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Having released images of its 2021 Stinger earlier this month, Kia is now ready to talk about what is going on underneath that sporty hood. The biggest news is the introduction of a new turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine exclusively for the North American market. It’s a 2.5-liter unit benefitting from direct-injection and produces 300 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and a peak torque of 311 pound-feet (422 Newton-meters) from 1,650 rpm.

Step up to the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 of the Stinger GT and you’ll be rewarded with slightly more power than before. The engine itself has been carried over, but there’s a new electronic variable exhaust valve system unlocking an additional 3 hp for a grand total of 368 hp accessible at 6,000 rpm. Torque remains unchanged, at 376 lb-ft (510 Nm), available from 1,300 rpm. The six-cylinder mill provides a more aggressive soundtrack courtesy of a small butterfly valve in the exhaust that opens when the car is in the Sport driving mode. Switch to Eco or Comfort and the exhaust note is quieter.

Gallery: 2021 Kia Stinger facelift

The 2021 Stinger is keeping the entry-level 2.0-liter engine with 251 hp at 6,200 rpm and 260 lb-ft (353 Nm) from 1,400 rpm. Regardless of the engine you go for, all three are connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission to emphasize the vehicle’s GT nature.

Interestingly, Kia is not saying a word about the 2.2-liter turbodiesel offered for the pre-facelift model in Europe with 197 hp and 325 lb-ft (440 Nm). That one too was available with two pedals and buyers had to pick between a rear-wheel-drive layout with an optional limited-slip differential or AWD with torque vectoring.

The mid-cycle update comes with additional benefits as Kia’s excellent Blind-Spot View Monitor is being added, showing video feed straight into the digital instrument cluster. In addition, the 2021 Stinger adds Safe Exit Warning, Lane Following Assist, Highway Driving Assist, and Rear Occupant Alert. These join the previously announced novelties, including the 10.25-inch touchscreen optionally offered alongside a standard eight-inch setup.

The driver’s display in its basic form switches from the old 3.5-inch monochrome screen to a 4.2-inch color display, but you’ll probably want the optional seven-inch fully digital setup. Depending on the market, the Stinger will come with some new features, such as remote engine start and the possibility to use Kia’s UVO app to pre-heat the seats and turn on ventilation remotely.

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Along with talking about the oily bits, Kia has also dropped a complete photo gallery of the Stinger for the South Korean market. The global version should look virtually identical, save for that “E” badge reserved for the KDM-spec model. It will go on sale locally in the third quarter of 2020, with global markets to follow by the end of the year.

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More tech, power and safety for upgraded Kia Stinger

New design packages for Kia’s gran turismo fastback sports sedan
New ‘Smartstream’ 2.5-liter T-GDi launched for Korea, U.S. and Mexico
New variable exhaust valve for improved 3.3-liter T-GDi exhaust tone in several markets
Updated technologies with ‘connected’ 10.25-inch infotainment system
Enhanced safety features include new Blind-Spot View Monitor
Upgraded model on-sale globally starting from the third quarter of 2020
The updated Kia Stinger is revealed in full detail for the first time today, with the high-performance fastback sports sedan boasting a range of upgrades to amplify its gran turismo character.

In addition to its refreshed design, revealed earlier this month, the enhanced Kia Stinger includes Kia’s latest driver assist and safety features, as well as improved interior packaging for greater space and comfort. For North America, the upgraded model is also now offered with a powerful new ‘Smartstream’ 2.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine.

“The Stinger remains the standard-bearer for the Kia brand, almost a decade after we first revealed the Kia GT Concept in 2011. It remains our most driver-focused car, and is capable of covering great distances in comfort and style,” said Thomas Schemera, Head of Product Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “The upgraded model builds on the Stinger’s well-established grand touring ethos, with a renewed sense of design flair, new powertrains and technologies, and greater usability enhancing its appeal for buyers in markets around the world.”

The new Kia Stinger will go on-sale in Korea during the third quarter of 2020, with sales due to commence in many of Kia’s global markets later in the year.

New 2.5-liter T-GDi added to high-performance powertrain line-up

The upgraded Stinger offers a revised range of three powerful turbocharged gasoline engines, in line with its reputation as the most performance-focused car that Kia makes. Each engine offers swift acceleration and rapid responses to driver input, while offering a refined grand touring experience for steady cruises.

A new engine has been added to the Stinger line-up exclusively for North American customers. The new ‘Smartstream’ 2.5-liter T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine sits directly between the two existing gasoline powertrains, producing 304 ps at 5,800 rpm. The maximum torque of the new four-cylinder engine, 422 Nm, is accessible from 1,650 to 4,000 rpm, making it easy for drivers to build and maintain speed in all conditions.

The most powerful engine in the Stinger line-up, a twin-turbo 3.3-liter T-GDi V6 from Kia’s ‘Lambda’ engine family, remains unchanged, save for a new Electronic Variable Exhaust Valve system*. This features a small butterfly valve in the exhaust which opens and closes, producing a more prominent, deeper exhaust note in Sport driving modes, or a quieter, more subdued exhaust note in Eco or Comfort mode. As well as enhancing the sound quality, the revised exhaust flow path helps to liberate an extra 3 ps from the engine (for a total of 373 ps at 6,000 rpm). Its 510 Nm torque is accessible from 1,300 to 4,500 rpm, giving the Stinger effortless performance everywhere.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder ‘Theta’ engine, also available since the car’s launch in 2017, is unchanged, producing 255 ps at 6,200 rpm and 353 Nm torque from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm.

All three engines are paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, matching the car’s long-legged gran turismo personality.

New widescreen infotainment systems and digital driver displays

At the center of the Stinger’s upgraded cabin is an upgraded touchscreen infotainment system, providing new functionality to meet customers’ changing expectations of in-car technology.

Depending on market and specification, the upgraded Stinger is now available with an optional new 10.25-inch touchscreen display. Bluetooth multi-connection enables users to connect up to two mobile devices at the same time – one for hands-free phone and multimedia use; the other for media use only. Its advanced split-screen display lets users control or monitor different vehicle features at the same time, customizing the screen with a series of different widgets. The 10.25-inch system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, with a voice control system for many of the car’s features, such as heating and ventilation, audio and navigation.

A new 8.0-inch touchscreen display with a narrow-bezel design is also available, replacing the previous 7.0-inch system. Depending on market, the larger display also offers wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Drivers have a choice of two instrument cluster displays, based on vehicle specification. The standard 3.5-inch mono-TFT cluster is now replaced with a larger 4.2-inch color-TFT LCD cluster, delivering improved visibility and displaying a wider range of information to the driver. In addition, a fully-digital, high-resolution 7.0-inch ‘Supervision’ cluster is available – a full-color display with vivid graphics for different driving modes, delivering crystal-clear information to the driver.

Technologies to improve everyday usability

The upgraded Stinger features a series of new ‘connected car’ features to improve convenience for owners in many countries. Depending on market and vehicle specification, among these technologies is a Remote Engine Start system, which allows owners to start their car remotely using the Stinger’s smart key.

In certain markets, Kia’s UVO App can be used to pre-activate the Stinger’s seat heating and ventilation functions remotely, creating a comfortable temperature before entering the car and avoiding the inconvenience of sitting on a hot or cold seat.

New ADAS technologies to assist drivers and protect passengers

The upgraded Kia Stinger carries over the same Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that it offered previously, as well as a series of new features and updates to provide even better protection for the driver, their passengers and other road users.

Depending on market and vehicle specification, the ADAS range in the Stinger is comprehensive, with many of the existing systems newly updated:

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) now offers protection when turning across the road into a junction by identifying oncoming traffic on the other side of the road. Furthermore, it offers increased activation range when detecting a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) is now able to detect the edge of a road, as well as the lines in the road, providing steering assistance to prevent the driver leaving their lane without signaling
Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) provides an enhancement over the existing Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW). Instead of simply warning drivers of cars in adjacent lanes on the highway, BCA helps drivers avoid a potential collision by applying differential braking
For Europe, the upgraded Stinger now features Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) based on traffic sign recognition
Driver Attention Warning (DAW) now has an increased operating speed of up to 210 kph, and also alerts drivers if they fail to notice the car in front move off from a stop
Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) helps drive around curved sections of a highway, automatically reducing the vehicle’s speed to an appropriate level before entering the curve. It reverts to the original speed as the vehicle leaves the curve
A similar updated has been made for reversing out of parking bays, with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) now helping to prevent collisions with crossing vehicles while reversing (previously the system only warned the driver)
The following new ADAS technologies and convenience features have been added to the Stinger for the first time:

Safe Exit Warning (SEW) detects vehicles coming up from behind on either side of the Stinger when parked and stopped, alerting occupants with a sound and visual warning if they attempt to open the door into oncoming traffic
Kia’s cutting-edge Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM) technology acts as a ‘second pair of eyes’ for drivers by eliminating a driver’s left- and right-side blind spots. It displays a high-resolution video feed within the ‘Supervision’ digital instrument cluster if the driver indicates to change lane with another vehicle in their blind spot. The video feed comes from discreet wide-angle lenses hidden beneath the door mirror housings, giving drivers a wider viewing angle of their blind spots
Lane Following Assist (LFA) helps the vehicle stay in the center of its lane
Highway Driving Assist (HDA) helps maintain a set distance from the vehicle in front on the highway, and keep the car in the center of its lane, even on a curved road
Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) provides a warning to the driver if they leave behind any pets or children when they exit the car  

*Electronic Variable Exhaust Valve fitted as standard to all 3.3-liter T-GDi models except those sold in Europe and Russia (which produce 370 ps at 6,000 rpm, and 510 Nm across 1,300-4,500 rpm)

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