2021 Kia Stinger facelift starts testing

Kia’s flagship Stinger sedan will get a refresh for 2021 model year and lose all engines but the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6.

Kia is well into testing an updated version of its Stinger sports saloon, with disguised prototypes being put through their paces at the Nürburgring.

Although this is a mid-cycle refresh for a car that has been on sale since only 2018, the mule seen here is sporting extensive camouflage. Don’t expect a radical overhaul inside or out, but we should see the usual revamp of the front end to include updated headlights, a new grille and larger air intakes.

The interior should gain some of the technology upgrades seen in the recently unveiled Mk4 Sorento, including new infotainment and additional comfort and active safety features. Revised colour and trim options should also be on the cards.

Changes under the bonnet are more significant. The 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines are only available while stocks last and will be dropped in Europe by the time the facelifted Stinger arrives.

Kia will retain only the 272kW twin-turbocharged 3.3-litre petrol V6 used in the Stinger GT S, effectively making the Stinger Kia’s halo performance model.

Question marks remain over the model’s future mid-term future remain, given its negative effect on Kia’s fleet average CO2 emissions. However, the Korean brand has been successful in reducing its figure with an influx of strong-selling electric cars and plug-in hybrids, which could allow the Stinger to continue for some years.

Going by the typical lifecycle for Kia models, we expect to see the facelifted Stinger before 2020 is out, with sales commencing soon after.

Lawrence Allan

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