Wow, it seems like Kia Motors is nonstop with news about its upcoming vehicles. Everyone is loving the refreshed 2019 Kia Sorento, the new Kia Telluride SUV at Fashion Week 2018 gave us a whole new look at Kia SUV style, and we’ve heard the good news about the Kia Niro EV fuel efficiency, although the numbers keep changing (for the better). Most recently, Kia Motors has decided to break off from the Hyundai Motor Group path of performance and turn Kia Motors into a GT brand. We’ve heard tidbits about GT vehicles and concepts, but news about several GT models is popping up, including the return of the Kia Stinger GT4 concept as an electric-coupe.
So, a “GT” car is also known as a “Grand Touring” car. Grand Touring vehicles tend to be an automobile in the style of a coupe, sometimes built for only two people, and designed to operate at high speeds while still keeping passengers comfortable. For instance, the Dodge Challenger GT is a four-passenger two-door coupe with all-wheel drive. The Kia Stinger is starting to lean in this direction.
The Kia Stinger is possibly the first Kia Motors vehicle to get the GT tag, with the Kia Stinger GT, GT1, and GT2 trims. It would also seem like the Stinger started a wave, and not just in terms of looks – we can already see several vehicles from the Kia Motors lineup borrowing the coupe style for future model years. The new craze is turning vehicles into agile GT cars, like the Optima GT, Kia Soul GT, Kia Rio GT, and most notably, the Kia Forte GT. More on the Kia Rio GT next week.
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What is all-wheel drive? Is it really all that important? All-wheel drive (AWD) is becoming a hot choice in the auto industry as of late. It was a big deal when Dodge added an all-wheel drivetrain to the Dodge Challenger GT AWD. Muscle cars usually only have rear-wheel drive for the power to push the vehicle forward, but AWD has earned popularity in recent years. Now, even more automakers are pushing for all-wheel drive as an option, and in some cases, as a standard. One automaker is none other than Kia Motors, now studying all-wheel drive intently and its uses for three of its popular vehicles – the Kia Optima midsize sedan, Niro hybrid crossover, and Sedona minivan.
What Is All-Wheel-Drive?
Known as a drivetrain, AWD is a drivetrain system that transfers power to all four wheels at once, which means all four wheels have torque, so they all have enough traction and power to push the vehicle forward. Some automakers will split the power between each axle, with 80-percent in the front and the remaining 20-percent in the rear. Some systems, like a 4×4 system by Jeep, run by a part-time 4×4 drivetrain, although listed as a 4×4 drivetrain, the vehicle will actually only power two wheels-at-a-time, and send power to the other two wheels if traction is missing in the two wheels prior.
That’s the real reason consumers want 4×4 and AWD – traction. When going off-road, consumers want to know their vehicle can handle the uneven and unusual terrain. An all-wheel drive system is great for this, because at all times, even if one tire loses its grip, there are three other tires to keep the vehicle stable until all four wheels are met with traction again. AWD can also come in handy in the north because roads can get slippery from ice and snow.
So why is Kia Motors interested in putting AWD into some of their vehicles?
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