audi buyers.
When I got into to work this morning, I was going over my monthly calendar and I see that I’m slated to shoot photos of the Stinger in a few weeks. I cannot wait to get up-close and personal with this new sport sedan. I applaud Kia heavily. Way to go, for taking a balls-out of approach of creating this enthralling, gorgeous automobile that I’m eager to get behind the wheel of and experience. I don’t think I’ve ever been this truthfully excited to drive a four-door car in a long time. From a more serious enthusiast standpoint, I’m also stoked to see if and how the tuner market grabs onto the Stinger, throwing whatever mods they can at it.
The fact that the company that sells boxes to the masses (the Soul), put Amantis out on showroom floors, gave birth to the Rondo and the ill-loved, face-plaming Borrego SUV, and countless, horrendously-cheap compacts during the 1990s I used to laugh at…. is selling this? That’s incredible and worthy of a HCOTY trophy.
Get ready to vote, we’ll post a poll in the next coming weeks to see what vehicle claims our almighty 2017 Hoonvierse Car of the Year award.