If you’ve got a new Kia Stinger V6 and you haven’t yet sent your wish list off to Santa, there’s still time for one more addition: a $2659.99 bi-modal exhaust.
“That’s the official list [price] I got the other day,” Kia Australia communications manager, Kevin Hepworth, told press in Melbourne today.
“It’ll be in market by Christmas, I believe. They’re just about finished with testing on it.”
An optional extra only, the system will initially be exclusive to V6 models, and the price should include installation.
Dealers have also made clear that buyers of the four-cylinder Stinger variants are interested and Kia says it will start work on that project soon.
Hepworth was also clear on whether we might see this exhaust appear on the Stinger’s platform mate, the new Genesis G70.
“Not that one, it won’t, because it was developed by KMA,” he said. “That is a Kia Motors Australia-specific exhaust system, developed from go to whoa.”
No surprise. While the brands share a global parent and most platform technology, the local arms of each are fierce rivals, rarely inclined or directed to do the other a favour.
Melbourne-based parts and technology company Lumen was Kia’s partner on the project, with the exhaust to be manufactured in either Clayton or Footscray, Victoria.
“Lumen did most of the technology stuff on it, and they were given a brief to do a couple of different versions. In the end, the one we settled on was the bi-modal, and about four or five different sound checks and tunes. The electrics have been designed here as well.
“It’s been set up so that it operates in the three modes, at varying degrees of activation. So you can drive it in Eco and not have any noise, whereas in Sport you’ll have noise from start to finish”.
However, don’t expect the new exhaust to bring any additional power beyond the Stinger’s official 272kW (or the 234kW we achieved on the dyno).
“The mufflers have been converted from a straight-through system – well, through a silencer – to a bi-modal system instead, so there’s a bypass which cuts in and out as programmed,” Hepworth said.
“It’s not a V8 sound, it never can be, and it also has to meet all ADR (Australian Design Rules) requirements, which it does. There’s no droning, you can drive it without needing earplugs. It’s not a bad thing.”
Just what does it sound like? We’ll know soon, with examples to be made available to the media in the near future. Likewise, existing owners will be able to have the system retrofitted, and dealers have ordered 140 units so far – “sound unheard”. It’ll take around an hour to fit, Kia says.
We plan to have the new unit fitted to our own Stinger, too. Keep an eye out for that, and more updates, soon.