Wednesday, May 16, 2018

5 Pricey Models That The Kia Stinger GT Puts to Shame on the Drag Strip

With a price starting at just under $40,000, the Kia Stinger GT has been a robust and slightly rebellious surprise to automotive enthusiasts nationwide. Named as's “2018 Car of the Year”, there's a lot more to the Kia Stinger GT than just the 3.3-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine, providing 365 horsepower, and 376 pound-ft of torque, but the speed stats have admittedly really been boosting curiosity as well as popularity.

Many customers have asked us after their first alluring peek at the Stinger here at Jim Butler of St Louis, “Which cars can this sedan smoke on the track?” To help us compile our list, we used the 0-60 times published by the automakers themselves, instead of a 3rd party source. We claim the Stinger GT completes the sprint in 4.7 seconds, but it has been known to complete it in even less.

The BMW 540i: Even though its the least expensive on this list, it still rings in at $20,000 more expensive than the Stinger. It is powered by a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline six, and generates 335 hp, and 332 lb-ft of torque. The standard-level 540i reaches 60 mph from a complete standstill in 4.9 seconds, while the xDrive all-wheel drive actually hails a tie with the Stinger's time, at 4.7 seconds.

Audi A7: The well-known and dastardly brisk S7 is obviously a faster machine than the Stinger GT, but the A7 is situated in a bit different of a category. It is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, sporting 340 hp, and 325 lb-ft of torque. This results in a zero-to-60 time of 5.2 seconds, and a price tag rounding out heftily at $70,675.  

The Mercedes-Benz CLS 550: If BMW and Audi are mentioned, it's almost guaranteed that Mercedes-Benz is idling in park somewhere close, with their undeniably masterful engineering, and high-grade status. There is a new CLS that is set to arrive at dealerships all over in the very near future, but the current model actually does not match the might of our Stinger GT. The CLS 550 and CLS 550 4MATIC both accelerate to 60 in 4.9 seconds, powered by a 4.7-liter bit turbo V8. This admittedly harmonious match generates 402 hp, and 443 lb-ft of torque. So even though the Stinger GT has less power total, it can accelerate quicker, and the price is quite a bit less than the CLS 550's of $76,145.

Porsche Panamera: We fully admit that late last year, we were not at all shy about comparing our beloved Stinger GT to the Porsche Panamera. Coming in at a starting price of $86,000, it will set you back more than double what the Stinger GT will out of the gate. The standard model completes the 0-60 in 5.2 seconds, and the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 offers less performance with 330 hp, and 331 lb-ft of torque. Beautiful and undeniably compelling? Yes, but the stats don't quite cut it for the short sprint.

Jaguar F-Type: Among all of the sensational cars in existence that the Stinger GT is faster than, there is probably none more startling than the Jaguar F-Type. The Stinger GT does not beat out the high-performance of the F-type R, but it is faster than the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 Variant, that has 380 hp, and 339 lb-ft of torque. That model takes just 4.8 seconds to hit 60, which is no slouch in the least, but is double the Stinger GT's entry-level price. There are many reasons to test drive a Stinger GT this spring, but if speed is your main forte, you'll have no shortage of fun securing a lease or outright purchase of this menacing yet practical daily drive partner!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Kia Motors Will Now Be Partner to Provide Augmented Reality Within Messenger

During the last few years, the auto industry has definitely seen technology advancements that have moved faster than ever before. Social media has been at the forefront of many new technology advancements, and there is now AR technology for the Facebook Messenger Platform that goes so far as to allow users to virtually park the amazing Kia Stinger GT sports sedan right in their driveway. Kia lately announced that it will be among the first group of beta partners to use Augmented Reality for the Messenger Platform, which provides a more in-depth and immersive experience within Messenger.

Augmented Reality provides an experience that does an amazing job of drawing the driver in, and immerses you while you are getting the absolute best out of your new car. All of us here at Jim Butler Kia were just lamenting that movie throwbacks such as “Tron” were not even half as predictive as to what they could have been, as we are now living in a society where so much is ultimately controlled by smartphones and apps. Kia was the only automaker selected by Facebook to participate in the initial launch of AR for the Messenger Platform, following the great success of the Kia Bot for Messenger platform. Last November, the launch of “Kian” included the entire Kia lineup, and has tracked more than one million user messages.

It is also evident that the Kia Stinger is a one-of-a-kind benchmark within the brand's namesake, and was one of the anchoring factors that stoked the innovation finding other ways to bring the car to the public. Successfully providing today's car buyers with an extended means of interaction on the social platforms that are most popular, the addition of AR provides the ability to produce a completely accurate 3D rendering of the Stinger GT in their choice of color wherever the end user sees fit. Consumers can share these images during group or one-one-one conversations within Messenger, add as images and films to their unique stories, or save to their phones to use as profile pics and share with contacts.

Drivers from all over the globe were already excited about getting up close and personal with the Stinger, after being educated at “Stinger Salons” in various shopping areas nationwide, and gleaning jaw-dropping stats about its Nurburgring lap time. The platform overall is built on artificial intelligence, as well as machine learning-powered engagement platforms, that deliver an engaging experience for inquisitive visitors to Kia's social media pages. It allows shoppers to research pricing, estimate their monthly payment, dig deep into special offers, view photos, compare competing models, and search vehicle inventory thoroughly. If you have heard what an awesome and sleek sedan the Stinger is, but have not yet experienced a drive for yourself, come visit us at Jim Butler of St Louis soon, and see how the 2018's many forks in the road will make for a fantastic journey!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

B.R.A.K.E.S Driving School Partnership Renewed by Kia, Keeping Teens on the Defensive

Last month in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America and B.R.A.K.E.S announced a multi-year renewal of their partnership. Taking place during the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, this is part of a massive nationwide effort to reduce the number of serious injuries on the roads, and save lives by providing parents and teens with the appropriate tools they need to be responsible behind the wheel. This program utilizes very useful hands-on defensive driver training along with classroom instruction, to get to the heart of the dangerous matters at hand, and begin to prevent unnecessary deaths behind the wheel.

During 2018, B.R.A.K.E.S is scheduled to host training in Concord, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh, North Carolina; Memphis, Orlando, San Diego, Pomona, and Scottsdale, AZ, with additional locations to be added soon. To check out the schedule or register for a class, visit HereCar crashes are now the number one cause of death among teens, but with grave effort, we know that this type of forum is making a difference. Top drag racing champion Doug Herbert recognized this month that nearly 30,000 teens along with their parents have now been trained, and it is undoubtedly making America's roads safer for everyone driving on them.

Kia is proud to support B.R.A.K.E.S by offering free training for all who are interested, offsetting costs through a financial donation, and a fleet of over 40 vehicles, including the Soul, Rio, and Forte models. This is an organization that has been putting forth the effort to save lives for over a decade, and is looking forward to doing the same for many more years to come. One of that stats that gets us excited here at Jim Butler of St Louis? Teens who graduate from B.R.A.K.E.S are a startling 64 percent less likely to be in a crash during their first year of driving, staking a large claim to safer conditions on the roads.

B.R.A.K.E.S is a GuideStar Platinum-rated non-profit, whose mission is to prevent as many injuries on the road as possible, and was founded after Doug lost both of his young sons in a very brutal and unnecessary car crash. Teaching sensible awareness and the benefits of constantly gauging your surroundings, the course has eased the minds of many parents who were turning over the keys and purchasing hefty insurance policies for the teen drivers in their families. Each school includes four hours of training, three hours of which are behind the wheel. Panic braking, crash avoidance, and skid recovery are some of the objectives covered. What to do in the event of a traffic stop is another topic covered: it can give a parent a boosted amount of confidence knowing that complying with an officer of the law is laid out comprehensively.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

UVO Skill For Amazon Alexa Introduced by Kia to Enable Voice Controls

The newfound craze over automation is far from over, and as far as artificial intelligence, smartphone apps, and high-tech safety features are concerned, things are literally now “just getting revved up”. Owners of certain Kias can now control a number of vehicle functions... such as start and stop the engine, and heat or cool their cars, using voice commands from the comfort of their own home. It's called UVO Skill, and it allows vehicle owner to do things like lock doors, sound the horn, flash the lights, and start or stop charging their plug-in or electric vehicle whenever they choose.

All that's needed is a device with Amazon Alexa enabled, and the vehicles that are compatible are the Niro PHEV, Soul EV, Optima PHEV, and K900. UVO Skill set-up is a snap, just by using the Alexa companion app. Constantly striving to find new ways to make the vehicles more user-friendly is something that Kia takes pride in, and this feature will make convenience and quick access a daily occurrence for drivers. The UVO Skill is one of those prized enhanced features that reflects the very forward-thinking spirit of Kia, and Kia Motors America continues to be recognized as one of the 50 best Global Green Brands by Interbrand.

Amazon devices are sold separately, and require a durable and working WI-FI internet connection for use. In the home, users have enjoyed Alexa for the ability to have her start video games, check the bank account balance, and listen to news headlines. Family and friends that are in the kitchen or living room have been righteously fascinated by the “intelligence” of the device, and it has really taken the notion of robotic sense to a heightened level for the average consumer. Even though some think that this very modern touch takes away from the driving experience, most consumers are very excited about it: when a driver is able to get the car ready and speed up their task before they are even in the car, many will think that the future is truly here.

As the future comes closer, many drivers will realize that technology changing things will never cease. There are now very qualified and expert members of engineering staffs worldwide attempting to make every single model faster, better, and more accessible. Everyone here at Jim Butler believes that this will not take away the amazing bond you feel between a well-built Kia and the open road! There is still nothing as enticing as feeling every groove in your front tires take on the conditions offered up to them, and accelerating off the line to conquer the next objective on your daily list.

As the realities that science fiction writers like Isaac Asimov and many others predicted seem to be more prophetic than ever before, some are becoming disillusioned with the auto industry in general. We guarantee here at Jim Butler Kia of St Louis that even though advancements are showing themselves in the industry at a breakneck pace, that features such as the UVO Skill will be appreciated by many: when push comes to shove, having a feature available at your fingertips that makes life easier for you will always receive the warmest of welcomes!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018 Eye on the Future: Kia on Deck to Solve One of Electric's Most Prominent Problems

In nearly any office space, one of the best inventions as of late to clean up clutter is the wireless charging option for phones and tablets. It is a great way to save space, and immediately makes you feel as if you can be more productive, minus the mental commotion that bundles of wires on your desk can create. As many panels of engineers and designers have been meeting to decide which options for Kia vehicles would be the most helpful, they thought that it would be just as handy in the garage. Slated for the very near future, Kia now has a three-year plan to develop a fast-charging wireless system for vehicle models in the future.

As part of a joint venture with Mojo Mobility, and with appropriate backing from the Dept. of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the car brand field-tested its new wireless EV charging technology, on a new fleet of Kia Soul EV prototypes. With the prospect of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles being pushed at an all-time high, the allure of wireless charging is similar to what some compare to cutting the cable cord in the TV sector. The system puts to use an electromagnetic inductive field, to transfer electrons between two coils.

One transmitter is placed on the ground, and the other is planted on the bottom of the car. To activate the setup, the driver pilots the vehicle until it rests above the charging transmitter. Then, the battery begins the handy charging process. Even though this is not a 100% new idea, it clearly addresses a few of the faults that there are in functionality with EV charging systems currently in place. What makes the new system by Kia more practical is that it can still efficiently charge, even if the driver does not have the ability to perfectly situation and align the car when parking directly over the wireless charging station. This will make the system much easier to use, and convenient on a day-to-day basis for scores of St Louis and nationwide commuters.

According to Hyundai-Kia American Technical Center, this is a system that is also capable of providing more than 10kw to a properly equipped electric vehicle, while still achieving 85% grid-to-vehicle efficiency. One reason why this is so impressive is that most wireless systems suffer from extreme energy loss. It is not necessarily that the notion of wireless charging is new, but that efforts to increase efficiency will attract many more users. Since the feat of wireless charging still has a ways to go, traditional hard-wired charging cable won't be immediately replaced. Nonetheless, the ability to charge a vehicle from a wireless source would be a very major step forward in building infrastructure for the future, and making life easier on a very grand and cordless scale! 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Kia Enjoys Laying Claim to Five Major International Automotive Awards

Here at Jim Butler Kia of St Louis, we are enjoying all of the inquiries from customers about the 2018 models that are now on sale, and steering many happy new owners toward the perfect car for them during the beginning of spring. Spots like Soulard Market are prime locations to enjoy the seasonal change: here you can grab fresh flowers, produce, or crafts from the marketplace. There are dozens of local vendors, and local eateries to satisfy even the most world-class of experienced taste buds. Held during April 21 and 22, St Louis's Earth Day Festival is the longest-running one in the Midwest. Taking place on the Muny grounds in Forest Park, it is a tradition that offers opportunities to learn about sustainable products that benefit the planet, while enjoying local entertainers and food from restaurants that belong to the Green Dining Alliance.

When looking for a new vehicle, many customers we talk to ask about various awards gleaned, that put them over the top as far as trustworthy, safe, and high-performing, Three of the awards earned this year were at the iF Design awards for the KIA Stinger, Stonic, and Picanto. Also gleaned was the “Best Car of the Year” award at the Motorweek 2018 Driver's Choice Awards, for the Kia Stinger. The Stinger also claimed the “Shift Award Vehicle of the Year” at the “Roadshow by CNET 2018”. This is the second consecutive year that Kia has won three awards at the iF showings, and the 9th year in a row that we have received a single award at the event. Kia has now proudly taken home a total of 15 iF design prizes, this year beating out very tough competition as the iF awards had received over 6,300 entries from 54 various nations.

On top of the CNET and MotorWeek awards, the Stinger also took home “Car of the Year” in Slovakia, “Performance Car of the Year” award in the UK, as well as the “Trophee Argus 2018” award given by distinguished auto critics from the French media. Within just a few short months after its launch, the Stinger has laid the claim to one of the most popular models Kia has ever launched. Also hailed in both the North American and European Car of the Year award programs, as well as for “Czech car of the year”, the Stinger is one alluring sedan that bowls audiences over time after time. We know that many out there that have been following Kia for years may not have thought that something as over-the-top commanding and sporty as the Stinger would come out of our ranks, but now that it is here, it is absolutely making the history books.

Conceptualized and designed by KIA's European design studio in Frankfurt, the Stinger has quite a bit in common with the grand touring genre. Known for high doses of speed and style, these engineers provided the perfect balance of a car with a smooth, stable ride, and handling that is nimble with power delivered via rear-wheel drive. Kia's Stonic is the compact crossover was also designed in Frankfurt, and has been held in high regard for its striking and bold exterior design, as well as its ability to offer what many current customers are looking for in the very popular crossover SUV market. When you make the trip to come pay us a visit, you'll marvel at how the Stonic is the most customizable Kia ever made, with the widest selection of two-tone paint combinations and interior colors to choose from in a model yet! You also may want to check out the possibility of owning a brand new Picanto from our award-winning selection: this is a car that sports a very intelligent design, and ranks as one of the most spacious in its class!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

2019 Kia Optima Sports Freshly Revamped UVO Infotainment System

As 2018 moves steadily on into the spring months, customers here at Jim Butler Kia of St Louis are dealing with mounting excitement. The current year's models are on display, being test-driven daily, and winning over many with their comfortable interiors, as well as high-tech features. We got wind of a big story today regarding next year's Kia Optima: there is completely revised packaging for its UVO infotainment system, which is now broken up into three tiers. Currently, UVO Play, UVO Link, and UVO Navigation are the varieties for the system's functionality. With next year's Optima, the base LX model comes with UVO play, which is the platform for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Buyers can man all of the smartphone-mirroring software with very useful voice controls, and on the Optima S and EX models, UVO Link includes extras such as vehicle diagnostics, maintenance alerts, and many other very cool features. The Link app allows users to remote start the car, activate the horn and lights, and lock or unlock the doors as well. Built-in navigation will aide you in your journey anywhere from Forest Park or City Museum, to the colorful blues bars and casual pizzerias of the Soulard District. Next year's Optima has a slightly redesigned front fascia with new LED running lights, and the top-tier level trim now is also graced with red-and-black two-tone leather seats.

The LX and S trims are aptly powered by a 2.4-liter engine with 185 horsepower, while the EX gains its momentum from a 1.6-liter turbo Inline 4 with 178 horsepower. Every 2019 Optima will have the very important automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and lane-departure warning features. Visiting us for a test drive during the later months of spring will clue you in to just how upper-end the Optima SX trim is: you get a trim-specific steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and the red and black two-tone seating. You can also opt for bronze-and-black leather upholstery, and the active-safety features as well as updated infotainment system will allow it to maintain a very competitive edge in the very demanding mid-size-sedan segment.

The Drive reported over the last month that Kia's overall performance stats and image “is not to be messed with”, and that our design language is looking consistently sleek with each new model and upgrade. The Optima continues to be a best-seller due to its stand-out appearance as well as handling, and the value of the UVO features will now be better understood by buyers. You'll love how the vehicle alarm notifications, geofencing and speed alerts, as well as remote start and climate control give you a greater sense of safety. Lane departure warning with lane-keep assist is one of the most valuable alerts out there: it alerts the driver if the car shifts out of the lane, and then automatically takes steps to correct the steering to gravitate back to the correct lane, assuring ultimate safety for you while on the road.