• Standard mechanical limited-slip differential
  • New Dynamic all-wheel-drive system has a Drift mode
  • Only 800 Stinger GTS models will be built
  • Standard bright orange, with carbon-fiber trim pieces
  • Priced from about $44,000 (RWD) to $46,500 (AWD)

 

Kia has taken the wraps off the new Stinger GTS, a limited-edition version of its entertaining sports sedan equipped with a mechanical limited-slip differential as standard equipment. This differential, fitted to both rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) GTS models, creates a Stinger that can let this sport hatch hang tail-out like pro drifters.

The AWD Stinger GTS is equipped with D-AWD, whose limited-slip differential makes sure both rear tires receive balanced power when the driver throttles hard out of a corner, enabling the tail of the Kia sedan to drift out a bit.

The secret: Drive Mode Select

The new Stinger GTS also has Drive Mode Select, which makes the car have more of a rear-wheel-drive feel.  In Comfort mode, 60 percent of the Stinger’s power goes to the rear wheels.

In Sport mode, 80 percent of the power is sent rearward for more spirited driving. In Drift mode, up to 100 percent of the power goes to the rear wheels, for some tail-out fun. In this mode, the transmission holds gears without upshifting.

All the while, Kia’s updated control logic automatically adjusts the GTS’s transmission and stability control if it detects counter steer, those times when the driver is “turning in” to a slide. Bottom line here: The AWD Kia Stinger can now be drifted, which wasn’t possible before. Thank Albert Biermann for this. He’s an avid driver who’s also Hyundai/Kia’s head of R&D.

What else makes the new Kia Stinger GTS different?

There are a few exterior and interior enhancements. Besides the bright orange paint, the GTS also wears carbon-fiber trim on its grille, side mirror caps and vents. Additionally, this newest Stinger wears a GTS rear emblem, and a Stinger badge replaces the Kia logo normally found on the trunk.

Inside, the steering wheel and center console are covered in Alcantara, a suede-like material. The headliner is made of Chamude, another pseudo suede.

How much does the new Kia Stinger GTS cost?

When the Stinger GTS arrives spring, expect the rear-wheel-drive model to start at around $44,000, and the D-AWD models at about $46,500. Remember, only 800 GTSs will be built, and all are fitted with a sunroof, a 720-watt Harman/Kardon sound system and a wireless smartphone charger.

With the new Stinger GTS—powered by a potent twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 with 365 horsepower—Kia has closed the performance and behavior gap between the AWD model and the RWD GT.

Should I buy a Kia Stinger GTS?

We spent a year driving a 2018 Kia Stinger GT2, commuting in Los Angeles. See how that long-term test went by reading our Stinger Ownership Review.

Ready to go for it? See Kia Stinger models on sale now at a dealer near you. 

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