Kia Stinger’s farewell edition revealed only 1 000 will get



Having ended almost two years of speculative reports about the future of the Stinger last year, Kia has taken the wraps off of the farewell model called the Stinger Tribute Edition destined for a select number of markets next year.

Kia Stinger: Final encore

Restricted to 1 000 units, the Tribute Edition uses the flagship Stinger GT as a base with its unique fixtures being limited to the exterior and interior.

In the case of the former, these include 19-inch gloss black alloy wheels, a black finish for the grille and mirror caps, black Brembo brake calipers and a unique colour called Moonscape Matte Grey that joins the existing Ascot Green as the sole hues available.

ALSO READ: Kia Stinger gets the boot as sales tumble

Inside, the interior carries on with the revisions applied two years ago as part of the Stinger’s mid-life facelift, but with added faux carbon fibre inserts, model-specific Terracotta Brown leather upholstery and sport seats complete with a wasp logo integrated onto the front headrests.

Up front, no changes are said to have taken place, meaning the Tribute Edition produces the same 272kW/510Nm from the twin-turbo 3.3-litre V6 as the GT.

While the eight-speed automatic gearbox continues as well, Kia didn’t confirm whether the Tribute Edition would be offered with the optional all-wheel-drive system or remain rear-wheel-drive only.

Farewell edition Kia Stinger revealed
Despite being based on the top-spec GT, the final encore won’t have any additional grunt.

Sting that didn’t burn enough

Introduced in 2016 as the Korean marque’s direct rival for the BMW 5 Series, sales of the Stinger have been dwindling in key markets since its unveiling with only 7 415 units moved in North America between January and November this year.

This represents a significant decrease from the 13 517 sold in the States last year and the high of 16 806 in 2018. In its home market, the picture is even bleaker with 1 499 examples sold between January and September according to Korea’s Auto Times.

Better off is the Stinger Down Under with sales of 2 161 for the year ending November, largely as a result of it being favoured by law enforcement agencies as the replacement for the ageing fleet of Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons.

Farewell edition Kia Stinger revealed
Interior changes haven’t been extensive

The figures, which represent a 58% improvement in 2021, have been cited as the reason for the Stinger continuing in Australia until the end of next year and not bowing out entirely in April 2023 as alleged by an Auto Times report in October.

“Stinger is in our business plan for next year. We’ll probably sell as many [in 2023] as we did this year, so it’s business as usual,” Kia Australia CEO Damien Meredith was quoted by drive.com.au as saying.

EV6 the reported successor

Despite Meredith not commenting on the Stinger’s future beyond next year, it is widely believed that it will be replaced outright by the all-electric EV6 GT Kia South Africa recently admitted is being studied for possible market release in 2023.

Kia EV6 will serve as Stinger's replacement
GT version of the all-electric Kia EV6, confirmed to be under investigation for South Africa, will replace the Stinger outright eventually.

If confirmed, it will officially plug the gap left vacant by the Stinger, whose 30 allocated units sold-out quickly via a dedicated website between July and September 2018.

“When you look at the sales, they sold about 8 000 in the US last year which is considered a sales failure. It is all about body shape,” Kia South Africa CEO Gary Scott told The Citizen on the sidelines of the Seltos’ local launch in 2020.

Additional information from goodcarbadcar.net and caranddriver.com.


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