A Kia winning against two Cadillacs is a scenario none of us would have imagined a couple of years ago.  That image and brand perception is exactly what the South Korean carmaker wanted to change with its Stinger GT. And having driven it extensively, we can safely say that the newbie has done exactly that. The Stinger is a proper sports saloon in every sense. Boasting muscular haunches, a long bonnet, short front overhang, wide front and rear track, low-slung sportback silhouette, quad exhausts and a steeply raked windshield, the Stinger GT looks every part a performance saloon.

And performance tuning expert Albert Biermann, the former head of engineering at BMW’s M division, has made sure the car’s performance and handling live up to the expectations set by its aggressive styling. In fact, Biermann’s team put the Stinger prototypes through nearly 500 laps of high-stress driving around the Nürburgring Nordschleife before releasing the production model. And the generous use of advanced high-strength steel hot-stamped components ensure that it has the structural rigidity to handle high stress conditions.

The twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6, the continuously damping electronically controlled suspension system, the direct and precise steering, and the Brembo brakes all add up to the Stinger’s excellent credentials. And it comfortably beat the Cadillac ATS and the CTS V-Sport to the title of the Best Sports Saloon of the year.