When Kia unveiled the Stinger for the European market in early 2017, the attractive grand tourer was presented with a choice of three engines. The base model had a four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol mill producing 251 bhp and 353 Newton-metres (260 pound-feet) of torque. There’s was also a thrifty 2.2-litre turbodiesel rated at 197 bhp and 440 Nm (325 lb-ft), an engine which at that time Kia projected it would become the most popular of the trio.
As it turns out, Kia was wrong about the diesel. Why? Because the South Korean automaker says the V6 was chosen by the majority of Stinger owners. The twin-turbo 3.3-litre was so successful that Kia has decided to drop the smaller engines with the facelifted model debuting today in Europe. The beefier powertrain continues to push out 365 bhp and 510 Nm (376 lb-ft). That’s slightly lower than the international variant where the V6 is linked to a new electronic variable exhaust valve system unlocking an extra three brake horsepower while keeping the same torque.
Gallery: 2021 Kia Stinger (Euro Spec)
The V6 continues to work with an eight-speed automatic transmission and is offered with a choice of rear- and all-wheel drive. The UK model comes exclusively with AWD and needs only 4.9 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h), thus making it the fastest-accelerating car Kia has ever sold in Europe. The US-spec Stinger has gained a 2.5-litre engine with 300 bhp and 311 lb-ft (422 Nm), but it won’t be available on the Old Continent.
Beyond the oily bits, the 2021 Stinger in Euro flavour gets the same array of styling tweaks as the global model. Kia is introducing a fresh set of 19-inch wheels, a new Ascot Green paint, and is bumping the size of the touchscreen to 10.25 inches complemented by a 7-inch digital display in the instrument cluster. To make the GT more appealing, the rearview mirror is now frameless and there’s contrast stitching on the door cards and dashboard, along with aluminium trim for the centre console.
The Euro-spec Stinger has an upgraded array of what Kia refers to as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). There’s now a blind spot system that shows up in the digital instrument cluster as seen on other recent Kia models sold globally. Additional systems introduced with the revised model include Safe Exit Warning, Lane Following Assist, Rear Occupant Alert, and Highway Driving Assist.
Kia will have the revised Stinger on sale in Europe by late 2020 / early 2021, backed by a seven-year / 100,000-mile warranty. About 10,000 units have been sold so far on the continent. As to whether there will be a next generation, possibly as an EV-only model, it remains to be seen.
UPGRADED KIA STINGER REVEALED IN EUROPEAN SPECIFICATION
New design packages for Kia’s gran turismo fastback sports saloon
Offered to European buyers with powerful 3.3-litre V6 T-GDi engine
Updated technologies with ‘connected’ 10.25-inch infotainment system
Enhanced safety features include new Blind-Spot View Monitor
Upgraded model offered with 7-Year, 100,000-mile warranty in Europe
The updated Kia Stinger is revealed in its European specification for the first time today. Kia’s high-performance fastback sports saloon now boasts a refreshed design to amplify its gran turismo character and a range of technology and safety upgrades.
“The Stinger is standard-bearer for the Kia brand in Europe and remains our most driver-focused car, capable of covering great distances in comfort and style,” said Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe. “The upgraded model builds on the Stinger’s well-established grand touring ethos, with a renewed sense of design flair, new technologies, and greater usability enhancing its appeal for buyers in Europe.”
Since sales of the Stinger began in Europe in 2017, around 10,000 units have been sold across the continent. Sales of the upgraded Kia Stinger will commence in Europe during the final quarter of 2020 and into early 2021. UK specification, on-sale date and pricing will be announced in due course. All models are offered as standard with Kia’s 7-Year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Refreshed exterior design and new interior materials and tech
The upgraded Stinger boasts a refreshed exterior design and measures to improve cabin appearance and quality, and gives owners more choice of colour and material at the same time. The upgraded cabin in particular reconfirms the Stinger’s credentials as the consummate grand tourer.
At the front, the Stinger’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille sits between new multifaceted reflector LED headlamps. Its new design and LED daytime running lights give 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 new rear combination lamp spans the width of the car, creating a distinctive new light signature which mimics the shape of the subtle spoiler integrated into the trunk lid. New turn signals, each comprised of 10 individual LED units, are arranged in a grid pattern, a motorsport-inspired design which reflects the appearance of a chequered flag.
A new 19-inch aluminium alloy wheel design is also introduced, with intricate, geometric designs which enhance the sporty, grand tourer nature of the car. ‘Ascot Green’ exterior paint is also introduced to the Stinger range for the first time.
Inside, the architecture of the cabin remains unchanged, but subtle visual and material enhancements create a more luxurious ambience. Changes include a metallic finish to sections of the steering wheel and a chrome bezel around the instrument cluster. 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 centre console is finished in aluminium. The dash features Kia’s upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system (more details below), accented by new gloss black trim. A new mood lighting system allows drivers to select one of 64 colours to subtly alter the character of the cabin.
European-spec Stingers are available with Nappa leather upholstery in Saturn Black or optional Red. A suede package is also available for the first time, with the cabin trimmed in Saturn Black suede with contrasting red stitching and red seatbelts.
UK specification will be announced in due course.
Powerful 3.3-litre T-GDi engine – the fastest-accelerating Kia ever sold in Europe
Three years on from its launch, the majority of Stinger customers have specified their car with Kia’s powerful 3.3-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) V6 engine.
The upgraded Stinger is offered exclusively with this powerful engine, delivering swift acceleration and rapid responses to driver inputs, while offering a refined grand touring experience during a steady cruise.
The 3.3-litre T-GDi V6 provides drivers with peak power of 370 ps at 6,000 rpm. Its twin turbochargers allow the engine to offer drivers its 510 Nm peak torque across a wide range of speeds (1,300 to 4,500 rpm), resulting in effortless performance everywhere. Accelerating from 0-to-100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds, the Stinger’s 3.3-litre T-GDi engine makes it the fastest-accelerating Kia ever sold in Europe.
The engine is paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, matching the car’s long-legged gran turismo personality, and all-wheel drive as standard (rear-wheel drive in right-hand drive markets).
New widescreen infotainment systems, digital driver displays and technology
At the centre of the Stinger’s upgraded cabin is an upgraded touchscreen infotainment system, providing enhanced functionality to meet customers’ changing expectations of in-car technology.
The upgraded Stinger is fitted as standard with Kia’s new 10.25-inch touchscreen display. Bluetooth® multi-connection enables users to connect up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and multimedia use; the other for media use only. Its advanced split-screen display lets users control or monitor different vehicle features at the same time, customising the screen with a series of different widgets. The 10.25-inch system offers Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ as standard, with a voice control system for many of the car’s features, such as heating and ventilation, audio and navigation.
In addition, the upgraded model includes a high-resolution 7.0-inch digital display within the instrument cluster. This full-colour display with vivid graphics for different driving modes delivers crystal-clear information to the driver between the speedometer and tachometer.
The upgraded Stinger also features a ‘connected car’ Remote Engine Start system, which allows owners to start their car remotely using the Stinger’s smart key.
New ADAS technologies to assist drivers and protect passengers
The upgraded Kia Stinger carries over the same Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that it offered previously, as well as a series of new features and updates to provide even better protection for the driver, their passengers and other road users.
Depending on market and vehicle specification, the ADAS range in the Stinger is comprehensive, with many of the existing systems newly updated:
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) now offers protection when turning across the road into a junction by identifying oncoming traffic on the other side of the road. Furthermore, it offers increased activation range when detecting a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) is now able to detect the edge of a road, as well as the lines in the road, providing steering assistance to prevent the driver leaving their lane without signalling
Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) provides an enhancement over the existing Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW). Instead of simply warning drivers of cars in adjacent lanes on the highway, BCA helps drivers avoid a potential collision by applying differential braking
For Europe, the upgraded Stinger now features Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) based on traffic sign recognition
Driver Attention Warning (DAW) now has an increased operating speed of up to 210 kph, and also alerts drivers if they fail to notice the car in front move off from a stop
Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) helps drive around curved sections of a highway, automatically reducing the vehicle’s speed to an appropriate level before entering the curve. It reverts to the original speed as the vehicle leaves the curve
A similar updated has been made for reversing out of parking bays, with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) now helping to prevent collisions with crossing vehicles while reversing (previously the system only warned the driver)
The following new ADAS technologies and convenience features have been added to the Stinger for the first time:
Safe Exit Warning (SEW) detects vehicles coming up from behind on either side of the Stinger when parked and stopped, alerting occupants with a sound and visual warning if they attempt to open the door into oncoming traffic
Kia’s cutting-edge Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) technology acts as a ‘second pair of eyes’ for drivers by eliminating a driver’s left- and right-side blind spots. It displays a high-resolution video feed within the instrument cluster’s digital display if the driver indicates to change lane with another vehicle in their blind spot. The video feed comes from discreet wide-angle lenses hidden beneath the door mirror housings, giving drivers a wider viewing angle of their blind spots
Lane Following Assist (LFA) helps the vehicle stay in the centre of its lane
Highway Driving Assist (HDA) helps maintain a set distance from the vehicle in front on the highway, and keep the car in the centre of its lane, even on a curved road
Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) provides a warning to the driver if they leave behind any pets or children when they exit the car.
UK specification, on-sale date and pricing will be announced in due course.