Kia has a new model in its lineup for 2021 called the K5. As part of any vehicle’s debut, one would expect there to be significant marketing to raise public awareness. Kia certainly agrees. Not only has the 2021 Kia K5 been in the press a lot the last few weeks, but it also just became part of a wild live event. Kia launched the K5, literally. Three professional stunt drivers were needed to send 2021 Kia K5 GT sedans flying through the air. Flying cars? Kudos to Kia’s marketing team. You have my attention.
When I was a young child, I remember a television show whose storyline centered around stunt drivers in Hollywood. The show occasionally provided a glimpse into the level of precision required to perform automotive-related stunts. But, the show five percent stunt driving related, and 95 percent detective type show.
I had never heard of stunt drivers prior to that episodic show. So, I took it upon myself to learn a little bit about the stunt driving world. What fascinated me then, and still does today, is the level preparation the cars have to undergo prior to a stunt, and the level of precision that needs to be coordinated by the drivers to perform any given stunt.
What goes into a stunt
Let me explain a very top-level, overly simplified version of an orchestrated car stunt. This only provides a glimpse of what professional stunt drivers have to go through. Otherwise, a detailed account would fill pages.
First, if a stunt requires a vehicle to jump something, a stunt driver will never pick a random car and then drive it over a ramp. The vehicle must first be gone over with a fine-tooth comb to make sure suspension components are strong enough to handle the challenge. Also, the safety equipment is brought in for installation into the vehicle. Then safety crews are dispatched to review the construction of the site and the layout of any obstacles. Next, test runs are performed at different speeds to gauge the vehicles handling characteristics. Finally, the actual stunt is performed.
Three Kia K5 GT sedans
In this case, three stock 2021 Kia K5 GT sedans were sent in by the auto manufacturer for a triple threat stunt. Safety cages and harnesses were installed, as were modified manual emergency brakes, skid plates, and containment seats for the drivers. According to the Stunt Coordinator, Jeremy Fry, those were the only modifications. Since he did not mention it, this implies that the new K5 GT sedan’s suspension was not modified. The three cars were to perform the stunt on stock suspensions.
So, after the stunt area was cleared, the stunt drivers grabbed their vehicles and did a couple of test runs. Then, feeling confident, the go-ahead was given for the stunt to proceed by Mr. Fry. That is when two cars were driven across opposing ramps while a car did a 180-degree spin underneath them. The video of the stunt is below.
Launching Kia sedans in each other’s direction through the air
Kia’s marketing team may have struck gold. Three of Hollywood’s top stunt drivers doing any stunt is enough to get people’s attention. Launching two turbocharged 2021 K5 GT sedans into the air in each other’s direction is enough to cause one to hold their breath for a few seconds. Then to cap it off, one of the announcers, Collete Davis, who is also a professional driver, announced at the end of the video that more stunts are coming from Kia. A 360 flat spin stunt is next. Well done marketing people. Well done.