After what looked like an endless string of spy shots, the 2021 Kia Stinger is finally here. Although you might be tempted to say it’s the old model, there are some subtle changes here and there, starting at the front where the headlights employ a new design and modified daytime running lights along with a darker tint.

The most important novelty in terms of design tweaks is at the back where the revised gran tourer now features a full-width brake light and turn signals with 10 individual LEDs forming a chequered flag pattern. Go for one of the more powerful versions, such as the flagship GT pictured here, and the 2021 Kia Stinger will feature larger exhaust tips lending it a more aggressive look.

Gallery: 2021 Kia Stinger facelift

Kia has designed new 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels while adding a new colour and two optional packages. The Dark Package available in multiple global markets will come with a glossy black rear diffuser and a dark finish for the exhaust tips and rear badge.

Stepping inside the cabin, the most notable change is the larger 10.25-inch infotainment replacing the old 8.0-inch setup. Kia mentions the materials used throughout the interior are better than before and customers will get to pick from aluminium or faux carbon fibre trim for the centre console. The ambient lighting has been upgraded and there are now 64 selectable colours to create a cosy atmosphere.

Depending on the region, the 2021 Stinger will be offered with a variety of interior packages in multiple colours and with available Nappa leather upholstery. New contrast stitching has been added with the car’s mid-cycle update, and there will be leather and synthetic leather options to choose from.

There’s no word about the engine options just yet, but the 300-bhp turbocharged four-cylinder 2.5-litre unit and the 375-bhp V6 3.5-litre twin-turbo mill from the Genesis G80 could find their way underneath the Stinger’s bonnet.

As a final note, it’s worth mentioning the “E” badge you’re seeing in these images is a South Korean affair as only the KDM-spec Stinger has it. We’re expecting the global version to feature Kia’s revised badge that has surfaced a few times already.

The 2021 Stinger will initially go on sale in its domestic market during the third quarter of the year before arriving in other countries. UK on-sale date to be announced in due course.

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Kia reveals new design for fastback Stinger

First images of upgraded model reveal its revised design, inside and out
New design packages for Kia’s gran turismo fastback sports sedan
Higher quality interior with new colors, materials and infotainment tech
Enhanced model on-sale globally starting from the third quarter of 2020
Kia Motors Corporation has released the first images of the upgraded Kia Stinger today, revealing a refreshed design for the high-performance fastback sports sedan. Changes to the appearance of the enhanced model amplify its gran turismo character, while improving cabin quality and giving owners more choice of color and material.

The upgraded model boasts a range of design updates, inside and out. Outside, the changes add a new touch of drama to the car’s design and give buyers more options for customization; inside, the upgraded Stinger offers a more comfortable space in which to travel, with a revised design, new higher-quality materials, and updates to the infotainment system.

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

A modernized, more muscular exterior appearance

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 new 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 examples of the Stinger now have the option to specify larger wide-bore bright silver exhaust mufflers, with a more purposeful, performance-inspired rear diffuser to give the car a more muscular rear appearance.

Two new 18-inch and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels are also introduced, with intricate, geometric designs which enhance the sporty, grand tourer nature of the car. The Stinger is now available with a new exterior color in many markets worldwide.

Two new exterior packages are also introduced for the first time. For high-performance variants in many markets worldwide, 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, a new ‘Black Package’ is offered, giving customization fans 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 trunk lid, and blacked out mirror caps and side fender trim.

A higher-quality cabin with new color options and an improved infotainment screen

While the architecture of the cabin in the upgraded Stinger remains unchanged, with a sweeping, driver-oriented dash and comfortable space for up to five occupants, it boasts a range of subtle enhancements. These visual and material upgrades are designed to improve the car’s grand touring ability, creating a more luxurious ambience.

The lower section of the steering wheel features a new metallic finish, matching the chrome bezel that now surrounds the 7.0-inch fully-digital instrument cluster. The latter is designed to provide crystal clear information to drivers via its high-definition display. The rear-view mirror is now frameless, creating a modern look and enhancing rear visibility.

Depending on specification, the dashboard and doors are finished with new contrast stitching, while the center console is available with aluminum or carbon fiber-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 cabin also features a new mood lighting system, allowing drivers to select one of 64 colors to subtly alter the character of the cabin.

The Stinger is available with a new interior color and material options, depending on market. Customers in Korea can specify a new ‘Dark Brown’ monotone interior, with ultra-soft diamond quilted Nappa leather seats. For Kia’s global markets, new choices include Nappa leather upholstery 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.

More Stinger details to be revealed soon

The new Kia Stinger is due on-sale in Korea, during the third quarter of 2020; sales in many of Kia’s global markets will follow later. Kia will reveal more details about the upgraded Stinger soon, including its new powertrain line-up and technologies.