The death of the Kia Stinger could breathe life into a new Kia Carnival model in 2022.

    According to a report by Korean Car Blog, Kia plans to repurpose its Sohari plant in Korea – where the Stinger is built – to manufacture electrified models including a Carnival Hybrid during the second quarter of 2022.

    Kia is yet to officially confirm an electrified version of its popular people mover, but given the Carnival shares its underpinnings with the likes of the Sorento and the related Hyundai Santa Fe, both of which offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid options globally, it’s a logical step.

    As the Stinger is reportedly due to be culled by mid-2022, the Sohari plant could be churning out electrified Carnivals by the end of next year. With that in mind, we could see a Carnival Hybrid revealed before the end of 2022, ahead of a late-2022 or early-2023 global market launch.

    It would almost certainly feature the same 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid drivetrain as its platform mates, outputting 169kW and 350Nm, with drive channelled through a six-speed automatic.

    Using the Sorento as a guide, claimed fuel economy could be anywhere between 6.5L/100km and 7.5L/100km. The current Carnival 2.2-litre diesel claims 6.5L/100km on the combined cycle, while the 3.5L V6 petrol quotes 9.6L/100km.

    Further, there’s scuttlebutt of an all-electric Carnival being in the works, though the lack of an EV on Hyundai/Kia’s large car architecture raises a question mark over this rumour’s validity. A PHEV option could also be on the cards.

    Since Kia Australia has committed to the Sorento Hybrid and PHEV locally, as well as all but confirming the new Sportage Hybrid for our market in 2022, an electrified Carnival could be a starter for Australia.

    The Carnival is a firm favourite in our market, currently accounting for around 60 per cent of the local people mover market (3365 units year-to-date).

    Kia Australia is set to introduce some running changes around August, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the Blind Spot View Monitor camera system due to be introduced on high-grade Platinum models.

    Further, Kia’s new badge will feature, rain-sensing wipers should become available on certain models – a glaring omission due to development constraints caused by COVID – and there’s potential for a new Australian-specific steering tune. Currently, the Carnival runs the Korean steering calibration.

    Would a Carnival Hybrid be on your shopping list? Let us know in the comments!

    MORE: Everything Kia Carnival

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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