Kia has launched a limited-edition Stinger GTS with new tricks up its sleeve – including a drift mode in the all-wheel drive version.
Although it’s also available as a purely rear-wheel drive car, the 800-unit GTS edition’s headline feature is a dynamic all-wheel drive system called D-AWD. According to Kia, it “inspires more spirited driving.” Real carbonfibre parts and retina-searing Federation Orange paint make this the Stinger drivers should covet most.
Essentially Kia has developed this new AWD system to emulate rear-wheel drive on demand, via a three selectable drive modes. While even Comfort mode sends 60 per cent of the 3.3-litre V6’s torque rearwards, Sport ups that to 80 per cent and Drift throws all sensibility out of the window and sends 100 per cent of the 365bhp and 376lb ft to the back.
When you break traction at the rear, a mechanical limited-slip differential balances power between the axles. Prior to that, it simply offers more corner exit traction.
The eight-speed automatic gearbox is tuned not to shift up while drifting in the dedicated mode, while your blushes are saved by new traction control logic that permits a fair amount of waggy-tailed heroics without letting you spin. Of course, as with the Ford Focus RS and its own drift mode, people will still find a way to crash.
Carbonfibre is limited to the grille surround, mirror caps and side vents, but hey, it’s still real carbonfibre. More exotic surfaces appear inside, with Alcantara trim for the steering wheel and centre console. The headliner is covered with a material called Chamude, which is like suede.
Additional standard kit on the GTS spans a sunroof, a 720-Watt Harman Kardon audio system and wireless smartphone charging. US pricing will start at around $44,000 for the rear-driven GTS and $46,500 if you want D-AWD.