DETROIT — The show floor of the North American International Auto Show doesn't officially open to the media until 7 a.m. Monday, but several automakers are jumping the gun in hopes of getting their brands and vehicles into the news first.
Kia unveiled a brand new model Sunday night, the 2018 Kia Stinger GT, a rear-wheel-drive sedan with 365 horsepower. Kia told the media gathered for the reveal at an ultra edgy warehouse in Detroit that the model will compete against Audi, Lexus and BMW, and other luxury vehicles.
Kia has been teasing the vehicle on YouTube and a dedicated Web site called “The Curve Ahead” over the past month with short 27- to-40-second films. Episode 1, called “Twists and Turns,” was revealed on Nov. 30 and has 431,000 views so far. Episode 2, “The Fastest Accelerating Kia,” broke Dec. 11 and has 281,000 views. Episode 3, “The Silhouette,” has 180,000 views and Episode 4, “Attention to Detail,” broke on Jan. 1 and has 148,000 views. Each gave teasing glimpses of the car, with the promise of more to come.
The car will have a halo effect on the entire brand because no one expects Kia to have a vehicle like this in its lineup, said Albert Biermann, Kia head of vehicle test and high-performance development, who was previously VP of engineering at BMW.
“For the Kia brand, the Stinger is an explosion,” Biermann says. “Not just the way it looks, but also the way it drives. It’s a whole different animal.”
The Stinger takes Kia to another level, says Peter Schreyer, Kia president and chief design officer.
“It’s a special moment in my career, really,” Schreyer said. We’ve done a lot of great cars, and I’m very proud of them. But this is something special.”
The automaker will hold an additional press conference on Monday afternoon with more details about the Stinger.
Earlier Sunday, Ford introduced its new 2018 Ford F-150 to the world during the FOX NFL Wildcard Pregame Show. Ford is the Official Truck of the NFL. The truck will be revealed to the media Monday morning at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Three years after first introducing the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy-bodied Ford F-150, the new F-150 arrives with new front and rear styling, advanced technologies -- including available Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection -- and improved engines.
The new F-150, which goes on sale this fall, delivers on its “Built Ford Tough” promise through a segment-exclusive combination of advanced materials that are durable and inhibit corrosion.