Over the years I've tested well over 100 cars.
Every now and then one pops out as outstanding.
The Stinger is one such car.
I tested an earlier Stinger around two and a half years ago.
It won my Road Test Car of the Year.
My latest road test Kia was a Stinger GT Carbon Edition.
I enjoyed every minute of my 1400 kilometre, one-week test.
The specs are impressive - driven by a v-six twin turbo motor, it puts out 272Kw (365bhp).
That's 65bhp more than the legendary phase three GTHO Falcon!
Torque is 510Nm.
The car transmits power to the road via the rear wheels through an eight-speed auto with manual override via paddle shifts.
Acceleration is at supercar level with 0-100km in 4.7 seconds and a fairly irrelevant top speed of 280km/h (needless to say, that went untested).
Fuel economy after 1400 kilometres of testing - 8.2L/100km (33mpg).
Safety is one of the first things I look at with any road test car.
The Stinger scores five stars and comes equipped with Kia's latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
These active safety technologies are designed to avoid or mitigate the effects of a collision.
It's also equipped as standard with Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), ensuring stability under braking and cornering by controlling the car's Electronic Stability Control (ESC) if it detects a loss of traction.
Other ADAS features include: Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian recognition; Advanced Smart Cruise Control; Lane Keeping Assist System; Rear Cross Traffic Alert; 360 degree camera view for low-speed manoeuvres; Blind Spot Detection; and High Beam Assist.
Driver fatigue is covered by a Driver Attention Alert (DAA) system. The system monitors several inputs from the vehicle and the driver, and will sound a warning chime and display a graphic in the instrument binnacle if it senses a lapse in concentration from the driver.
Braking is well catered for with top quality Brembo four-piston calipers and 350mm ventilated disks up front and Brembo two-piston calipers and 340mm ventilated disks on the rear.
Kia have produced six variants of the Stinger from the 200S with a four-cylinder 182Kw motor to the Carbon Edition GT with its twin turbo fire breathing three-litre V6.
Stinger Carbon Edition GT is a limited-run version with a smattering of real carbon-fibre parts.
The lightweight weave has been used for the grille surround, bonnet vent-style inserts, side vents, wing mirrors, and rear diffuser-style insert.
Inside, the steering wheel is trimmed in Alcantara.
Enough of all that - what's it like to drive?
In one word 'fun'.
I took it to Gloucester then Booral and across the old Pacific Highway to Bulahdelah.
This road (hard to believe it was ever the main northern road to Brisbane) is full of tight twisting bends with hairpins thrown in.
Flick the Stinger into Sports Mode (there are five engine modes available) and the suspension firms and the steering tightens. The engine produces peak power and the exhaust note turns to an aggressive growl. You've just turned the Stinger into racetrack ready.
Through the bends the Stinger handles beautifully, going exactly where you steer it, all without breaking the 100km/h speed limit.
It was then up the Wooton Way over the notorious Bulahdelah Mountain.
The Stinger was a real blast from the past, a true sports sedan reminiscent of the Lotus Cortina era of days gone by.
A car that shows you what driving is all about.
If you are looking for a car with performance beyond what you will ever need yet comfortable tractability in normal road conditions the Stinger can't be overlooked.
Price of the Kia Stinger GT Carbon Edition is $68,190 drive away.
My rating 9/10.
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