39 comments were attracted by the mere announcement of this model on three and a half years ago, a heated debate, most of it on the subject matter, triggered by the entry “Why oh why would anyone want to buy the real car in the first place let alone waste your money on a scale model of it?”. Three and half years later the real car, denounced as “Stinker” back then, has proven itself and gets an improved facelift, and prices for models are going through the roof, e.g. currently on eBay: 399 $ for this white version here, 349$ for a grey one, 270$ pre-owned – each without shipping and customs+taxes, and the red one featured in the brochures seems unavailable altogether. That´s obviously how well they sell!

So what do you pay for, other than the enthusiasm for an automobile design by award-winning automotive designer Peter Schreyer, engineered by former BMW M Vice President of Engineering Albert Biermann – some serious German design and engineering that has not failed to sting their former employers and has put up some serious competition? The model once came in three of its 9 colour options: Panthera Metal Metallic, High Chroma Red and this Snow White Pearl. As you can see, the colour is applied smoothly in all places and has a fine pearly sparkle.

Each colour was either available in a US specification that has amber side markers in the headlights upfront, while this Korean market version has white markers (like in Europe), that looks a little better on the model than its amber counterpart IMO. The LED daytime running strips are replicated nicely with a jewel sparkle structure in the chrome, the front turn signal section replicates the separate LED spots in great detail and the detailing of the headlight projectors is great. The US version further has plastic Kia badges centre front and rear, while the Asian version has an E-badge front and a large photoetched “Stinger” script across its trunk, while the US “Stinger” script is much smaller on the left of the boot lid, opposite the GT AWD badge on the right. The same attention to detail as in the front lights has gone onto the taillights, particularly the white section showing an LED cluster and the white reversing lights inside a black frame. The controversial red side reflectors (that stand out most on this white version while virtually disappearing tone in tone on a red car) are discernable as the separate part that they are on the real car.

The centre of the rims has a Kia or E badge in accordance to the respective US or Korea spec, the Y-spoked 19” GT-spec B-Type Machine Finish rims are correctly Dark Grey and silver, although the silver paint, in particular, is a thin layer easily damaged. While this Asia dealer edition for once did care to highlight the fact, that the GT comes with Brembo brakes, the tires are left unbranded. All four corners are fully sprung, the front ones steerable, needless to say. Like the real deal that comes on Continentals, 225/40 R19 front and 225/35 R19 rear, the slight difference is translated into scale with the rear rollers having a slightly wider tread. This is remarkable, as cutting corners (and costs) here would probably go largely unnoticed.

What I like a lot is the dark chrome of the radiator grilles´ frames, the folding mirrors, the door trim and the side vents behind the front wheel, not too shiny, but not just black either. Unlike the lower grille mesh and the mesh in the rear diffuser, none of the small vents, nor the main grille are really perforated, some of which is true to the original: It´s one of the complaints about the real car, that on the hood and in the back of the rear wheel arches it´s a non-functional mere design feature (but then, hey, Honda Civic Type R). The large quad exhaust tips only have a 2mm cavern too before black paint represents the rest of its depth. On the flip side, the exhausts are a separate part from the rear diffuser and realistically stick through a cut-out.

The liftgate is hinged on small doglegs but has nice supporting struts to distract from this rather cheap solution. The trunk opening is lined with black paint to replicate the rubber seal, a structured black plastic piece marks the threshold, the trunk itself is carpeted and its floor can be lifted up to reveal the detailed battery location, where you´d expect a spare wheel in real life and most of us expect nothing in a model. Very nice! This is just the kind of attention to detail in a full access diecast, I love. In the same department, we have the cameras above the licence plates front (in the grille) and rear, an opening fuel door, which is risky because it´s next to impossible not to create gaps in the body, especially when it wraps around the cars left shoulder line like on a Stinger. Especially in white, the model reveals gaps on each of its opening parts, not terrible, but visible because the generous paint application does not create sharp, but rounded edges and unduly over-fills creases replicating panels joining or sensors. A laudable exception is the rear doors joining the C pillar so tightly, so that you might suspect, that the rear doors are sealed. Luckily, they are not.

No matter which colour or side of the Pacific spec, the interior is finished in the Dark Red option that enhances the interior to a tasteful Italian style level. The colour mix of red, black and silver gives it a sportily luxurious look. The floor is carpeted as a matter of course, just as it has fabric seat belts with photo-etched buckles. Generally, I´d rate the interior´s details clearly surpassing Norev´s best efforts, but of course nowhere near what Almost Real and BBR have proved able to do. A sad exception is the clumsy rear-view mirror and the touchscreen left without any display.

The engine underneath the strutted hood and silver crossbars seems to be made from a single mould, some of it painted silver, including hoses and cables, with some stickers and colour added for more realism: It´s got a carbon pattern on the engine cover, a Turbo script and GDi engraving, a yellow dipstick handle and oil filling lid in the absolute correct place, a blue little too small lid for the screen washer water in roughly the correct spot, marked lids for coolant left and right of the radiator and warning stickers upfront. You´ll find each detail as in the real Stinger´s manual. Not much is to be said about the undercarriage, other than that it seems rather toyish down there, but better than a closed flat floor pan.

So why would and obviously did so many want to buy this scale model? Well, because the real car clearly doesn´t fail to impress and for the original price the model was good value for the money, just like the real thing in real life: You get nice attention to detail usually found in more upmarket models. No deliberate cutting of corners, but best efforts made. Plus, in contrast to its real counterpart, it resells at a profit. If you were an on-release buyer, your money clearly wasn´t wasted. If you were not and are trying to get one now, good luck in finding one and be prepared to feel the sting… in your wallet. If we´re lucky, the same mould will be used again to produce the Stinger´s facelift that goes on sale this year, as nothing about the diecast shell has changed: Extra fins on the lower grille, different colour split on the rear lights (general shape does not change), new rims, slightly different door trim. That´s it! So anyone who has bought the mould off MINIKRAFT when they went out of business would be foolish not to seek returns on their investment on this occasion. Best colours IMO would include the new Neon Orange as seen on the promotion car(s) or one of the two blue shades.

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19 Responses to "REVIEW: MINIKRAFT Kia Stinger GT"

  1. DS Team says:

    Karsten, thanks for the review! It seems you either love the Kia Stinger GT or you don’t. The car is found here in Canada, but sales are limited likely due to the stigma of the Kia badge and high price. BUT you do get a lot of car. If one chooses to do some research against the immediate competition.

    As for the Stinger model, it does show well but its biggest misses are the think paint and less than polished panel gaps. Though I loved the added bonus, such as the cover that exposes additional detail, priceless!

    As for MINIKRAFT, the owner and I did spend some time in limited conversations and did meet a few years back – though he lived in the East his family resided here in Canada. It was a tough road for the company, with many challenges. I don’t remember all the details, this model for example was to be delivered through Korea a dealer edition, don’t know if that ever happened. The company eventually transitioned to a close friend, again not sure what transpired here… In all, a shame the brand doesn’t exist today. We were VERY impressed with the Audi RS7, still one of my favourite models to date, I’m Audi biased LOL.

    We did hear the mould was sold to KengFai, so hopefully, there will be new production run with additional colours. Crossing fingers this happens, I’d like to add one example of the Stinger to my personal collection.

    • Thomas says:

      I heard that KENGFAI deceived many brands and once helped nzg and minikrat OEM. The quotation is very high.If you are a layman, you are likely to be cheated by him,As far as I know, kengfai has a very poor reputation in the Chinese market. Many Chinese friends told me that kengfai is a brand that does not understand models and is very greedy.

      • Karsten says:

        This is a review about the Kia Stinger. In what way do you regard your remarks relevant?

        • Sac says:

          Read it again in relation with last para from DS Team response above for perspective.

          I take it that Thomas does not have much hope in a better production quality/better color options/better price option of Kia Stringer 1/18 model from KengFai even though the mould has been sold to KF. And, I agree.

          • Karsten says:

            If that’s your interpretation of it, I’d like to point to the Lykan Hypersport. Kengfai’s version is the best diecast Lykan to date. And if I remember it correctly, they used an old mould from Minikraft too.

          • Karsten says:

            Autocraft was the mould donator here, apologies for being confused about the “crafts”.

      • DS Team says:

        “I heard that KENGFAI deceived many brands and once helped nzg and minikrat OEM.”

        They are still associated with NZG Models.

        • Karsten says:

          NZG will be the distributors for Kengfai’s upcoming re-release of MINIKRAFTS old Audi RS7 here in Europe. And they are for the G-Patton. It does not look as if NZG had any reason to feel deceived. And if Kengfai has collaborated in making NZG’s magnificent car carrier truck, there is no reason to give Kengfai a bad name. Actually, Kengfai’s reputation is on the rise.

  2. Karsten says:

    Thanks for the background info. It absolutely looks like something meant to be a dealer edition and I was surprised that it isn´t. The model was realeased at the same time as the real thing, which is normal for China dealer editions, but unusual for other diecast. I could imagine that a failed deal about the distribution through dealerships contributed to MINIKRAFT´s sad demise. If the new owner of the mould wants to sell the new Stinger, I would expect it in 12 to 24 months. If any effort had already been made towards that, we would have seen samples by now. As I said, re-working the model should be easy and by no means as time-consuming as starting from scratch.

  3. josh pessman says:

    Looks like a great model! I wish there were models of this standard, of cars I actually like. Because the Stinger is just never gonna capture my enthusiasm. How is this available in high detail 1/18 diecast form and the Pagani Zonda or 1969 Trans Am or 57 Corvette or Citreon 2CV is not?

    • DS Team says:

      In this case, MINIKRAFT had some sort of relationship with Kia our East. Not sure of the details, and it was years ago I spoke with the original owners. Kia in scale goes beyond this Stringer, there were others, some reviewed here. As for the Audi, the original owner made zero money, actually took a loss.

      To answer your question, not every brand is going to invest the resources, that is simply why not every car out there is made. Another pro for resin and static models.

  4. Tomcatters says:

    Saw this, got excited, read first paragraph and got immediately disappointed lol

    I somehow missed the release of this and would have loved to add one to my collection. Oh well… Still a very nice model. I’d really like to see more models like this.

  5. Craigj3534 says:

    In December I was seriously considering buying on of these (the real 1:1 car); what caught my attention was all the features, including a V6 Turbo, and the door frames were high enough for me to get into the car (I have some vertebrae in my neck fused and I couldn’t easily get into the Genesis). What stopped me was this terrible, constant, deep humming noise when driving it. An on line search determined this was a common issue which killed sales. Then, in February or March, they discovered that a plastic aero panel on the quarter panels wasn’t fitted correctly so it allowed air to rush by it and cause it to vibrate and make the deep “thrumming” noise. Supposedly that’s now been fixed, but I had already obtained another Lexus ES350.

  6. Lorenz says:

    First of all thank You for the review of the white version!

    I seem to be one of the few people who were lucky to get the model when it was released in early 2018. After some reserach and persuasion my local KIA-Dealer in Germany was able to source the model through their network – and seemingly directly from South Korea. Judging from the order no. VERTICAS-KIA30024DE it seems that it was distributed through the full-service merchandising firm Verticas.
    Also, I was free to choose from the four colours and decided to go with the chromared one. I can assure You it does exist!

    • Karsten says:

      Thanks for the feed-back, my fellow German. I never doubted the red one was originally available, but you can no longer find it now. One thing confuses me, though: four colours? Chroma-red, snow-white-pearl, panthera metallic and …? What’s the fourth? I never heard of a fourth colour for the model!

  7. Malik says:

    I would like to see KENGFAI do a 1/18 scale version of Kia’s Telluride or Palisade. These are two very popular SUVs in the USA. Or any other diecast manufacturer up to the challenge.

  8. Jerry says:

    Hi, I am a stinger owner and fans of RS7. I wonder know where can I get this model? I live Canada and I can speak Chinses.

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