Horsepower Versus Gravity: James May Races Professional Skateboarders in a Kia Stinger GT

Trust former Top Gear host James May to set up the most unconventional races - he won’t disappoint. At the Majorcan hills, he went head to head against professional longboarders in a Kia Stinger GT. I know what you are thinking, the Kia obliterated the skateboarders. But what if the race was against gravity? Would the Kia finish the 5 km (3 miles) uphill stretch faster than the longboarders could get down?
Kia Stinger GT vs Skateboarders 8 photos
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/The Grand Tour
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Well, as easy as this race might sound, these plank riding professionals claim their gravity-powered boards can reach speeds of 75 mph (120 kph). That’s extremely high for a vessel that’s got an almost zero safety rating. Going downhill with the wind gushing through your head with zero breaks is as close as you can get to a death wish.

The Kia Stinger GT, on the other hand, is not your ordinary track animal. If anything, it aims high to challenge top-tier rivals from Europe and almost gets away with it. Like the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe, the Stinger GT offers a similar premium touch, driving agility, and a bargain retail price.

The Korean sports sedan comes with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 engine making 368 hp. The engine is paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission, blasting it from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 4.6 seconds.

You might be wondering what the skateboarders must be on to race a car with such a spec sheet. Well, while the Stinger GT has mastered the art of straight-line speed, it works to its disadvantage in this particular race. The second section of the uphill climb has more twists, considerably affecting its uphill climb. The longboarders, on the other hand, have straight stretches on their joyride downhill.

May sets the Kia to Sport Plus mode with traction off. In May's words, it’s the ultimate battle of gravity versus horsepower, Isaac Newton versus South Korea. It’s a snail start for the skateboarders as they struggle to pick momentum on the flat plane. James, on the other hand, took off like a rocket. The Kia Stinger GT, eating up the hill for breakfast on the lower straight stretches.

Things are tough for May on the second stretch, the GT Stinger tackles the twists slower but eagerly, and soon, the race is over. The boarders complete the race in 5 minutes 16 seconds, while May does it in 5 minutes and 10 seconds. It's a close victory for May.

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About the author: Humphrey Bwayo
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Humphrey is a car enthusiast whose love and passion for automobiles extended into collecting, writing, driving, and working on cars. He got his passion for cars from his Dad, who spent thousands of hours working on his old junky 1970 E20 Toyota Corolla. Years later, he would end up doing the same with a series of lemons he’s owned throughout his adult life.
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