Kia is already planning to diversify the choice of powerplants in its new Kia Stinger beyond the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.3-litre V6 petrols with which the car was introduced in Detroit, with diesel power confirmed for Europe and part or even fully electric options likely to follow soon after.
Although the range-topping GT version, with its Audi S4-beating 360bhp V6, was the star of Kia's Detroit show stand, the Korean car maker acknowledges that the model will probably be of limited interest in European markets.
The boss of Kia's high-performance division, Albert Biermann, has previously confirmed to Autocar that the Stinger will also get a diesel option, with insiders indicating that this will be formally launched at Geneva and use the 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine that’s offered in the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe, likely sharing those models' 197bhp output. Like its petrol-powered siblings, the diesel Stinger will send drive to the rear wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox and may be offered with the option of all-wheel drive.
Electrification is likely to follow, firstly with some form of hybrid, but potentially also a pure EV version. Spencer Cho, Kia’s overseas product marketing boss, confirmed that despite the Stinger’s longitudinal engine layout, it will be able to share many components with the existing, transverse-engined Optima hybrid and PHEV.
“We can utilise the currently available hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology,” Cho said. “Stinger will be able to benefit from those technologies.”
He also confirmed that Kia might develop a pure EV version, with the platform being able to support electric-only drive and the Stinger’s transmission tunnel potentially repurposed to accommodate batteries. “We don’t have an EV in the plan yet but we have the capability to bring EVs in the near future if demand is there,” he added. "Based on market reception we will decide… the global EV market is still small, but it is getting bigger and bigger due to CAFE rules in the US and tougher European emissions standards.”
At the other end of the range there’s the prospect of a more powerful or more focused version of the V6-powered GT, with Biermann – the former head of BMW’s M Division – having previously spoken of his desire to make a genuine M3 rival.