Kia releases info and images of updated Stinger

High-performance fastback sedan’s new look revealed.

Rev heads will rejoice following Kia’s release of upgrades to its high-performance Stinger fastback sports sedan, due to be launched globally later this year. 

The Korean car maker revealed the first images of the upgraded Stinger, which showcases a refreshed exterior design, more options for customisation, and higher cabin quality, courtesy of new colours, materials and infotainment tech.

The Stinger has picked up the mantle of affordable rear-drive performance in this market, following the demise of locally manufactured Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore performance variants. 

Since launching here in late 2017 its blend of racy fastback looks, rear-wheel-drive handling, strong performance and reasonable value-for-money has seen it carve out a loyal following and a handy niche for itself as Australia’s favourite sub-$70k large sedan. 

While the competition in its three-car category is slim – and set to be slimmer again, with the imminent withdrawal of the German-built Holden ZB Commodore from the market – the Stinger’s 197 year-to-date sales means it commands 58% of the category, ahead of the Commodore and Skoda Superb.

Kia Stinger

There were no details released on upgrades to the Stinger’s powertrains, but Kia’s international release hinted there is more news to come on this front.

Kia Australia, however, has hosed down any such speculation for this market, stating that the current four and six-cylinder engine line-up will carry over when the styling changes arrive here in the final quarter of this year.

The Stinger is sold here as a rear-wheel drive model exclusively, but elsewhere has an all-wheel drive variant, which remains a possibility for inclusion in the Australian model mix. 

Powered by either a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (182kW/353Nm), or a twin turbocharged V6 (272kW/510Nm), the latter is capable of launching the sports sedan from 0-100km/h in an impressive 5.1 seconds, quicker than many more expensive comparably sized prestige sedans. 

Meanwhile, the exterior design changes for the new model include new multifaceted reflector LED headlamps, with a new design and LED daytime running lights.

Kia Stinger

The new lamps appear darker and sleeker with the lights out, while giving the car a more high-tech light signature, with sharp slashes of light angled towards the front of the car.

There is a distinctive new light signature at the rear of the upgraded model as well, with a new rear combination lamp extending the full width of the car and mimicking the shape of the boot lid spoiler. 

New LED turn signals arranged in a grid pattern to look like a chequered flag are a neat motorsport-inspired touch. 

Buyers who like to add their own personal touches will be pleased to hear that V6 twin turbo versions will now have the option to specify wide-bore bright silver exhausts, and a more purposeful-looking rear diffuser, which together should give the car an even more muscular appearance. 

There are two new 18-inch and 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels available and the new Stinger will debut a “Dark Package” exterior styling enhancement pack for the high-performance twin turbo V6 variants.

The pack includes a gloss black diffuser surround and black wide-bore muffler tips, while the Stinger emblem on the tailgate is also finished in black. 

Kia Stinger
Meanwhile on the inside, the Stinger boasts a range of subtle enhancements which Kia says are designed to create a more luxurious ambience. 

The lower section of the steering wheel features a new metallic finish, matching the chrome bezel that surrounds the 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster. The rear-view mirror is also now frameless, creating a more modern look.

Depending on specification, the dashboard and doors can be finished with new contrast stitching, while the centre console is available with aluminium or carbon fibre-style trim. 

Sitting atop the dash is an upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system, accented by a new glossy black finish along the front of the dash. 

The cabin also features a new mood lighting system, allowing drivers to select one of 64 colours to subtly alter the character of the cabin.

Kia Stinger

New interior colour and material options include Nappa leather upholstery finished in Saturn black, red or beige, alongside existing leather and synthetic leather options. The new Saturn black option finishes the seats in black suede with contrasting red stitching in a “chain” pattern designed to mimic the links in a watch strap.

Karim Habib, Senior Vice-President and Head of Kia Global Design commented: “The Stinger projects an air of elegance and comfort and also great purpose, for long distance driving. 

“The updated model builds on the svelte gran turismo design we introduced three years ago with modern flair and a subtle hint of aggression to enhance its on-road presence.

“The interior has been enhanced, and the new design elements and technologies incorporated into the Stinger reconfirm its credentials as the consummate grand tourer.”

The refreshed Kia Stinger is due on sale in Korea during the third quarter of 2020 with Australian sales to follow in the fourth quarter. 

There were no pricing details available at the time of writing but the current Stinger range is priced from $47,390 for the base model 200S, to $60,990 for the top-of-the-line GT.