Kia Australia says it had initially underestimated the interest and demand for its rear-wheel-drive turbocharged Stinger sedan, with stock levels for the halo model likely to run short for the first few months.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the Kia Stinger at the Nurburgring race track in Germany, communications manager Kevin Hepworth said that around 100 pre-orders have already been taken, making the Stinger the most popular Kia model to date.
“It’s the most interest we’ve had pre-launch in a Kia, certainly the most excitement created around a new Kia. I mean, no one gets overly excited about an SUV or small car, no matter how good it is - but this is different, this is a car that has genuine excitement levels,” Hepworth said.
Of the roughly 100 pre-orders, all but one are for the higher-spec 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6, which delivers 272kw of power and 510Nm of torque, with a 0-100km/h claimed time of 4.9 seconds.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder model will arrive with the second batch of cars from South Korea, with Kia dealers only stocking the higher-spec V6 model for the first month or two of the Stinger’s life.
Hepworth admits that there was some initial uncertainty as to how successful the model would be for the Australian market.
“Initially we were unprepared for the level of interest in this car. KMAU (Kia Motors Australia) is the only market that is going ahead at the level that we are. The others are either stagnant or contracting," he said.
"This will give us not a replacement car, but an all-new segment car, and I think there was some initial nervousness over [the question] 'will it work in Australia, can we make it work? Is it going to be good?'”
Those fears were put to rest when the Stinger was officially unveiled earlier this year.
“But once we’d been in the car and had seen the car, there was no doubt that it will work [in Australia]. It is going to outsell initial belief in what we ordered, so there will be a struggle early on. It will be tight, but hopefully not too tight,” Hepworth added.
The Kia Stinger will go on sale at the beginning of September. Pricing and specifications have yet to be confirmed, however, a leaked dealer bulletin gives us some details here, with the price range set to start in the low 40s for the 2.0-litre and stretch to the mid-50s for the fully-packed V6.