It's a generally accepted practice in the automotive industry that when a company finishes with a preproduction or development vehicle, it gets sent to the crusher. This is done for a variety of reasons, but mostly it's so the car never ends up in the hands of the public.
When Kia found itself trying to decide what to do with its first UK Stinger GT model, its options were to crush it into tiny bits or find another use for it. Luckily, the folks at Kia UK are the "waste not, want not" type and announced on Friday that they decided instead to turn this doomed Stinger into a track day car.
What's even better is that they decided to cal it the GT420. Young master Spicoli would no doubt approve.
What did Kia UK do to taketo the next level? The group started by massaging its turbocharged V6 so that instead of producing a respectable 365 brake horsepower, it now makes 422 bhp. They also managed to turn the wick up on the torque figure, going from 376 pound-feet to 413 lb-ft. Radical.
The Stinger was meant to be more of a grand touring car than an out-and-out sports car, so the team had to go through the vehicle removing a good deal of the comfy but heavy interior. Gone were the seats and carpets and sunroof.
The engineers added a roll cage back in for safety and additional chassis stiffness (something thesince it's such a long-wheelbase car). The whole exercise managed to shed around 330 pounds from the car. In addition to the roll cage, the folks from Kia also added a few underbody braces to help shore up the car's chassis.
Next up, it was time to address one of the car's most significant performance weaknesses in stock form: the brakes. The engineers yanked the stock Brembo units and replaced them with bigger Brembo units that should be more able to handle the abuse of flinging such a big car around a racetrack.
After a few more finishing touches, Kia UK slapped a sweet set of graphics on the Hi-Chroma Red paint (the same color as) and sent it to its new home: the racetrack.
The Stinger GT was already a damned easy car to love -- we adored our time with our long-term tester -- and all these modifications made to the GT420 are silly and pointless, but they make us want a Stinger even more.
Now, we just need to convince the folks from Kia UK to let us drive it.