Adding sizzle to the sting

by Andy Bryenton

Kia Motors has lived up to their famous adage ‘the power to surprise’ in recent months, with the biggest surprise in the bag being the sheer speed and power of their Stinger GT turbocharged six. Now the fast four-door has been honoured with a prestigious North American engineering award, right in the back yard of Detroit’s motoring colossi.

The JD Power Engineering Award for Highest-Rated All-New Vehicle is presented to a machine that stands above the direct competition in terms of technology. Presented in Detroit, the ‘motor city’, it’s a clear indication that a car has been very meticulously designed and built. The JD Power company are most famous in the auto world for their regular surveys, which reveal consumer satisfaction with the reliability of a wide range of vehicles.

“These awards are based on feedback directly from customers who bought the vehicles,” says Doug Betts, senior vice president of Global Automotive at JD Power.

“That’s something that should bring great pride to our award recipients. It’s about understanding what customers are saying and why they’re saying it, then trying to engineer a product that will really answer their needs.”

Despite the award, Kia has not rested on their laurels.

A limited edition production run of neon orange Stinger GT Sport vehicles.

With retina-searing paintwork and the ability to crush the 0–100kp/h time in under five seconds, there will be no mistaking the hot new Kia when it hits the tarmac. Handling has been taken care of by Kia’s ex BMW M division engineering mastermind Albert Biermann, while the styling comes via the pen of Kia director Peter Schreyer himself. Only 10 will initially reach New Zealand shores, but between retaining the best of German engineers and designers, and throwing down the gauntlet in Detroit, Kia has the whole auto world on alert.