Kia Adds Powerful Details On Updated 2021 Stinger
A few weeks ago Kia announced a supposedly minor refresh of their fabulous Stinger sport hatchback for the 2021 model year. At that time it seemed like updated cosmetics were to be the prime focus. Now, however, the full story is out and the revamp takes on a different, and yes more powerful stance. A new engine has been added to the Stinger line-up exclusively for North America. A new turbocharged ‘Smartstream’ 2.5-liter T-GDi four-cylinder engine sits directly between the two existing powertrains available here, producing 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque at well below 2,000 rpm. The most powerful engine in the Stinger line-up, the twin-turbo 3.3-liter T-GDi V6 remains unchanged, save for a new Electronic Variable Exhaust Valve system. This features a small butterfly valve in the exhaust which opens and closes, producing a more prominent, deeper exhaust note in Sport driving modes, or a quieter, more subdued exhaust note in Eco or Comfort mode. As well as enhancing the sound quality, the revised exhaust flow path helps to liberate an extra 3 hp from the engine for a total of 368 with the same 376 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder ‘Theta’ engine, also available since the car’s launch in 2017, is unchanged for 2021. All three engines are paired with a eight-speed automatic transmission, matching the car’s long-legged gran turismo personality. Kia has also added additional safety and infotainment features for the revamp including the brand's well regarded Blind Spot View Monitor that resides inside of the driver's digital instrument cluster. Mentioned previously is a larger 10.25-inch infotainment screen. There are also better materials and a revised ambient lighting system with more color choices. Outside, the most obvious changes are at the rear, including a full-width rear brake light, and new turn signals that now each consist of 10 LEDs that form a checkered flag. Other exterior detail alterations include revised front lighting, new wheels, and larger more agressive exhaust tips on the GT. The 2021 Kia Stinger will arrive in U.S. dealers later this year.