UPDATE: Kia Australia has confirmed the new Stinger will continue with current powertrains locally, with the model expected to arrive to our shores in late 2020. Updated specifications to be announced closed to the launch.
The 2021 Kia Stinger has been revealed ahead of an Australian debut set for later this year, showing what is a relatively subtle mid-life facelift to the company's flagship performance sedan.
While styling changes to the refreshed Stinger are minor, the main differences appear to be to the model's tail-lights and new 18- and 19-inch alloy wheel designs.
Curiously, headlights in the official photos appear to be the same as fitted to the current model, rather than the redesigned units spied recently.
It's the rear-end that gets the most attention on the new Kia Stinger, with revised LED tail-lights now functional across the centre light strip, spanning the boot-lid – previously this was a passive cosmetic item.
A new 'Dark Package' has been announced, offering a gloss black valance on the rear bumper to accompany black exhaust tips and badging, but there's no word as to whether Australia will get this option. Previously, we've had the Night Sky edition offered here, along with the Carbon edition.
Inside, and the new Stinger gets an upgraded 10.25-inch high-definition infotainment screen sitting prominently atop the dashboard. Kia says a new mood lighting system allows owners to choose from 64 colours.
Photos show quilted leather, revised hard trim options, and a brushed-aluminium-style insert on the lower part of the steering wheel.
Keen-eyed readers may have noticed the strange 'E' badges on the front nose and steering wheel of the official photos.
The badge first appeared on Korean variants of the Stinger in 2017, symbolising the special nature of the Stinger model, Kia explained at the time. But don't expect to see these unique badges locally, as it's likely Australian vehicles will get the traditional logo, or perhaps the updated Kia logo discovered in late 2019.
The AWD badge shown in the press photos – indicating the Stinger is fitted with all-wheel-drive – probably won't make its way locally, either. The option has been available for a number of years, but exclusively to left-hand-drive markets.
At this stage, details of the drivetrain have not been released. While there have been reports of a more powerful 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 finding its way into the model, a spokesperson for the brand's local arm told CarAdvice in April 2020 they were "not anticipating any engine changes" to the current specifications.
The current model enjoys 272kW/510Nm from a 3.3-litre V6 in the 330S and GT variants, while 200S and GT-Line models get a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder powertrain offering 182kW/353Nm.
Specific Australian timing for the refreshed 2021 Stinger is still to be confirmed, but a local launch is expected to occur towards the end of 2020.