The Kia Stinger is entering the final stages of its rigorous test and development regime before going on sale later this year. The test programme, carried out worldwide, on-road and on-track will ensure the car has the performance, reliability and dynamic sophistication to match its striking fastback design. Unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, the Stinger made a bold first impression.
Giving insight into the car’s amazing features, Kia Motors Europe’s Chief Designer, Gregory Guillaume said, “The new Kia GT is a true gran turismo, a car for spirited long-distance driving. It’s not about outright power, hard-edged dynamics and brutal styling all at the expense of luxury, comfort and grace. The new GT has nothing to do with being the first to arrive at the destination – this car is all about the journey. It’s about passion.” In realising the Stinger’s production design – a fastback shape embodying grace, flair and dynamism – Kia’s designers were also guided by the company’s aerodynamics experts.
In general, fastback bodies can pose more challenges during aerodynamic optimisation compared to conventional designs. Therefore, close and intense collaboration is required between designers and aerodynamicists to realise the desired shape. Kia’s Frankfurt R&D centre used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to quickly test and validate different ideas to enhance the car’s aerodynamic profile, while retaining the fastback silhouette. After four weeks of collaboration between designers and engineers, subtle design changes were introduced to improve air flow over the car. The bodywork was tapered slightly towards the rear of the car and new ‘gills’ were introduced behind the front wheel arches, each serving to reduce wake turbulence as air passed over the car’s flanks.
A partially-flat underfloor cover, flowing into the rear diffuser, was deployed to reduce drag under the car, while the rear spoiler was remodelled with a slight ‘ducktail’ shape, reducing lift and increasing high-speed stability. At the front, larger horizontal cooling ducts were introduced to optimize brake cooling, and air inlets were shaped to reduce front-end lift. Finally, Kia’s aerodynamics found that, by reducing the height of the rear of the roof, they could enhance the fastback’s ‘aerofoil’ shape and improve the Stinger’s aerodynamic efficiency at the same time.
The Stinger’s dynamics presented Kia engineers with a new challenge. As a car without a predecessor, Kia’s chassis engineers were given a blank canvas for the car’s suspension and steering characteristics. Their brief: to create a true gran turismo, with driving dynamics to match the car’s fastback design. The shape of the car has inspired efforts to imbue the Stinger with agile handling and high levels of body control, delivered to provide rewards for the more enthusiastic driver.