One of Kia’s early signs of going to the top class was in 2011 with the GT Concept. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that the next production version arrived as the Stinger. The sporty Gran tourer was praised by journalists, but sales never matched the hype surrounding the car. In recent years, there have been many rumors about his death. New report from Auto Time claiming the end is near for rival BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
The South Korean publication says Kia will discontinue the Stinger in April 2023 due to weak demand. As of September, only 1,499 units were sold in South Korea, making it the slowest selling Kia in the domestic market. An immediate replacement doesn’t appear to be planned, but designer Karim Habib said last year’s EV6 GT had a similar role in the lineup.
Despite poor sales, Kia did not ignore the Stinger. It gave the swoopy liftback the mid-cycle update that brought major power in the United States last year. The Stinger loses its basic 2.0-liter engine in favor of a 2.5-liter engine that produces 300 hp or 45 hp more than its predecessor. In addition, the top-range GT with its 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 is massaged to produce 368 hp. It retains the rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, connected exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The nip and tuck comes along with some minor cosmetic changes to the body and wheels, along with a larger 4.2-inch driver’s screen and a 10.25-inch touchscreen for infotainment. For the US market, Kia is introducing a special edition Stinger Scorpion with various black accents, faux carbon fiber trim on the inside, and a choice between black or red Nappa leather upholstery.
What happened after Stinger? Well, the same report was published by Auto Time claims the electric swoopy sedan will arrive in 2025, though nothing is official yet.