Will it or won't it happen?
The Kia Stinger was never meant to be a big seller in any market, including North America where about 1,000 units are sold each month. Instead, the Stinger is an image model that highlights what the South Korean automaker is capable of doing. The results speak for themselves.
Last week, our spy photographers captured the upcoming facelifted 2021 Stinger doing some final development testing. Expect to see new front and rear-end styling and, hopefully, a more powerful 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with upwards of 380 horsepower lurking under that hood. These, along with other unknown improvements, should be enough to keep the Stinger and Stinger GT competitive for the next few years.
But what about a second-generation model? So far, Kia has neither confirmed nor denied any plans regarding this, but given the already relatively slow sales and the expected economic downturn, it was rumored that a completely redesigned Stinger has already been ruled out.
Apparently, that's not the case, or at least not yet. Speaking to South Korean publication AutoDaum, an anonymous Kia official from the country said that "The release of the second-generation Stinger has not been decided yet. We plan to focus on preparing for the partial change model launch in the second half of this year." Not only did this statement confirm the facelifted Stinger's general launch date time frame, but also there's still hope the Stinger will live on.
And then the official had this to say: "The Stinger discontinuation is not only groundless at all, but also ridiculous fake news." Short of a full-on second-gen model confirmation, this is what we've been hoping to hear.
Kia clearly understands the Stinger's image importance, especially in the US, and based on our own conversations with brand officials, it's not afraid to take a few chances from time to time. We'll more than likely have a clearer picture of the Stinger's long-term future about a year or so from now once the facelifted model debuts and things (hopefully) settle down.
Until then, the Kia Stinger will very much remain on sale as one of the coolest and best-value sports sedans on the market.