Kia has confirmed the Stinger is ending production shortly, in a Korean press release.
The company announced a Stinger Tribute Edition limited to 1000 units, designed to send off the image-changing performance GT in style.
“The Tribute Edition pays homage to Kia’s high-performance vision, and celebrates the Stinger sedan’s significant contribution to the brand since its introduction in 2017, as production of the groundbreaking model comes to an end,” the company said.
It did not confirm an end of production date, but given this is the end-of-the-line version, it’s quite clear that the Stinger will shuffle off the factory agenda during the course of 2023. Reports from October predicted as much.
Kia’s rear-wheel drive, twin-turbo V6-toting Stinger was designed to change people’s perceptions of the brand, and to court new buyers. In that sense it was a smash hit.
While far from a global success story (it’s already defunct in the UK) it’s been highly successful in Australia, and partially filled the giant Holden Commodore V8-sized hole in the performance landscape – not least through its application as a police vehicle.
What does all this mean for Australia?
Well, there’s a large list of back-orders to be satisfied, and ongoing heavy demand – almost entirely for the V6 rather than the entry turbo four-cylinder.
Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith was careful recently to keep his powder dry while sort of giving us the answer about Stinger’s future, saying the vehicle was “in our sales plans” for 2023 – without elaborating on future years.
We’d strongly expect Kia Australia to import as many right-hand drive Stingers as it possibly can next year, to enable it to keep selling the performance halo for as many months as it can.
Longer-term, the Kia EV6 GT dual-motor electric crossover with its 430kW and 740Nm punch and 3.5-second zero to 100km/h time will fill the void, although at $99,950 it costs a fair chunk more than the Stinger ($51,250 to $64,960 before on-roads).
“As we enter a new age of mobility, Kia will satisfy the needs of customers who seek to enjoy elevated levels of dynamic driving pleasure through high-performance electrified models such as the EV6 GT,” added Kia Motors senior vice-president Chang Sung Ryu.
“And the brand’s strategy to continue accelerating the development of innovative electrification technologies will ensure that sustainability and strong performance combine effortlessly under the Kia badge.”
In the meantime, if you want a Kia Stinger, best to order soon and get on the list…
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