Kia dealers are gearing up to receive the latest version of the high-performance Stinger sports saloon in New Zealand.

The refreshed 5-door liftback has received a raft of enhancements that Kia says is aimed at amplifying its gran turismo character, while improving cabin quality and giving owners more comfort, technology and safety features.

Todd McDonald, Managing Director of Kia Motors New Zealand says: “Stinger was introduced as a halo model for the Kia range and it has most definitely succeeded in projecting a muscular and technically advanced image onto our brand.

“The new Stinger builds further upon its sporting abilities and reconfirms its credentials as the ultimate grand tourer. We’re very excited about the imminent arrival of the updated model. We had completely sold out of the previous Stinger and there are customers signed up who are very, very eager for the new one to arrive.”

The 2021 Kia Stinger boasts a range of exterior changes that add a heightened touch of drama to the design, while inside, the upgrades offer a more comfortable space in which to travel in style, with new higher-quality materials and updates to the infotainment system.

Power choices for the Stinger remain with the 182kW/353Nm 2.0-litre twin scroll turbocharged four-cylinder for the SX model and the 274kW/510Nm 3.3-litre twin-turbocharged V6 in the range-topping GT Sport, both mated to eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmissions driving the rear wheels.

New for 2021, Kia has also added a bi-modal factory sports exhaust system for the GT Sport’s V6 engine that unlocks a deeper, more soulful exhaust note (an area of feedback from owners of the current model), whilst synchronously boosting peak power by 2kW. The new Kia Stinger GT Sport is expected to run from standstill to 100km/h under the current model’s 4.9-second acceleration figure.

The Stinger’s already safety suite is enhanced with Safe Exit Warning (preventing doors being opened into oncoming cyclists/traffic), semi-autonomous Highway Driving Assist (combining adaptive cruise control and updated lane-keeping assist), Rear Occupant Alert (notifying drivers of passengers/pets left in the rear seats) and a Blind-Spot View Monitor (projecting a camera feed from the side mirrors onto the instrument display).

Changes to existing safety measures see cyclist detection and support for intersections added to the autonomous emergency braking system, the driver-attention monitoring system now includes lead vehicle departure warning, while the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems are now able to automatically brake to avoid hazards.

Among exterior changes for the SX model are new multifaceted reflector LED headlamps and LED daytime running lights that project a more high-tech appearance to the front.

A new rear combination lamp 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.

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

Inside, the sweeping, driver-oriented dash has been upgraded to create a more luxurious ambience. The lower section of the D-shaped steering wheel features a metallic finish, matching the chrome bezel that now surrounds the new 7.0-inch fully-digital instrument cluster. The rear-view mirror is now frameless, elevating the Stinger’s modern interior and improving rear visibility.

The dashboard and doors are finished with new contrast stitching while the centre console is available with aluminium or carbon fibre-style trim, depending on model. Also new is the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system, which is more tactile and easier to use.

In the V6 Stinger, the cabin features a new mood lighting system, allowing drivers to select one of 64 colours to subtly alter the ambience of the interior for the five occupants. The upholstery finish is also made more luxurious, with a new soft Nappa leather style featuring on the V6 GT Sport.

The 2021 Kia Stinger is expected to arrive in New Zealand for customer delivery in the New Year.

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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