Kia has made the bold move of switching tyre allegiance for Stinger GT models in Australia, ditching Continental for Michelin.
We first reported we were unimpressed with the longevity of the Continental ContiSport Contact 5 tyres fitted to the Stinger GT when we tested it against the Holden Commodore SS-V Redline last year.
The tyres showed signs of excessive wear under hard driving, and we actually destroyed a (very young) set after shooting dynamic images.
Kia has used feedback from media and customers in deciding to switch from the Continental tyre to a Michelin Pilot Sport 4 on Stinger GT models, and hopes the new rubber is more suited to local conditions.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the launch of the facelifted Sportage, Kia Australia chief operating officer, Damien Meredith, said the decision was in line with the type of driving favoured by local Stinger customers.
"They [head office] looked at different markets and my understanding is that there's a little bit of a choice. You can choose and we think... Michelins will be better for our conditions," Meredith said.
We also asked Meredith whether Kia was expecting better performance times from the new treads.
"Didn't think too much about whether we can shave another 0.1 off [our 0-100km/h sprint] or something like that, but you never know," said Meredith.
The fresh tyre won't cost new buyers anything extra, and we look forward to seeing how they perform on the CarAdvice Stinger when it's due for its next set of tyres.