Kia UK has, with help from the man behind Hyundai’s acclaimed N models, prepared a tuned 426hp version of its flagship Stinger saloon.
Is it a preview for a halo version? Not quite. At present, it’s a creative way of saving the UK Stinger GT S press car from the crusher.
Yes, in a previous life, this was the pre-production homologation car that was air-freighted to the UK for regional sign-off from Hyundai Motor Group head of R&D, Albert Biermann. The same man who used to make BMW M cars so brilliant.
The 10,000 miles it has covered since have been accumulated by motoring journalists. From Top Gear to The Grand Tour and everywhere else in between, if anyone got an early Stinger GT S drive, it was in this car.
Turning the Stinger into a track toy
The 3.3-litre V6 engine is the first ingredient fettled on the way to becoming the ‘GT420’. Special HKS spark plugs are fitted, along with a K&N air filter and a de-catted Milltek exhaust.
The transmission has additional cooling and has been re-calibrated for quicker shifts. All in, this Stinger puts out 426hp (420bhp) and 413lb ft of torque. Those aren’t extensive modifications for a respectable jump in power.
Losing weight, gaining speed
The GT420 has also been on a serious diet. With a total weight loss of 150kg (after the installation of track safety kit), it’s a fair chunk lighter. To achieve this, the cabin has been stripped, with new lightweight seats fitted.
Many of the Stinger’s little luxuries were removed, including the stereo, sound-proofing and struts holding the bonnet up.
Even the sunroof was replaced with a metal panel, while the rear windows are now glued in place. Perhaps not quite showroom-ready, then…
‘Easy to drift’
Gluing the GT420 to the asphalt is a set of high-performance Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tyres, wrapping lightweight OZ Racing Leggera wheels.
In combination with 2.5 degrees of camber, new Eibach Pro lowering springs with passive damping and upgraded braking, this Stinger is ready to rip on-track.
Regardless of these speed-focused upgrades, the Stinger is still ‘easy to drift’. We like the way you think, Kia UK.
It’s a wrap
Along with the new wheels, a front splitter and rear diffuser from Stillen add some attitude. A red and white wrap completes the look.
Such cars tend not to happen ‘for the sake of it’ even though Kia insists this is an after-hours project.
The GT420 does, however, show willing when it comes to making a harder, faster Stinger. And for now, that’s good enough.