Meet Kia’s one-off 422bhp track car, the Stinger GT420!
Kia might not be the first car manufacturer that comes to mind when you think about the best looking track cars, yet that is exactly what Kia has produced – the well-named Stinger GT420 track car.
Kia decided to produce this one-off track racer on a bit of whim in collaboration with the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre based in Rüsselsheim in Germany. The GT420 is based on the South Korean manufacturer’s Stinger GT-S. Rather like Nissan before it, Kia has reinvented itself in recent years and morphed from a dull, safe brand to something altogether more exciting thanks in part to Kia’s head of design, Peter Schreyer (who previously penned his art for the likes of Audi and VW) and Gregory Guillaume, head of European design – the man behind the launch of the Stinger.
The rear-wheel drive Stinger certainly does lend itself to becoming an exciting track car. While the original Stinger blends the traditional user-friendly Kia ethics of a 7-year warranty, it should also be seen as a vehicle that will change how we view Kia going forward – and if they can continue to keep the pricing as keen as in the past, then who knows how much Kia will continue to grow.
So what has changed? Well, the Stinger GT420 track car is about 150kg lighter than the Stinger GT-S thanks to a back-to-basics interior. This means no rear seating and no steering wheel air-bag (it is a one-off, after all). It also means unnecessary items like the electric rear windows get the boot too, along with the sunroof. The Kia Press Garage in Chippenham carried out the interior removal job
4-point harness Sparco racing seats keep inhabitants safe and comfortable and a twin-turbo V6 3.3-litre engine with 422bhp and 412 lb ft of torque adds to the excitement to that rear-wheel drive. Engine tweaks include HKS spark plugs, K&N air filter and a Miltek Sport quad-exit exhaust (minus catalytic converters), while a larger automatic transmission cooler keeps the gearbox from overheating.
Kia has also tweaked the suspension, increasing camber and adding 19-inch alloys. Dampers are standard, but uprated stiffened anti-rollbars and Eibach lowering springs complete the track-friendly suspension changes. Up front, 6-piston Brembo brakes replace the standard brakes and bring the whole thing to a halt, while a roll cage adds some extra safety.
The car itself was already a bit of a TV star, having been the first Stinger to arrive in the UK and finding itself on both The Grand Tour (Amazon Prime and featuring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May) and the BBC’s Top Gear (now no longer featuring the aforementioned trio). Following its moment in the spotlight, the Stinger’s 15 minutes were up. The Stinger was basically left high and dry with no chance of achieving anything else (there were no film offers and no director’s came calling) and there was no chance of being registered as road going vehicle. But then, out of the blue, it found a new role as the Stinger GT420 track car. A real rags to riches story.
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