Kia dared to introduce a sporty liftback in an SUV-obsessed world, and while sales of the Stinger have not lived up to the company’s expectations, a mid-cycle refresh will try to lure customers that would otherwise buy something German. A new report from South Korean magazine Top Rider claims there will be quite a few changes for the car’s impending facelift.
First of all, the range-topping GT is said to use an upgraded version of the existing twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 engine. Output is expected to grow from the current 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet (510 Newton-meters) of torque to 380 hp and 390 lb-ft (528 Nm). The bump in output will be complemented by the company’s first implementation of a variable exhaust system with adjustable flaps to alter the soundtrack.
The styling changes for the 2021 Stinger will involve slightly redesigned front and rear bumpers along with an updated look for the headlights. In addition, the taillights are also bound to be tweaked a bit and will be linked to one another courtesy of a full-width LED light bar that’s becoming quite common on recent cars. Inside, expect a fully digital instrument cluster to replace the analog dials and a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system instead of the current 8-inch setup.
If the report is accurate, Kia will introduce the 2021 Stinger in its domestic market sometime in July. The updated European and North American versions should follow shortly.
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Kia hopes these updates will improve the sales numbers compared to 2019 when demand for the Stinger dropped by 17.5 percent to 13,861 units. However, 2020 isn’t looking great at all since during the first three months of the year the company only moved 2,560 cars in the United States, representing a drop of almost 21 percent. With the coronavirus pandemic taking its toll on new car demand, it seems highly unlikely the mid-cycle facelift will move the needle.