Kia is in the process of updating its establishment-challenging performance saloon, the Stinger, for the 2020 model year. Here's what's going to change for the big Korean four-door.
Improved sounds from V6
Focusing entirely on the 3.3-litre V6 range-topping engine, with no mention made of the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and 2.2-litre turbodiesel Stingers (which look like they're being phased out by Kia), it gains a new Electronic Variable Exhaust Valve system. This involves a small butterfly valve in the exhaust which opens and closes, to make the car louder and bassier in Sport, or quieter and more subdued for Eco and Comfort driving. It also liberates a tiny bit more power, 3hp to be specific, which means the V6 develops a new peak of 373hp at 6,000rpm. This is allied to the same 510Nm from 1,300-4,500rpm, with these outputs being channelled to the Stinger's rear axle through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
In general, the Stinger gains new touchscreen infotainment, with the option of a large 10.25-inch screen. There's the possibility to connect two mobile devices at the same time through the Bluetooth, while Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Voice Control are all standard kit. The base infotainment is upgraded from a seven-inch to an eight-inch display, while the instrument cluster also gains a 4.2-inch TFT colour screen - it was previously a 3.5-inch monochrome affair. Above this, a fully digital seven-inch Supervision cluster is available. Kia has also bolstered the Stinger's connectivity and advanced driver assist systems for the upgrade.
'Standard-bearer for Kia'
Thomas Schemera, head of product division for Kia, said: "The Stinger remains the standard-bearer for the Kia brand, almost a decade after we first revealed the Kia GT Concept in 2011. It remains our most driver-focused car, and is capable of covering great distances in comfort and style. The upgraded model builds on the Stinger's well-established grand touring ethos, with a renewed sense of design flair, new powertrains and technologies, and greater usability enhancing its appeal for buyers in markets around the world."
And do you want the bad news? It's very unlikely even the updated V6 model will come to Ireland, because Kia has decided it's not selling well enough here to merit its continuation. Oh. Damn.