The good news is the Kia Stinger is about to get two new, more powerful engines. The bad news is we won’t get them.
Kia Motors Australia has confirmed the updated Stinger – due to launch by year’s end – will use the current model’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder and twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre V6 engines.
That’s in contrast to the updated Stinger in left-hand drive markets which, according to The Korean Car Blog, will feature new turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder and twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 engines.
The new engines will also reportedly be used in the upcoming Genesis G70 refresh and have been confirmed for the redesigned G80. It’s unclear if the local-spec G70 – a much lower-volume car here than the Stinger – will also miss out on them.
In the G80, the turbo four produces 223kW of power and 421Nm of torque, while the twin-turbo V6 produces 279kW of power and 530Nm of torque.
While the new V6 only adds an extra 7kW and 30Nm, the turbocharged four is considerably more powerful than the turbocharged 2.0-litre currently used in the Stinger 200S and GT-Line.
That engine produces 182kW of power and 353Nm of torque.
Australia is likely missing out on the new engines due to cost considerations, as our country is part of the right-hand drive minority.
Of the 195 countries recognised by the United Nations, only around a quarter drive on the left-hand side of the road and the Stinger isn’t sold in all of these – it isn’t offered in Japan, for example.
As these photos from The Korean Car Blog reveal, the updated Stinger will receive restyled headlights and tail lights.
A new variable exhaust will also be standard in the updated GT, though it’s likely we’ll miss out on that, too.
Inside, the current car’s 7.0- and 8.0-inch touchscreens will be swapped out for a larger 10.25-inch unit. A digital instrument cluster is also expected.
A Kia official told The Korean Car Blog that recent rumours of the Stinger’s discontinuation were “absurd” and “fake news” but warned the release date of a second-generation model could change.
The official said, “We need to focus on the model that strategically sells well compared to the cost of developing a new car after the Coronavirus outbreak.”
The USA is arguably the Stinger’s key market and therefore crucial to its future. Unfortunately, it hasn’t taken buyers by storm. Just 13,861 examples were sold last year, down from 16,806 the year before.
As it’s a rear-wheel drive sports sedan from a mainstream brand, there aren’t really any direct rivals to compare its sales against.
The Dodge Charger, for example, sells in much higher volumes but it’s buttressed by heavy fleet sales, including to police departments.
The Stinger is outsold in the US by most mid- and full-sized sedans from mainstream brands, but it sells considerably better than the large Cadenza sedan, a plush, front-wheel drive sedan with an almost identical starting price. It also outsold the Buick Regal (aka Holden ZB Commodore) last year.