Since appearing in 2017, Kia’s German-chasing Stinger has not enjoyed a glowing report card where sales have been concerned. In fact, as the numbers slowed down, there were even rumours earlier this year that the model might be discontinued. Well, the question of a second generation is probably unanswered for now, but it is already 3 years and so it’s time for an update anyway.
Kia has released the first images of an upgraded Stinger, revealing a refreshed design for the high-performance fastback sports saloon. Changes to the appearance of the model amplify its Gran Turismo character, while improving cabin quality and giving owners more choice of colour and material.
The images show as Korean market model which may be a bit more elaborate than those exported. On the outside, the changes add a new touch of drama to the car’s design and give buyers more options for customisation. A new colour choice will also be offered in export markets.
Inside, there’s a more comfortable space in which to travel, with a revised design, new higher-quality materials, and updates to the infotainment system.
Commenting on the new Stinger, Karim Habib, Senior Vice-President and Head of Kia Global Design, said: “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, too, has been enhanced, and the new design elements and technologies incorporated into the Stinger reconfirm its credentials as the consummate Grand Tourer.”
More muscular looks
At the front of the Stinger, Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille sits between new multifaceted reflector LED headlamps, with a new design and LED daytime running lights. 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 slightly towards the front of the car.
At the rear, a svelte updated rear combination lamp displays a distinctive new light signature, extending the full width of the car and mimicking the shape of the subtle spoiler integrated into the trunk lid. The new turn signals comprise a collection of 10 individual LED units each, arranged in a grid pattern to mimic the appearance of a checkered flag, used in motorsport to signal the end of a race.
Buyers of more powerful versions will have the option to specify larger wide-bore bright silver exhaust mufflers. This option will come with a more purposeful, performance-inspired rear diffuser to give the car a more muscular rear appearance.
New exterior packages
Two new exterior packages are also introduced for the first time. For high-performance variants in many markets, a new ‘Dark Package’ brings with it a gloss black diffuser surround and black wide-bore muffler tips. The Stinger emblem on the tailgate is also finished in black.
For North America only, a new ‘Black Package’ is offered, giving those who desire customisation the chance to enhance the aesthetics of the Stinger further with an aggressive new look. The Black Package includes new 19-inch matte black lightweight wheels, a new rear wing for the bootlid, and blacked-out mirror caps and side fender trim.
While the architecture of the 5-person cabin in the upgraded Stinger remains unchanged, there’s a range of subtle enhancements. The lower section of the steering wheel features a new metallic finish, matching the chrome bezel that now surrounds the 7-inch fully-digital instrument cluster. The latter is designed to provide crystal clear information to drivers via its high-definition display.
Depending on specification, the dashboard and doors are finished with new contrast stitching, while the centre console is available with aluminium or carbonfibre-style trim. Both measures enhance the sporty nature of the cabin.
Sitting atop the dash is Kia’s upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system, accented by a new glossy black finish along the front of the dash. The rearview mirror is now frameless, creating a modern look and enhancing rear visibility.
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. These visual and material upgrades are designed to improve the car’s Grand Touring ability, creating a more luxurious ambience.
For global markets, new upholstery choices include Nappa leather finished in Saturn Black, Red or Beige, alongside existing leather and synthetic leather options. A 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.
The powertrain line-up is not revealed at this time but is likely to have some new technologies. The new Stinger will be launched in Korea before the end of next month, with other global markets to follow later.