If you make a breakthrough in a field, your contribution is recognized - just as an athlete who has undergone 4 years of intense training for the Olympic Games is rewarded with a medal. The Kia Stinger is like that national athlete who earned a valuable gold medal. As Kia’s first premium performance sedan, it became a history of sports sedans in Korea right after its launch.
Recently, Kia released a special model to honor its Stinger. This is the Stinger Tribute Edition, named with respect and dedication. The Tribute Edition is Kia’s brilliant tribute to the Stinger. At the same time, it is also a tribute to sports sedans with internal combustion engines before changing to the electrified generation.
The Tribute Edition creates a unique atmosphere through exclusive interior and exterior colors and design elements based on the Stinger 3.3 gasoline turbo GT trim. The most notable is the newly released body color, Moonscape Matte Gray. There are two color options for the Tribute Edition: Moonscape Matte Gray and Ascot Green.
One thing to note is that the black color emphasizes the uniqueness of this edition. For example, the outside mirror covers were changed to black instead of the current dark chrome, and the cut-finished wheels were replaced with glossy black 19-inch wheels. Additionally, the Performance trim has black Brembo brake calipers. Black-colored parts throughout harmonize with the exterior color, further emphasizing the sporty image unique to Stinger.
Inside, the new Terracotta Brown color was used to create a luxurious atmosphere. It is quite different from the previous model by using terracotta brown color to the seat, door trim, and stitch decoration thread. The Nappa leather seat is stylish with a chain volume pattern. To enhance the color unity, the color of the seat belt was also changed to brown. In addition, a carbon insert film was used on the console upper cover and door garnish to further emphasize the image of a high-performance sedan.
There is also a change to the logo on the headrest; Instead of the GT logo on the center of the headrest, a hornet-shaped logo was used. The Hornet emblem, which is only available in the Tribute Edition, is a literal expression of the meaning of the Stinger.
There is another element that emphasizes that it is a special edition model - the door scuffs on the driver’s and front passenger’s seats. The model name and edition name are both engraved on the Tribute Edition, and even a unique serial number given only to limited edition models is displayed on the driver’s seat, emphasizing its uniqueness.
The Tribute Edition is based on the 3.3 Gasoline Turbo GT trim; So, the owner can enjoy the powerful performance and exhilarating driving performance of the Stinger. The 3.3 T-GDI engine delivers powerful performance with a maximum output of 373 horsepower and a maximum torque of 52.0 kgf*m through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 0 to 60 mph is 4.9 seconds, and the fuel economy is 7.9 km/L in the city, 10.2 km/L on the highway, and 8.8 km/L combined (based on 2WD, 19-inch summer tires).
Not everyone can own a Tribute Edition; In Korea, this model is limited to 200 units in two colors, Moonscape Matte Gray and Ascot Green. And only 1,000 units are sold in the global market as a whole. Of the world’s 7 billion people, only 1,000 can become its owners.
One of the best places to find the Tribute Edition is the Kia 360. Kia 360 is Kia’s first brand experience space, and was created to naturally feel the brand sensibility based on participation and communication. In the Kia User Zone of the Kia 360, visitors can take a look at the Tribute Edition and experience the unique features of the edition.
Kia has shown its affection for the Stinger through various editions. The editions, which have various meanings, each tell the value of the Stinger. The first edition of the Stinger was the ‘Dream Edition’ to celebrate the breakthrough of 5,000 contracts, the ‘Alcantara Edition’ using trim and materials with high customer preference, and the Acro Edition - Achromatic, and Acro, which means the best or peak - gained popularity.
The reason Kia showed its affection for the Stinger is clear; It is the result of craving for high-performance sedans and a milestone model that presents Kia’s philosophy. The Kia Stinger, which was unveiled for the first time in the world at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show, is not only a dream car that focuses on the essence of a car, but also a compilation of Kia’s capabilities such as design and technology. And another Stinger based on the design of the Concept GT, which was shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, drew the world’s attention as soon as it was unveiled with perfection that satisfies all elements such as its practicality, design, and performance. Kia has succeeded in promoting the greatness of the Korean automobile industry through the Stinger.
The first Stinger showed three engine lineups: inline-four 2.0L Theta 2 GDI, V6 3.3L Lambda 2 GDI, and 2.2L diesel. The Stinger with a 2.0L engine boasted a maximum output of 255 horsepower, and the 3.3L V6 version boasted 370 horsepower. In addition, it was also notable that AWD was installed for the first time in a Kia sedan. Three years after its release, the Stinger Meister, which significantly strengthened its marketability, design, and powertrain, was unveiled. The biggest change was the introduction of the Smartstream G2.5 T-GDI engine that replaces the 2.0L turbo engine and the 3.3 turbo gasoline engine with improved output. The Smartstream G2.5 T-GDI engine boasted a maximum output of 304 horsepower, and the 3.3 turbo engine improved its output to 373 horsepower, raising its reputation as Korea’s signature sports sedan.
The thrilling driving sensation of the premium performance sedan Stinger is expected to be inherited by high-performance electrified models. While the Stinger has become the brilliant crown jewel of high-performance sedans with internal combustion engines, high-performance electrified powertrains will be the new future - like Kia’s high-performance EV6 GT. The know-how earned by Stinger will lead to electrified powertrains, which will have a huge impact on new pleasure for customers.
The Stinger left a lot for Kia and for us. Above all, it opened a new horizon for Korean premium performance sedans. The Stinger Tribute Edition is the automaker’s tribute to the Stinger, which showed the direction of the Kia brand and opened a new era. The Stinger ends with its tribute edition, but the pleasure that Stinger has presented so far will be remembered forever, and will be inherited in a new form to suit the era of electrification.
Photography by Choi Dae-il
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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