2019 Kia Stinger GTS: A Drift-Happy, All-Wheel-Drive, Limited Edition Sports Sedan

The GTS's "D-AWD" system boasts a mechanical limited slip differential and a fun-filled drift mode.

Kia Stinger GTS
Kia Stinger GTS

Kia unveiled a special edition of its long-legged, surprisingly popular Stinger sports sedan at the 2019 New York International Auto Show called the GTS. Only 800 samples will be made and it seems to have been designed for those who can't really decide between the stability of the all-wheel-drive Stinger and the rear-wheel-drive drift missile version.

Even though the Stinger GTS is technically available in both rear- and all-wheel-drive, the AWD car is the one you'll be interested in. Kia actually calls it "D-AWD" (the first D stands for dynamic) and it follows in the footsteps of the Ford Focus RS and BMW's latest M5 in featuring a drift mode that sends all the power to its rear axle. Drift mode also makes sure the transmission holds gears and doesn't automatically upshift, ruining your gnarly power slides. 

Kia

D-AWD also includes a mechanical limited-slip differential that apparently improves traction and distributes torque "more evenly" between the two rear wheels when the car detects slip. Programming for the Stinger's slip control, countersteer detection, transmission, and stability control have also been tweaked.

The Stinger GTS's hardware goes largely unchanged, retaining the GT's 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 pumping out 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, and mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

Kia

Cosmetically, Kia has gussied up the Stinger GTS with an exclusive orange paint job and carbon fiber on its front grille, side mirrors, and side vents. The trunk-lid Kia badge has been swapped for a Stinger emblem while Alcantara on the steering wheel and center console, as well as an imitation-suede headliner, set the GTS apart from lesser Stingers on the inside. 

Kia

Upping the limited edition sedan's value quotient is a sunroof, 720-watt Harman/Kardon audio, and wireless charging. The Kia Stinger GTS will start at $44,000 for the permanent RWD model and $46,500 for the part-time RWD-enabled D-AWD.