Automotive

Published on March 17th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Facelifted Kia Stinger Adds More Tech And Even More Power

A meaner-looking Scorpion special edition model of the Kia Stinger is set to be released soon too. 

Despite its critical acclaim, the Kia Stinger never really managed to properly take on the sports sedan market as well as the South Korean automaker would have hoped. While many did indeed praise it for its power, performance and pricing when it first launched back in 2017, most prospective buyers nevertheless reverted to the traditional Continental offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and even Alfa Romeo. 

In fact, the sale of the Stinger has been so mediocre that there actually has been many a rumour that Kia was going to drop its halo sports sedan from its lineup for many years now. Incredulously though, what the automaker did instead recently was launched a new facelifted version with an updated exterior, more technology and even more performance.

As with any facelift, this updated Stinger undoubtably brings with it the usual exterior enhancements such as new LED headlight and taillight clusters as well new wheel design for its 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels. New too specifically on the outside of this Kia is its new corporate logo adorning the bonnet and wheel caps, not to mention more aggressive exhaust tips hinting at the added power under said hood. 

Speaking of added power, the Stinger GT-Line now boasts a new entry-level engine courtesy of a 2.5 litre turbocharged four-pot that now makes 300 hp and 422 Nm of torque. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and driving either solely the rear wheels or all four wheels, this new enlarged power plant is therefore able to quote a respectable 0-96 km/h time of 5.2 seconds while simultaneously slightly besting the fuel economy figures of the smaller 2.0 litre unit it replaces. 

For those seeking more power, there is still the option of the full-fat Stinger GT1 or GT2 trim levels that retains its 3.3 litre twin-turbocharged V6, but now develops slightly more power at 368 hp and 510 Nm of torque. Other performance enhancements that came with this most recent round of updates for this top-tier Kia sport sedan includes Brembo brakes, launch control and a new electronic variable exhaust system. 

Transitioning towards the cabin of the refreshed Stinger, Kia has decided to up the premium-ness of its interior with the addition of new stitching patterns, standard interior LED ambient lighting not to mention the new black gloss and chrome details on the instrument panel for that added touch of pizzazz. On the interior kit front meanwhile, this facelifted South Korean sports sedan gains a larger standard 10.25-inch central infotainment display, a wireless charging pad and a larger 7-inch central screen that brings with it the innovative indicator-operated Blind Spot View Monitor and 360º surround view camera functionality. 

Expectedly, Kia has also further enhanced its active safety suite with the inclusion of navigation-based Smart Cruise Control and Highway Driving Assist. The Stinger continues to offer its UVO link telematics system and its Harmon/Kardon Audio system too. 

Set to cost from $37,135 (RM 153,000) for the base GT-Line Stingers before rising to $54,535 (RM 225,000) for the top-tier GT2 AWD variants, these sports sedans are set to arrive in North American Kia dealerships later this spring. No official word yet on when these updates will make it to other markets worldwide though. 

Arriving later that season over there too is the Stinger Scorpion that adds a rear spoiler, bespoke black wheels, blacked out exterior accents, carbon fibre interior accents. To be available in either Snow White, Aurora Black, and Ceramic Silver, exact pricing of this meaner looking Kia sedan will be announced closer to its imminent launch. 

PRESS RELEASE: The Stinger established a new era in Kia’s history when it debuted in 2017 as a 2018 model, but that was just the start of the story.  It “crashed the party” in a way never expected and converted enthusiasts stuck in the old “German is better” doctrine. For 2022, Stinger continues to evolve and maintain its position as Kia’s halo sport sedan while pushing frontiers in expected style, performance and engineering. It’s been revamped with new exterior design details that offer a more upscale appearance, enhanced performance thanks to a more powerful standard engine, and an unparalleled driving experience with several technologically advanced driver assistance systems as standard.

“The Stinger confidently shows Kia’s ability to build a sport sedan that can compete – and beat – the best the world has to offer. It is definitive proof of our proud and evolving engineering prowess,” said Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia Motors North American and Kia Motors America. “We continue to push Stinger to new heights as it is the catalyst behind our dynamic model lineup, from the award-winning Telluride to the highly praised K5. The Kia Stinger is world-class, and the refreshed 2022 model continues to evolve expectations.”

The 2022 Kia Stinger will arrive this spring and be available in GT-Line, GT1, and GT2 trims, with a special edition Scorpion model released at a later date.

In True Sport Sedan Fashion

Building off a design hailed for its enthusiastic spirit and perfect sense of proportion, subtle styling enhancements focus on Stinger’s premium and performance-oriented appearance. Along with Kia’s dynamic new logo that adorns the center of the hood and wheel caps, changes to the exterior include:

  • Standard LED headlamps with a new DRL signature or optional “Stinger-signature” LED DRLs and headlights
  • Standard rear LED taillamps bridged by an eye-catching new taillight design that spans the full width of the liftgate; GT trims get a full LED treatment with LED turn signals
  • New 18- and 19-inch wheel designs defined by lean and technical geometric shapes
  • More aggressive exhaust tip design for enhanced visual appeal

Stinger’s interior upgrades sharpen the renowned driver-centric experience:

  • Black gloss and chrome details on the instrument panel add a touch of polish
  • Modern stitching pattern on inside door panels casts a striking effect inside the GT; GT models with Nappa leather surfaces gain a new “chain link” design inspired by the wristbands found on high-end watches
  • Ambient LED mood cabin lighting with vibrant selection of colors

The Scorpion Special Edition set to arrive this late Spring further accelerates Stinger appeal with:

  • Select exterior colors: Snow White, Aurora Black, and Ceramic Silver
  • Rear spoiler
  • Blacked out fender garnish, side mirror caps, and darkened exhaust tips
  • Unique black wheels
  • Interior carbon fiber pattern trim

Tuned by Driving Enthusiasts…for Driving Enthusiasts

Of all the options, the 2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line may soon be seen as the most captivating Stinger. It flexes with more power to accelerate away from the traditional definition of “entry-level”:

  • 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
  • 300 horsepower and 311 lb.-ft. of torque for an estimated 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds
  • RWD or available torque vectoring AWD
  • Estimated 22/32/25 mpg (RWD); 21/29/24 mpg (AWD)

The GT twin-turbo V6 continues to offer higher-performance upgrades including Brembo brakes and launch control, but hearts and pistons will pound a little harder with slightly more power on tap:

  • 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine
  • 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
  • 368 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque for estimated 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds
  • New electronic variable exhaust system enhances Stinger’s audible “calling card” – especially as it leaves other performance cars far behind
  • RWD or available AWD with torque vectoring
  • Estimated 18/25/20 mpg (RWD); 17/24/20 mpg (AWD)

Technology Upgrades that “Keep it in the Family”

Following in the footsteps of the K5 and Sorento, the Kia Stinger pampers its passengers with the latest in infotainment and technology:

  • Standard 10.25-inch touchscreen display with navigation and standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus multi-connection Bluetooth wireless connectivity and split-screen functionality
  • Wireless charger for compatible smartphones
  • Larger 4.2-inch color TFT center cluster is easier to read and offers a more vibrant exchange of information.
  • Available 7-inch center cluster provides the safety of the available Blind Spot View Monitor with a live video view of adjacent lanes activated via the turn signal. This screen also projects the available Surround View Monitor, which utilizes four cameras to provide a 360-degree vehicle perspective

Stinger’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has expanded and is now the class-leader in this luxury segment:

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Junction Turning: Assists the driver in braking to help prevent a collision or lessen the effects in certain conditions when turning left and an oncoming vehicle is approaching
  • Safe Exit Warning: Can alert the driver or passengers opening their door not to exit the vehicle when the system detects approaching traffic. When detected, a chime sounds.
  • Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist: Under certain conditions, can detect vehicles traveling in the next lane. When a vehicle is “seen” in the blind spot, the vehicle brakes the outer wheel under certain conditions to help return the vehicle to its intended lane
  • Rear Cross Traffic Avoidance Assist: Helps detect most approaching cross traffic when in reverse. When approaching cross traffic is detected, the system alerts the driver and applies the brakes
  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control: leverages the navigation system to lower the vehicle’s speed proactively before upcoming curves
  • Lane Following Assist: Follows lane markings that the system detects and provides steering inputs to help maintain the vehicle in the center of the lane
  • Highway Driving Assist: Uses federal highway speed limit information from the navigation system and, under certain conditions, will automatically adjust speed to be within the posted speed limit and maintain distance with the vehicle detected in front

The impressive Harman/Kardon premium audio system continues to be available on the Kia Stinger, while UVO link telematics offers an array of advanced connected vehicle features, such as:

  • Connected Routing: A new cloud-based route calculation system that uses UVO cloud to calculate the optimal route using real-time maps, predicted upcoming traffic info based on historical information and AI to learn the preferred routes of users
  • Connected Weather: Provides weather information for more than 25,000 cities
  • Enhanced UVO voice assist feature allows voice control of the vehicle’s climate, seat and steering-wheel heating, audio system, and other functions
  • Connected User Profiles: Allows customers to add an additional driver to their vehicle. The drivers can have their individual UVO accounts linked to the vehicle and access to the remote features using the Kia Access App. The profile stores some select settings on the UVO cloud and can be shared with other compatible Kia vehicles.
  • UVO & Smart Speaker Integration lets customers use Amazon-Alexa or Google-Assistant enabled smart speaker or device to remotely control some functions (such as remote start)
  • Advanced notifications:
  • Engine Idle Notification and Automatic Engine Shut Off notifies the driver via the UVO link app if the engine is left idling and, after a pre-selected time, turns off the engine
  • Rear Occupancy Alert can send push notification alerts via the UVO link app if movement is detected inside the vehicle
  • 911 Connect and Roadside Assistance will automatically attempt to call 911 via the built-in UVO modem if an airbag deploys. For non-emergencies, it can connect with 24/7 roadside assistance and share the vehicle’s location
  • On-demand Find My Car with available Surround View Monitor uses the vehicle cameras to capture images of the vehicle’s surroundings and then share them via the Kia Access UVO app
  • Last Mile Navigation provides walking directions to the driver’s final destination if the vehicle is parked between 0.1 and 1.2 miles away
  • Calendar Integration syncs with owner’s cloud-based calendar and displays calendar events on touchscreen. Also provides navigation to event destination if address has been entered in calendar event
  • Valet Mode locks Stinger’s touchscreen, keeping personal information such as call history, address book, and navigation destinations private when vehicle is left with valet or other unknown person

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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