One of the early signs Kia sent about going upmarket was in 2011 with the GT Concept. However, it wasn't until 2017 that the subsequent production version arrived as the Stinger. The sporty gran tourer was praised by journalists, but sales never matched the hype surrounding the car. In recent years, there have been plenty of rumors about its demise. A new report from Auto Times claims the end is nigh for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe rival.
The South Korean publication says Kia will discontinue the Stinger in April 2023 due to weak demand. Through September, only 1,499 units were sold in South Korea, thus making it the slowest-selling Kia in its domestic market. A direct replacement is apparently not planned, but designer Karim Habib said last year the EV6 GT serves a similar role in the lineup.
2022 Kia Stinger GT-Line Review
Despite poor sales, Kia has not ignored the Stinger. It gave the swoopy liftback a mid-cycle update that brought a power bump in the United States last year. The Stinger lost its base 2.0-liter engine in favor of a 2.5-liter mill rated at 300 hp or 45 hp more than its predecessor. In addition, the range-topping GT with its twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 was massaged to deliver 368 hp. It kept both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations, linked exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The nip and tuck came along with some mild cosmetic changes to the body and wheels, along with a bigger 4.2-inch driver's display and a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the infotainment. For the US market, Kia introduced the Stinger Scorpion special edition with an assortment of black accents, faux carbon fiber trim on the inside, and a choice between black or red Nappa leather upholstery.
What comes after the Stinger? Well, the same report published by Auto Times claims an electric swoopy sedan will arrive in 2025, albeit nothing is official yet.