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Interview: Road to SEMA with Jose Martinez and his Stinger GT2 AWD

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Welcome back to our interview section! It sure has been a long time. We had to take a small break from this section but now that we are back, we have plenty more upgraded and new models to choose from. If you would like to be feature, be sure to send us your info via email and we’ll be sure to consider you for the next interview.

Now let’s meet and know more about our first interviewee and his car.

1. Tell us your name and which car you currently drive?
My name is Jose Martinez and I currently drive a 2018 KIA Stinger GT2 AWD but i also have a 2012 KIA Optima.

2. Did you previously owned any other vehicles from Hyundai and Kia brand?
So other than the Stinger, as I mentioned i have a 2012 KIA Optima SX and a list of my past cars in order would be… 2004 BMW 325i, 1998 Volvo S70, 2000 KIA Sephia, 2005 KIA Spectra5, 2000 KIA Sephia, 2000 KIA Sephia( yes I’ve owned 3 of them), and lastly a 1976 Ford Granada.

3. What captured your attention to the Kia Brand? Its all my moms fault. Back in 2000 she needed a inexpensive commuter and she purchased a 2000 KIA Sephia. A couple later she was ready to move on and being a kid in high school with a weekend job I was able to take over the last bit of loan to pay off the car and have something reliable to drive and here i am today, several KIAs and 16 years later.

4. Did you knew about the Kia GT concept model? Were you aware that this model will finally reach production?
Yes. I have worked for a KIA dealership since 2004 and knew all about it. I knew that since the Koup, KIA has had a good track record of concept vehicles making it to production with both design and specs pretty close to concept so I knew this was going to be a great car.

5. Why did you picked the stinger from all the different models Kia has available?
My last car was a heavily modified 2012 Optima SX and before that I had a 2005 Spectra5 I turbocharged with a Alpine-Developments kit. I’m into performance and this was going to be a good car to start with and even better once I got my hands into it.

6. Which other models from the same segment did you looked at before choosing the stinger?
Non. I have been with KIA for years and on top of being from a brand I love it also checked all the marks on anything I could possibly want.

7. Why did you choose the Kia Stinger and not a Hyundai or even the Genesis G70?
I did know about the G70 as well but the longer sleeker design of the Stinger looked better to me plus its a lift-back…. versatility. I can hit the track one day and pick up a couple of rooms worth of flooring the next.

8. What do you like the most of your Stinger?
There is too much to narrow it down to one. But a few of my top things with it are Style, it looks amazing. Versatility of being a lift-back. And performance, I have driven lots of cars and modified others as well this one just does everything well. there are no compromises. Now I know its not a sports car but it is a well balanced Grand Tourer as it was designed to be.

9. What do you dislike the most of your Stinger?
Probably the gas mileage. This is my first V6 engine so I’m used to 25MPG being what I see on a bad day. With the Stinger 25mpg is on a good day.

10. Did you planned to mod the stinger from the beginning?
Yes. Leaving it stock was never the plan. I had a Jun B.L. exhaust, Tune and Methanol injection kit ready to go a couple of month before the car was even available in the US.

11. Currently what modifications your Stinger has?
This list is very fluid and might be different by the time of publication but here is whats on the car as of right now.

  • PROSS / LAP3 ProTuner (mode 4)
  • Keen Design 20″ Forged monoblock KD07 wheels
  • Keen Design / SPREEK carbon fiber lip kit
  • Keen Design / SPREEK carbon fiber spoiler
  • ARK Performance coilovers
  • ARK Performance GRiP exhaust
  • Injen intake
  • Jun B.L. downpipes
  • NGT Performance Upper Downpipes
  • NGT Performance Dual Mishimoto catch cans
  • Snow Performance Stage 2 methanol injection
  • Seibon carbon fiber hood
  • Carbon fiber side vents
  • Carbon fiber mirror covers
  • Velossa Tech air ducts

12. What future modifications you would like to do?
Bigger turbos will be going on in a couple of months and im still figuring out which intercooler I want to go with. Also, anything else to make me go faster. Other than that I am weighing out the options to go widebody.

13. What is your advice to future stinger owners?
Drive it. I see to many people buy these and keep miles low. Buying a car to park it in your garage or at shows is done for everyone else’s enjoyment. I bought it to drive it because i bought it for my enjoyment and as of this moment I have owned the car for 10 months and have well over 35,000 miles on it.

14. Which future events are you planning to attend?
Well that one is easy, SEMA 2018. If your attending SEMA this year you can come by the Keen Design booth and see it in person.

15. Thank you Jose for sharing your story. (you can use this space to thank or give. Shout out to anyone you would like)
Thank you for featuring my car. I have been reading your blog since back in the Streetkiaz days and I’m happy to finally make it. I also want to give a shout out to the biggest supporters of me and the car.

First of all thank you to David Chung from  for letting me be one of the first to test out the ProTuner on my Stinger. Also Abe Choe and the team at Keen Design for being amazing and setting me up with a set of KD07 wheels for my cross country trip in the stinger. You and your readers can follow the build on  

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Erick Uceda

Blogger, Photographer, Car Enthusiast, HanFest - KDM Car Show, Streetkiaz Texas Chapter Leader, Husband and Father. Some of the activities I enjoy doing everyday.

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