The Kia Stinger was one of our favorite long-term fleet cars, and we were sad to see it go. We’d be even sadder, we imagine, if our 2018 model had been one of the newly updated 2022 examples. One thing we never wondered, though, was if the Stinger would be better without a roof.
Maybe that’s because Autoblog is based in Michigan. In Florida, though, City Kia of Orlando has created a droptop version dubbed the Stinger GT-C. It debuted over the weekend at an event called Festivals of Speed held at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando (not to be confused with the Goodwood Festival of Speed, or Festivals of Speed Total Landscaping).
The dealer created the one-off Stinger through its in-house parts shop, which sells many of the items seen on the GT-C. Some of those parts include what City Kia is calling a “multi-piece carbon fiber body kit, 20” forged wheels and a lowered suspension handling kit.” The convertible conversion was conducted by a Florida shop called Drop Top Customs. It’s not clear whether the roof can be lowered and raised by hand, electronically, or at all.
The interior is finished in custom black leather upholstery, which looks like it could be a thigh-scorcher in the Sunshine State. Under the hood, City Kia says it’s installed an air intake, tuned the engine and improved cooling. There’s also an aftermarket exhaust system, which they point out has “unique rectangle tips.” If there have been any structural improvements to make up for the chassis’ lack of overhead support, the dealer has not mentioned them at the time of this writing.
Our experience with aftermarket converted open top cars, even ones that were sold with factory warranties like the 1990s Nissan 240SX that was built by ASC, have not been good. While they look good initially, quality issues manifest themselves far sooner than they would if the cars had been designed that way from the factory.
At the time, City Kia of Orlando says they aren’t going to produce any more than one Stinger GT-C. “There has [sic] not been any decisions as to whether this vehicle would ever come to market or what pricing could be,” a press release says.