We could see a lot happen over the next few years if Kia is willing to put in the work

If you had the liberty of reading my last article on the Kia Stinger, you know that I instantly became a fan when I laid eyes on it. Well, if you want to hear my Stinger love story, you can check that out at the link above. Now, I’m here to tell you a little about the future of the Stinger. When it goes on sale later this year in the U.S., consumers will have the choice of a 3.3-liter, Biturbo, V-6 with around 365 ponies or a little four-banger with around 255 horsepower. Both options can be equipped with all-wheel drive or rear-wheel with an LSD, but according to Autocar, our European brothers and sisters will also get the option of a diesel drinker.

The unit in question is a 2.2-liter four-cylinder that is currently available in the Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe, so there’s nothing really new about it aside from it being crammed into the hottest sports sedan to debut so far this year. Reports indicate that it should deliver the same 197 horsepower and will send power to the rear wheels, while the option of all-wheel drive may be offered at some point in the future. Spencer Cho, Kia’s Product Marketing Boss overseas, also confirmed that the Stinger would eventually see electrification as well. It will start out with a hybrid model and could eventually morph into an all-electric model as well – the latter of which would, in fact, be a prime competitor for the Tesla Model 3 should it have similar performance figures and range. The Hybrid model would likely use the hybrid configurations from models like the Kia Optima Hybrid or the PHEV.

That last sentence might not make sense to some, as the Stinger is set up with a longitudinal engine configuration, but according to Autocar – citing Spencer Cho – the Stinger can share many components with the aforementioned models despite their transverse powertrain layout. For the record, a pure EV model isn’t exactly in the plans yet, but with the continued push for electrification, it’s probably only a matter of time. Furthermore, Albert Biermann, the Head of Kia’s Vehicle Testing and High-Performance Development group has said that the Stinger’s chassis can support much more power than that offered by the 3.3-liter Biturbo that will be available when the car hits showrooms, so the prospect of a true BMW M3 fighter is certainly within reach as well – now that’s pretty amazing and something I can’t wait to see.

The Beginning of Many Good Things to Come

While not a lot is known about Kia’s future plans at this point, the fact that the Stinger will hit the streets of Europe with a diesel shows that Kia is ready to walk the walk. And, while no specific plans for hybrid or EV variants of the Stinger have been officially announced yet, the brand has clearly put a lot of thought into the idea long before we knew what the Stinger actually looked like as it’s already been set up to share parts with models like the Optima Hybrid. So, in the next few years, the Stinger could transform from a unique entry in the premium luxury segment to a Tesla Model 3 and BMW M3 fighter, among other things.

But, with that in mind, it also raises another big question? What else does Kia have in mind for its lineup? If the world’s reaction to the Stinger is any indication, it’s ready for more luxurious and performance Kia models, so the Stinger could be the beginning of a whole new breed of cars from the South Korean brand. Way to go, Kia; you’ve come a long way in the last two decades, and we’re all watching to see what you do over the next 10 years.

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Stinger here.

Source: Autocar

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