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New Kia Stinger 2021: Why Australia misses out on the most powerful four-cylinder rear-wheel-drive hero

The Stinger is now available with a 2.5-litre single-turbo engine in the North American and Korean markets, but not Australia.

Kia Australia has confirmed why the Stinger’s new 224kW/422Nm 2.5-litre single-turbo four-cylinder engine won’t be available locally when the facelifted version of the rear-wheel-drive hero arrives in showrooms by the end of this year.

Speaking to CarsGuide last week, Kia Australia general manager of product planning Roland Rivero revealed 98 per cent of Stingers sold locally have a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6, while the remaining two per cent have a 182kW/353Nm 2.0-litre single-turbo four-cylinder engine.

“The demand for Stinger in our market is in the higher end,” Mr Rivero added, with the model’s two V6 variants, the entry-level 330S and flagship GT, accounting for five and 93 per cent of its local sales respectively.

“Upgrading or investing in the powertrain of least interest didn’t seem to make logical sense,” he said. “For us, the 2.0-litre turbo is there as an entry-level variant.

“All you would do if you went up to the 2.5 is just increase the price even more, and then the gap between the V6 and the four-cylinder (engine) gets even smaller.”

For reference, the four-cylinder engine is currently priced $3000 lower than the V6 in the Stinger’s entry-level grade, while the price difference increases to $4500 in the flagship.

When asked why Kia Australia would continue to offer the Stinger with a four-cylinder engine, given its limited volume, Mr Rivero suggested its local sales performance has actually improved recently.

“What we’re finding is as the product’s aged, it’s actually gained some momentum, because other competitors have left that segment, perhaps,” he said.

“We’re not going to go out of 2.0-litre if we see an incentive, if there’s still an opportunity to move some of that metal.”

The 2.0-litre single-turbo four-cylinder engine will carry over in Australia as part of the Stinger’s facelift, but the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 will increase its power output to 274kW (+2kW) thanks to a new variable exhaust system, although torque will remain at 510Nm.