By on April 14, 2020

It’s a car-heavy day here at TTAC, and thank God for that. These vehicles still exist, and it seems automakers who stubbornly continue to field ’em haven’t given up on the idea of improving three-box products.

That said, it’s hard to think of a mainstream automaker that offers more choice in cars than Kia Motors, and one of its more (most?) interesting products could be due for an upgrade.

Australia outlet Car Sales reports that, at least for the Down Under market, the refreshed Stinger scheduled to land for the 2021 model year will generate more oomph in uplevel guise. By that we mean the V6 model, which happens to also be the one most consumers actually buy. Carrying a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter under its hood (good for 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque), the Stinger is a liftback, rear-drive/AWD alternative to the more mainstream FWD Optima.

For 2021, sources claim the Stinger will carry the same engine, slightly upgraded in output thanks to exhaust system changes, rather than the new turbo 3.5-liter V6 set to proliferate through the Genesis lineup. Bringing up the bottom of the model’s range will be the same turbo 2.0-liter, good for 255 hp and 260 lb-ft.

This is Australian-market stuff, and the automaker could decide to temp buyers in the much larger market of North America with something hotter, either on the top or bottom end. Models like the G70, G80, GV80 crossover, and Hyundai Sonata N-Line offer a turbo 2.5-liter with either 290 or 300 horses and 310 or 311 lb-ft.

Hyundai Motor Group’s 3.5-liter makes 375 hp and 391 lb-ft, which would still position it above a better-breathing 3.3L. We’ll see if this product planning holds true for U.S. Stingers. As the sportiest member of the Kia clan, you’d think the brand would want to outfit the sedan with as much off-the-shelf power as possible.

Introduced for the 2018 model year, the Stinger was an unexpected surprise in a hollowing-out midsize sedan market. A niche model, it’s outsold by all but the Sasquatch-scarce K900 luxury barge and Cadenza upper-midsizer. Sales fell in 2019 to the tune of 17.5 percent.

[Image: Kia Motors]

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16 Comments on “More Power on the Way for Kia Stinger?...”

  • avatar

    Thank goodness Kia and Hyundai have not given up on the car. Kudos for keeping the Stinger even if it isn’t a sales winner. It is clearly a car winner.

    • 0 avatar

      Yup. Kudos indeed. I also believe it’s smart business strategy. Though the Big 3 (well, we’ll give FCA a slight pass for the Charger/Challenger) don’t believe that we exist, or don’t think that we’re worth the bother. But the CUV/SUV craze will end, and they will be standing flatfooted, while Hyundai will have built more brand loyalty and will have the variety to react. Same for Honda and Toyota.

      I am a pro business capitalist at heart so that’s totally cool with me. Businesses can sell what they want and to whom they want. My only issue will be the bailouts. If my money isn’t good enough for them as a customer, then my tax dollars certainly had better not be!

  • avatar

    I think the Stinger and G70 need to offer more like 450hp. Maybe as a trim above the current GT/V6.
    The 3.3T (and new 3.5T) aren’t weak but the V8 pony cars and premium class have upped their games in the past three years.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Dumb. Clearly if you are looking for a fast Kia with a liftback and that handles like a Mclaren F1, you get the Telluride. I read it right Here!

  • avatar

    Yeah, I wonder too, why Only 4 comments? There would be hundreds more if it was Tell-U-Ride. It would be CUV Woodstock here.

  • avatar

    There have been contradicting reports, so the possibilities seem to be…

    1. all markets gets the upgrade to the 2.5T and 3.5TT,

    2. all markets but RHD get the upgrade to the 2.5T and 3.5TT,

    3. all markets keep the 2.0T and 3.3TT but w/ increased HP due to the new bi-modal exhaust and maybe increased boost, w/ the change to the new engines not occurring until the switch to the new RWD platform.

    2 seems likely as Kia likely wants to keep up in the performance/HP race in the US and to meet the ever increasing stricter emissions regulations in Europe, but at the same time, may not be financially prudent to make the switch also for RHD at this time.

  • avatar

    If the Sonata GT and the G70 get the 2.5 turbo as the base engine, they’ll be on my list ahead of the Stinger. Especially if the G70 keeps the 6 speed manual as a possibility or Sonata turns out to be amusingly fast.

    • 0 avatar

      The Stinger feels like the high-budget reboot of a Grand Prix GTP. The G70 (V6T) feels like a mashup of a G37 and an E90.
      I’m actually surprised how different H/K managed to make them.

      • 0 avatar

        You just made me remember supercharged 3800 wuffle. Nothing else made the same noise.

        • 0 avatar

          By the time I make my next purchase I figure I’ll be able to be “selfish” about purchasing a car for driving pleasure and not worrying too much about cargo capacity etc.

          A car like a G70 manual allows me to be fully engaged and I’ll be in a position to not worry about the trunk only being 10 cubic ft or something like that. The 4 doors and back seat means I can still say: “Yes Sweetie, I can still pick up the kids from school.”

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    i’m with the Principal.The styling of the G70 is more appealing.If the 2.5 T is avail. with 6mt I’ll move my fun car timeline up.I suspect the dealership experience would be better w/ a Genesis as well.

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