Ascendant Korean automaker Kia is leaving its mark on the SEMA Show in Las Vegas with two versions of its forthcoming 2018 Stinger GT, including the wide-body version developed with West Coast Customs that we previewed recently, and a sumptuous version of its premium sedan it's calling the Cadenza Obsidian.
The third model is the Stinger GT Federation, which Kia says marks its foray into offering high-performance aftermarket parts through suppliers in conjunction with a vehicle launch (the production Stinger hits showrooms in December). Kia pairs the GT Federation with Air Design USA performance kits like a rear spoiler, rear diffuser and redesigned hood vents that contrast with the fastback's custom creamy-orange paint. The GT-standard twin-turbo 3.3-liter engine gets an added 15 horsepower, taking it to an estimated 380 hp, thanks to a K&N cold-air intake and a low-restriction quad-tipped Borla exhaust. It also gets Eibach springs, beefier antiroll bars and a reduced ride height, plus staggered 20-inch TSW wheels with Falken tires.
Kia teamed with West Coast Customs for both the Stinger GT Wide Body and the Cadenza Obsidian sedan. The latter gets an upscale aesthetic makeover with ultra-dark ceramic window tint, metallic black body paint and copper accents inside and out. It rides on a lowered suspension with stiffened sport springs and custom 20-inch gloss-black Keen wheels with Cosmic Copper trim. Inside, there's hand-stitched suede dashboard top panel, "butter-soft" brown leather seats with suede inserts, and custom brown suede door panels. Oh, and there's a Harmon Kardon 630-watt premium sound system with an integrated subwoofer — perfect for belting out "Let It Go" at full voice during your morning commute.
Kia also revealed new details about the Stinger GT Wide Body, which takes its inspiration from grand-touring racing cars of the 1970s. Its suspension has been lowered 1.4 inches up front and 1.2 inches in the rear, and it rides on 21-inch Keen forged wheels fitted with high-performance tires. The body gets wide fenders, a lightweight carbon-fiber aero kit and rear diffuser, plus quad-port exhaust tips. Inside, the makeover features custom blue leather seat piping, a hand-stitched gray leather dash panel, Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and gloss-black center console trim.
Outside the SEMA Show, Kia is also offering attendees the chance to ride in Stinger GTs with professional Formula Drift drivers on a specially designed course, where they slide around corners at speeds of nearly 50 mph. There's also the opportunity to get behind the wheel and navigate a complex autocross course.
"We are so thrilled to show off what Kia has become at SEMA, because 2017 is a momentous year for our Kia brand," Justin Sohn, president and CEO of Kia Motors America, said in a statement. "We ranked No. 1 in quality for the second year in a row in JD Power's Initial Quality Study, we are top three in Consumer Reports reliability, and we are now introducing the all-new 2018 four-door Stinger Sports Fastback, Kia's fastest ever and our first performance vehicle."
Check out our 164-mph First Drive review of the production Stinger, which Kia sees as competing with more traditoinal premium brands like the Audi A7 and the Porsche Panamera.