Exclusive: Kia Has No Plans To Kill The Stinger

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There's an important role for Kia's BMW fighting sedan.

The Kia Stinger has been one of our favorite sedans ever since it launched for the 2018 model year. The rear- or all-wheel-drive fastback sedan's 2021 update brought a minor nip/tuck front and rear and the new GT-Line trim with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine totaling 300 horsepower on tap. Of course, we're partial to the Stinger GT and its 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 with 368 hp.

Like most mainstream sedans these days, the Stinger does not sell in huge numbers. It never has. And every few months another rumor or vague report comes along claiming the Stinger is on borrowed time (or might live on as an EV coupe) and could be gone following the 2022 or 2023 model years.

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That won't be happening. Kia's VP of marketing for the US, Russell Wager, confirmed to CarBuzz at this year's LA Auto Show that "we're very happy with the Stinger's sales. It's not going anywhere. It's doing exactly what we want it to be doing and we see no reason for anything to change."

Pressed further about a potential discontinuation date, Wager refused to delve into specific details but wants potential customers to know they can "rest assured" there's no reason to panic. This does not mean the Stinger is guaranteed to see a second generation, but at least it's safe for the foreseeable future.

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Unlike Toyota, for example, Kia and its sister brand Hyundai have embraced electrification.

The new EV6 is proof, which recently smashed Tesla's record for the shortest coast-to-coast charging time. Up next for Kia is likely the production version of the just-revealed EV9 concept, a Telluride-sized SUV. Theoretically, the EV6 could potentially replace the Stinger one day as the brand's high-performance model but mainstream America isn't ready for full-on electrification at this time.

That's a key reason why the Stinger is still needed. Still, just knowing the 576-hp, supercar-rivaling EV6 GT exists is confirmation Kia is fully committed to high-performance models in general.

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