Hyundai and Kia may have a potentially messy sibling rivalry to deal with.
In 2016 the Genesis New York concept debuted at the New York Auto Show to rave reviews, at least from us. A few weeks ago the Kia Stinger stole the spotlight at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, earning rave reviews from us and praise across the industry. Mechanically the two cars are similar, with a shared RWD platform and parts bin. Styling and branding will be what sets the two apart. The Stinger had an ideal reveal, one the G70 would love to replicate. Is that possible, though? Or is the G70 destined to be overshadowed by the Stinger?
On styling alone this could end up being the case. The G70 hasn’t been revealed in the metal, but the spy shots don’t look all that promising. Gone is the artistic audacity of the New York concept. Of course that futuristic, four-door coupe design wasn't going to make production. Still, it would have been nice to see the G70 take some chances in the design department. We reserve the right to change our opinion once the camo comes off. At the moment, though, the G70 looks like it will debut with a mature yet forgettable look. Contrast that with the Kia Stinger, a car unafraid to show off its sportiness. Its quad exhaust and fastback roofline are the adult equivalent of the boy racer’s massive rear wing and slammed suspension.
The thing is, these two cars have different purposes. The Kia is meant to show the world that the automaker can build fun-to-drive cars that are also luxurious. Meanwhile, Genesis is trying to enter the crowded luxury car market and steal sales from established German and Japanese competitors. Kia can afford to be bold with its styling since the Stinger doesn’t carry the weight of an entire brand on its shoulders like the Genesis does. While our forecast for the G70 contains a lot of doom and some gloom there is one area where it should outshine the Kia. That would be under the hood. It’s hard to imagine the Stinger’s 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 , which makes 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, offering more power than the G70's top engine.
The GT may beat out the entry-level G70s when it comes to handling and fun, but Sport and N performance models should help the Genesis sedan pull ahead and away, respectively. Additionally, the G70 should have the plusher interior, although our time with the Optima SXL showed us that Kia does know a thing or two about luxury. This sibling rivalry could end up being a big problem for Hyundai and Kia. On the other hand we may be making a mountain out of a molehill. Perhaps the South Koreans will one day soon find themselves with two hot-sellers in two different segments. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure: Genesis needs to hurry up and pull the wraps off the G70!