Ask anyone what Kia's most exciting performance option is and they'll tell you it's the 100,000 mile warranty. The brand's a dad magnet.

Or was.

What you see here is a game-changer. An Asian coupe killer with a real chance of enrolment in the posh GT club, the twin-turbo V6 Stinger is Kia's attempt to add wallop to its status as kings of the SUV carpark.

If you wish to avoid too much excitement, the entry level GT-Line Stinger, with optional four-wheel drive, can be ordered in either two-litre 245bhp or a 2.2 (diesel), delivering 197bhp. These, from £31,995, come with include 18-inch alloys, leather, eight-way power driver's memory seat, heated front seats, eight-inch navigation (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB), head-up display front/rear parking sensors, smart cruise control, drive mode options and a limited slip diff.

Given eight-speed auto gearing and paddle changers, neither's slow: the petrol claims 62mph in 6.0, the diesel a credible 7.6. A notch up, bagging GT-Line S brings aboard a 360 degree camera, LED lights, air-cooled front seats, heated rear seats, sunroof, a remote opening tailgate and wireless phone charging. A 15-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo system is also included.

Step up to the rear-drive only GT-S, tested here, and you'll quickly spot the 19-inch wheels and uprated Brembo brakes, as well as Nappa leather and adaptive dampers. The latter point to the performance to come...

At 1.8 tonnes, the Stinger's no ballerina, but the top-spec choice harbours the kind of engineering vigour to make your hair stand on end. Albert Biermann (ex-boss of BMW's M division) signed the project off, and his input is even detectable at low speeds, where the car's poise and Zen-like balance is fed to your fingers.

Ride quality is firm but friendly. Perhaps best explored in a straight-line run, its true potential is one that makes you soon realise how it's scalped so many rivals. It flies. And once you have that confidence, you'll discover that despite all that weight and the rear-drive configuration, it's a fun car to carve through corners, offering a level of old-school thrills you'll struggle to find from sophisticated all-wheel drive rivals. Settle it onto a motorway and it's an amiable long-haul companion.

Can Kia really do GT performance? Take one sexy shape, insert a quality interior and running gear and bolt in an engine that thinks it's from NASA... even before it's had any Avon Tuning input, it looks like the Stinger settles that question for good.

Kia Stinger GT-S 3.3 T-GDi

Price: £40,495.

Engine: 3342cc V6 petrol.

Top speed: 168mph.

0-62mph 4.7 seconds.

Overall mpg 26.6. CO2 225g/km.

Verdict: 8/10 A coupe de class from Korea.