After proving to be a surprise hit, Kia’s grand tourer could be getting more sting
SINGAPORE — Kia Motors has just revealed an updated version of its Stinger, the powerful, Maserati-inspired grand tourer that went on sale here in 2018. The facelifted car goes on sale in South Korea soon, before it’s rolled out to the rest of the world by 2021.
The revamp gives the Stinger redesigned LED headlamps and daytime running light housings, along with rear lights that now span the full width of the car. The cabin gets an upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system, mood lighting with 64 selectable colours, and a sprinkling of cosmetic updates.
Kia will reveal more details at a later date, including what it says are “new powertrain lineups and technologies”. A petrol-electric hybrid version could even be in the works.
Rumours circulated in the motoring press early this year that Kia would kill the Stinger off, but its sales have been remarkably resilient even in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the USA, a key market for Kia, 7,778 people bought Stingers in the first seven months of 2020. That’s only slightly down from the 8,013 Stingers that Kia sold in the same period last year.
The car has been a surprise hit here in Singapore too. Royston Soh, Head of Kia Sales and Marketing at Cycle & Carriage, the brand’s authorised dealer, told CarBuyer Singapore that the Stinger has outsold expectations. “The Kia Stinger is our flagship model and we are thrilled to add to its worldwide success, with over 200 units sold in Singapore since its launch,” he said.
The V6 turbo Stinger’s price tag of S$204,999 with COE may seem high, but consider that the similar sized but less powerful BMW 540i costs in the region of $150,000 more, and has nearly 40hp less power.
For all those reasons, the Stinger was a surprise hit for Kia here with dealer Cycle & Carriage Kia saying the car exceeded expectations, in sales terms.
Better known for its well-equipped but value-for-money mainstream cars, Kia created the Stinger as a halo model and benchmarked it against BMW’s 4 Series. The car’s chief designer Gregory Guillaume told The Business Times that he drew inspiration from the classic Maserati Ghibli when penning its lines.
Albert Biermann, the German engineer that parent company Hyundai Motor lured from BMW’s high performance M division, volunteered to work on the Stinger when he first saw early prototypes. With a facelifted version seemingly dispelling rumours of the Stinger’s demise, Mr Biermann’s work has evidently continued.