Kia Stinger moves upmarket for the 2021 model year

kia stinger moves upmarket for the 2021 model year
2021 kia stinger update 1

Kia is giving the rear-wheel-drive Stinger a mid-cycle update that brings an updated design, a nicer interior, newer in-car technology, and a handful of powertrain tweaks. The sedan will reach showrooms by the end of 2020.

Stylists played it safe when tweaking the front end, which receives redesigned lights that look darker than the current model’s. Out back, the new-look lights are connected by a light bar, and the turn signals are made up of 10 individual LEDs arranged to resemble a checkered flag. Some variants are offered with bigger exhaust tips and a wider air diffuser, while new wheel designs and paint colors round out the exterior overhaul.

Buyers will have two additional exterior packages to choose from. The first one, called Dark Package, adds a gloss black diffuser, black exhaust tips and black emblems. The second one, Black Package, bundles 19-inch matte black wheels, blacked-out trim, black mirror caps, and a trunk-mounted spoiler. Kia specifically pointed out the Black Package will be offered in North America, but it didn’t reveal if we’ll get the Dark Package.

Kia explained it devoted a considerable amount of energy to making the Stinger’s cabin feel more luxurious. It added nicer materials (like metallic trim on the steering wheel), a frame-less rear-view mirror, and, on some models, contrast stitching on the door panels as well as on the dashboard. The firm’s newest infotainment system is displayed on a bigger, free-standing 10.25-inch touchscreen propped up on the dashboard.

We’ll need to be patient to find out what has changed under the hood. Kia alluded to a new powertrain lineup, but it won’t reveal what’s on the roster until a little bit later in 2020. As of writing, the Stinger’s entry-level engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged to 255 horsepower. Motorists who want quicker acceleration can select a twin-turbocharged, 3.3-liter V6 that develops 365 horsepower. Could there be a step up to the Genesis G80‘s 300-horsepower 2.5-liter turbo-four and 375-hp 3.5-liter turbo V-6?

Rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission come standard regardless of cylinder count, and all-wheel drive is offered at an extra cost.

Kia noted the updated Stinger will go on sale in South Korea during the third quarter of 2020. Sales in other global markets — including, presumably, the United States — will start shortly after, and additional details will be released in the coming weeks. In America, the redesigned model will likely arrive in time for the 2021 model year.

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