There's a reason this race makes sense.
The Kia Stinger GT is a hard car to pin down. We obviously like it; we like sedans in general. It's 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 makes a healthy 365 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque and you can get it in rear or all-wheel drive. But we're not sure it's a muscle car.
That's what makes its inclusion into this American muscle car drag race so intriguing where two of our favorite hooligan rides in the form of the Dodge Challenger ScatPack 392 and Charger 392 lined them up against the humble, wingless Kia. Both of the brutes make 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. All three have eight-speed automatics.
The Stinger is certainly lighter weight, but not by as much as you'd think. The Korean champion tips the scales at 4,147 pounds while the American coupe weighs in at 4,286 pounds. The Charger is a little heavier at 4,427 lbs. The sedan may pay an actual penalty in power to weight, but the Challenger is so close it won't make much of a difference.
The race takes place on a hot day at Toronto Motorsports Park. It starts with the Stinger and the Challenger only as the drag strip is only rated for two cars. Both drivers start in comfort mode from a standstill. The Dodge coupe does what it's supposed to do, and walks away from the Stinger at medium speed.
The second run sees the two turn the traction control off and go into sport mode, and start from a brake hold. The Kia gets a lead on the Challenger off the line, but it soon pulls even, then ahead. In the roll race, the Challenger wins again.
The Stinger takes on the heavier Charger next, but still loses out in the power-to-weight equation (11.3 pounds per horse to 9.1). Surprisingly, the Kia jumps off the line in normal mode in the first race, with a good start and keeps it's lead to the quarter-mile mark. The second run doesn't end as well.
This is what we expected, but we're glad to see the Kia hold its own, at least for a few feet, against the more powerful American Dodge brothers. For the record, the Charger Scat Pack starts at $42,245; the Stinger GT1 starts at $43,690 and the Challenger Scat Pack comes in at $43,690.
That's where the important part of this comparison comes into play: pricing. All three of these cars have a similar base price, but offer wildly different results. If you want classic American muscle, the Challenger is the way to go. If you want that, but with space, opt for the Charger. And if you want to stand out, get the Kia. Despite the losses, it's just cooler than the ancient Dodges.