The Kia Stinger, which launches in Australia in September, will have a choice of a four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a V6 twin-turbo 3.3-litre petrol engine, each offered in three different variants but all with rear-wheel-drive only.
According to Kia Australia communications manager Kevin Hepworth, that range is already comprehensive enough for the launch of the Stinger into our market, with any future variants to be carefully assessed for potential before introduction.
“We already run six variations on the car, on two engines. At the moment, this is a shot in the dark. We haven’t officially registered a vehicle yet. Every time you add complexity to a car - another engine and another gearbox, another colour even - it multiplies your costs in a car,” Hepworth said.
“So if you’re going to carry a petrol, diesel, different spec levels, two-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, you're running a very expensive service for which you need some guarantees for a large number of sales.”
Kia Australia’s decision to stick with petrol-powered rear-wheel-drive vehicles makes sense, considering the Stinger’s primary market will be those buyers that are used to the likes of the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, both of which offered the same drivetrain configuration.
“We think the key car for this will be the petrol vehicle, rear-wheel drive, with the specifications that we think will sell in Australia.”
Nonetheless, there is still some potential for an AWD model in the future, particularly if Kia decides to do a high-performance model.
“Never say 'never' to anything, but there are no plans, no business plans, to add an all-wheel-drive. If it comes down to the track and the car is selling well - and there is still demand, and the market says they want this sort of thing, and we build a high-performance all-wheel-drive vehicle - of course, we will take it.”
The Kia Stinger is expected to start in the low $40,000s for the base model 2.0-litre and stretches all the way to mid $50,000s for the high spec twin-turbo V6.