Mercedes-AMG was the first brand to debut an all-wheel drive system that could temporarily become rear-wheel drive at the flip of a switch, dubbed “Drift Mode”. It was the Mercedes-AMG E63 that debuted the tech and it was widely heralded as the best solution for powerful performance cars, as it provides all-wheel drive grip with temporary hooligan fun. Soon after, BMW followed suit with the F90-generation M5. Now, we’re hearing that the upcoming KIA Stinger GTS will get a ‘Drift Mode’ of its own. So we ask the question: Will these systems find their way to cheaper cars and become more mainstream.
KIA is going to be making 800 units of a limited-run Stinger GTS which will have something the brand calls D-AWD, or “Dynamic All-Wheel Drive. While the standard Stinger AWD can send a lot of power to the rear wheels, up to 80-percent in fact, the Stinger GTS’ can send 100 percent of its power to the rear wheels with a selectable mode, similar to the AMG and BMW.
While the Stinger GTS will only be an 800-unit run, it proves the tech is feasible in cheaper cars. Both the AMG and BMW M5 are six-figure super sedans that aren’t easily attainable. However, the KIA Stinger is a much more affordable car. Sure, 800 units means it’s quite exclusive but we’re wondering if KIA is doing this to test the waters on the new AWD/RWD tech.
We love the new system in the BMW M5, which can be sensible and safe when you want it to be and a full-on, psychotic hooligan the rest of the time. So we would love to see this sort of all-wheel drive system make it to cheaper cars. Imagine a BMW 3 Series that can have xDrive all-wheel drive in bad weather but stay rear-wheel drive the rest of the time.
Weight and cost are likely to get in the way of such ideas but it seems like KIA is at least considering such tech in a cheaper car. If it becomes easier, cheaper and lighter to do, it would make sense in a lot of cheaper and smaller cars, like the Stinger or the 3 Series.