The Kia Stinger is the Korean's first attempt at a true performance sedan and much is expected of it when it arrives in South Africa. Here are five rivals it will have to beat.
Powered by a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine which packs a 272 kW and 510 Nm punch, the Kia Stinger has notable performance credentials. Power goes to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Kia claims a 0-100 kph time of 4.9 seconds and it'll run onto a top speed of 270 kph. Kia South Africa has confirmed a price tag of R859 995, which may seem a lot, but when compared to its rivals and spec-for-spec, it looks like quite reasonable bang for buck.
The Kia Stinger has the spec advantage as it comes fully loaded, whereas some of its rivals need optional extras that increase the total list price. On paper then, things look quite good for the Korean, but will this be enough to sway the South African buying public who are German car-obsessed?
Audi S5 Sportback (R936 000)
The first German out the block is the Audi S5 Sportback quattro, a stylish and luxurious offering. Powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 with 260 kW and 500 Nm, it's brisk to 100 kph, which Audi claims is dispatched in just 4.7 seconds. It also has all-wheel drive, meaning it's not going to be as hands-on as the Stinger, but it's still an admirable GT.
BMW 440i Gran Coupe (R929 501)
The stylish BMW 440i Gran Coupe M Sport is one devilishly handsome vehicle and based on looks alone, you wonder why people still buy the 3 Series. It features a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six motor which produces 240 kW and 450 Nm. Power goes to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it'll hurtle to 100 kph in a claimed 5.1 seconds. It's unusual for a BMW to be the slowest car amongst its competition, but in a straight line battle, it appears to be slightly outgunned.
Mercedes-AMG C43 (R924 238)
Recently facelifted, the new Mercedes-AMG C43 has yet to reach our shores, but it's also promising brisk straight-line performance thanks to a 3.0-litre biturbo V6 engine mated to an all-wheel-drive setup. AMG claims the C43 will breach 100 kph in a claimed 4.7 seconds. We do expect that the updated C-Class will go on sale in SA during the second half of 2018.
Jaguar XE S (R1 014 161)
Unfortunately, the pricing of the Jaguar XE S really hurts it as on paper at least, it looks like a formidable offering. It too features a blown 3.0-litre V6. With 280 kW and 450 Nm, it'll race to 100 kph in a claimed 5 seconds. The Jag offers rear-driven handling dynamics and one of the most adaptable chassis in the segment, offering comfort and sportscar handling in the same package.
Ford Mustang (R872 200)
While all of the above cars are four-door models, it's interesting to point out that for very similar money to the Kia Stinger, you can get behind the wheel of the iconic American muscle car. Admittedly it's a manual-equipped derivative, but when you fire up that 5.0-litre Coyote V8 motor with 306 kW and 530 Nm, you'll forget about having to row the gears yourself. Ford claims the Mustang will do 0-100 kph in 4.8 seconds. The Mustang also continues to be SA's best-selling sportscar, something the Stinger will be hoping it can eat away at.