Pictures of an upgraded Kia Stinger suggest the company has not decided to put the big coupe out to pasture just yet.

Although Stinger was welcomed enthusiastically by the driving community in 2017, that welcome has failed to translate into sales — and that’s the kiss of death for any car.

In its first full year of sales, Kia sold 1957 of the cars here in Australia. This fell to 1773 last year and only 1048 have been sold so far this year.

To put this in perspective, in the four years it has been on sale, Kia has sold 5282 Stingers. During the same period, it sold 206,138 in total.

Stinger represents just 2.6 per cent of that total.

Still, models like the Stinger have what they call a “halo effect” for a brand, bringing punters into showrooms and generally generating sales of other models.

The upgrade sees a refreshed design, with changes designed to enhance its gran turismo character, while improving cabin quality and giving owners more choice of colour and material.

More details will follow soon including details of a new powertrain line-up.

Outside, the changes add a new touch of drama to the car’s design and give buyers more options for customisation.

Inside, the cabin offers a more comfortable space in which to travel with a revised design, new higher-quality materials and updates to the infotainment system.

Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Karim Habib said the updated model builds on the svelte gran turismo design introduced three years ago with modern flair and a subtle hint of aggression, to enhance its on-road presence.

“The interior too has been enhanced, and the new design elements and technologies incorporated into the Stinger reconfirm its credentials as the consummate grand tourer.”

At the front the signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille sits between new multifaceted reflector LED headlights, with a new design and LED daytime running lights.

The new lights appear darker and sleeker with the lights out, while giving the car a more hi-tech signature, with sharp slashes of light angled slightly towards the front of the car.

At the rear, a svelte new rear combination light displays a distinctive new light signature extending the full width of the car and mimicking the shape of the subtle spoiler integrated into the boot lid.

The new turn signals comprise a collection of 10 individual LED units each, arranged in a grid pattern to mimic a chequered flag.

Buyers of more powerful examples have the option to specify larger wide-bore bright silver exhaust mufflers, with a more purposeful, performance-inspired diffuser to give the car a more muscular rear appearance.

Two new 18-inch and 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels are also introduced with intricate, geometric designs which enhance the sporty, grand tourer nature of the car.

The Stinger is now available with a new exterior colour in many markets worldwide.

Two new exterior packages are also introduced for the first time.

For high-performance variants, a new ‘Dark Package’ brings with it a gloss black diffuser surround and black wide-bore muffler tips.

The Stinger emblem on the tailgate is also finished in black.

For North America, a new ‘Black Package’ is offered, with new 19-inch matte black lightweight wheels, a new rear wing for the boot lid, and blacked out mirror caps and side fender trim.

While the layout of the cabin remains unchanged, it boasts a range of subtle enhancements.

The lower section of the steering wheel features a new metallic finish, matching the chrome bezel that now surrounds the 7.0-inch fully-digital instrument cluster.

The rear-view mirror is now frameless, creating a modern look and enhancing rear visibility.

Depending on specification, the dashboard and doors are finished with new contrast stitching while the centre console is available with aluminium or carbon fibre-style trim; both measures enhance the sporty nature of the cabin.

Sitting atop the dash is Kia’s upgraded 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system, accented by a new glossy black finish along the front of the dash.

The cabin also features a new mood lighting system, allowing drivers to select one of 64 colours to subtly alter the character of the cabin.

Stinger is available with new interior colour and material options depending on the market.

For Kia’s global markets, new choices include Nappa leather upholstery finished in Saturn Black, Red or Beige, alongside existing leather and synthetic leather options.

A new Saturn Black option finishes the seats in black suede with contrasting red stitching in a ‘chain’ pattern designed to mimic the links in a watch strap.

The new Kia Stinger goes on sale in South Korea during the third quarter while sales in many of Kia’s global markets will follow later.

Fingers crossed.

 

CHECKOUT: Kia Stinger: Candlelight vigil for driver favourite

CHECKOUT: New Stinger reaches for the stars

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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