The weirdest track projects are the most intriguing, right? See the Range Rover, the Bentley Turbo R and Vauxhall Omega estate as three prime examples of the breed. Well now there's another to add to the list: the Kia Stinger GT420.
A collaborative effort between Kia UK and the Europe Technical Centre - and led by Tyrone Johnson, he of fast Ford fame - the GT420 has been built as "a track day monster." While there are no plans to build more than one, of course, that Kia has pursued the project deserves credit nonetheless.
The GT420 has been built off one of the best-known Stingers, 'LA66 HTG' a pre-production homologation car that was seen on The Grand Tour, Top Gear and a host of dealer roadshow events. The story then goes that there was "an unfortunate and mysterious delay" in acquiring the paperwork for its crushing; sat around doing nothing, a plan was hatched to keep the Stinger in some kind of service, and the GT420 was born.
This is no mere stickers and silly exhaust job, either. More than 150kg has been taken from 1,780kg Kia, even with the roll cage, chassis stiffening and extinguisher added in. All the interior has gone, the rear windows glued into place and light door cards fitted, the sunroof removed, even the rear bumper beam taken out to save kilos. A lighter battery has removed another 22kg.
There was always a suspicion that the Stinger's 3.3-litre, twin-turbo V6 could quite easily make some more power, and that's been proven in this GT420. With just new spark plugs, a K&N filter and cat-less Milltek exhaust, Kia claims the 376hp GT-S is now making 428hp and 413lb ft. This means power and weight figures are about in line with an M2 Competition, promising a noticeably faster Kia Stinger than we've known previously.
The modifications don't stop there, either. While the standard dampers remain (albeit now passive, rather than continuously adaptive), the GT420 uses Eibach Pro lowering springs that drop it by 25mm, plus a bespoke 17mm rear anti-roll bar. Furthermore, there are OZ Leggera wheels at each corner (saving another 20kg), Pirelli Trofeo R tyres and brakes upgraded with Brembo calipers, larger discs and Endless pads. Kia has even gone to the effort of modifying the front cross-member to increase the camber to -2.5 degrees, which is an admirably nerdy level of commitment. A host of new vents, ducts and deflectors, and a new transmission cooler, keep everything at the right temperature.
Topped off with a front splitter and rear diffuser - which we love the look of - and that GT420 wrap - jury's still out on that one - this Stinger really is one like no other. We're doing everything possible to get a go in this crazy Kia, because it promises to be absolutely brilliant; those hoping to emulate such a car - it's only as mad as a Bentley, surely - will be pleased to know that used Stingers now start at a little more than £30k...