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Kia confirms GT variants to live on, Stinger staying

Flagship GTs: Kia sees the EV6 GT (left) as the flagship of the brand in the future, but established flagship Stinger GT (below) isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Quick, engaging driver’s cars to stay in Kia range with GT badges, including Stinger

1 Apr 2021

KIA Corporation has confirmed its GT high-performance nameplate will live on well into the future with brand executives revealing the flagship members of the forthcoming ‘EV’ portfolio will all flaunt the GT lettering.


Speaking to international media at the global debut of the new EV6, Kia global brand and customer experience division boss Artur Martins said the GT nameplate was an important part of the brand’s strategy moving forward.


“We had it already in the internal-combustion engines as you know in Stinger and some other products in the portfolio like K5 (not offered here) and also in Europe with Cee’d or Forte (Cerato) in the United States,” he said.


“EVs in the past were seen as boring cars, not very attractive from a design perspective and not very exciting to drive – we want the Kia brand to be seen as a dynamic brand.


“Regardless of if you’re driving an EV or internal-combustion engine, we want that DNA to be brought across all the products of the brand, at least the ones that make sense of course, and that will be a strategy for us moving forward.


“It’s not so much about high-performance, but really exciting driving experience and you know that you can benefit a lot from the power of EV cars mainly with the torque … so that experience and being able to overtake for example faster in terms of safety is also something that consumers expect.”


While absolute performance may not be the ultimate goal of future GT variants, it will still be plentiful if the new EV6 GT and its 430kW/720Nm outputs are anything to go by.


Zero-to-100km/h in the EV6 takes a claimed 3.5 seconds, meaning it will be able to mix it with some of the fastest cars on the planet when it comes to acceleration and while the 260km/h top speed might not be supercar scaring, it is still more than enough for public roads, especially here in Australia.


With the EV6 still some 12 months away at least, existing Kia Australia customers and performance fans will be buoyed by the news that the existing Stinger GT – and wider Stinger range – will continue to be offered locally at least until the end of its lifecycle, putting a definitive end to rumours the potent sedan’s future Down Under was under a cloud.


The confirmation was made by none other than global Kia president and CEO Ho Sung Song when questions were raised as to if the EV6 GT could ultimately be seen as a Stinger GT replacement in Australia.


Mr Martins opened the response by confirming the two models ultimately have similar roles in being brand flagships – one for internal combustion, the other for EVs – and that the EV6 could in some ways be seen as the “Stinger EV” before Mr Song added the Stinger wouldn’t be leaving the local market any time soon.


“In the meantime we will continue to provide a Stinger in the Australian market in next coming years too,” he said.


The Stinger range arrived here in the second half of 2017 as an answer for the then-dying Holden Commodore with the flagship GT going toe-to-toe with the SS variants.


Late last year a facelifted Stinger landed Down Under with subtly tweaked styling and a marginal power bump, however the ultimate fundamentals have stayed the same: big power, rear-wheel drive and seating for five.


According to VFacts data, Kia has sold 6350 Stingers since its introduction (to the end of February), more than 90 per cent of which have been the 274kW/510Nm GT variant.


“We are pleased with Stinger’s contribution to our brand and as the halo model, it plays an important role,” a Kia Australia spokesperson told GoAuto.


“The product is mid-lifecycle, yet demand is stronger than ever and it remains the best-selling vehicle in its category.”


Sales of the Stinger were up nearly 30 per cent through the first two months of this year with the only other vehicle available in the sub-$70,000 large car segment being the Skoda Superb now that Holden has left the local market once and for all.


The Kia spokesperson would not be drawn into revealing of a second-generation Stinger was in the pipeline or not but did confirm the current model would “be in Australia for the rest of its lifecycle”, which by our reckoning should be mid-late 2024.

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