The Kia Stinger has held a special place in our gasoline-fueled hearts since debuting in 2017 as the brand’s flagship performance vehicle. It may have a South Korean badge renowned for economical cars with lengthy warranties, but underneath the Stinger’s fastback body are learnings derived from BMW’s M division. The Stinger looks as good as it drives, and it’s bittersweet to acknowledge that 2023 is the last production year for Kia’s grand touring car.
The Stinger’s six-year production run could go down as one of the shortest for a performance car from a large-scale automaker, and we find that sad. The Stinger may not have outrageous horsepower numbers and bleeding-edge levels of tech. Still, it has the fundamentals to deliver a stirring drive, a rarity in the sea of dwindling sedans and a growing population of car-based crossovers.
Before grabbing that Kleenex, know that Kia is sending the Stinger off with an exclusive Tribute Edition based on the Stinger V6 GT. “The Stinger Tribute Edition denotes an essential chapter in the story of Kia’s high-performance ethos,” said Chang Sung Ryu, Senior Vice President and Head of Purchase CX Design for Kia Motors. “It also serves as a fitting celebration of the Stinger’s contribution to the Kia brand.”
Kia Stinger Tribute Edition Powertrain
Kia has left the powertrain untouched for the 2023 Stinger Tribute Edition. It means a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 lies under the hood, good for 368 horsepower and 376 lb-ft. of torque. Standard is a rear-wheel drivetrain (AWD remains optional) and a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Stinger V6 rushes from zero to 60 mph in around five seconds with rear-wheel drive, a decent figure for a five-seater.
Kia Stinger Tribute Edition Interior
Kia has given the Stinger Tribute Edition a custom Terracotta brown leather package for the front seats, steering wheel, door side trim, and door handles. New for 2023 are carbon-effect trim pieces on the upper console cover and door panels. Unique to the Tribute Edition are commemorative door sill plates and wasp-shaped emblems on the seat headrests, which Kia said pay homage to the car’s name and engine response.
LED headlights, a power-opening rear hatch, a 15-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, heated rear seats, and ventilated front seats are optional.
Kia Stinger Tribute Edition Availability
Pricing for the 2023 Kia Stinger Tribute Edition is forthcoming, although we reckon the MSRP to stay under $55,000, including destination and other fees. However, only 1,000 Stinger Tribute Editions will be available worldwide, making this your last chance to grab one of the most underrated sports sedans of the past decade.
What’s Next For The Kia Stinger?
We have no official word on whether Kia will resurrect the Stinger as an all-electric performance vehicle. Despite this, we’re not closing the doors on what could become Kia’s flagship EV by 2025. For now, the EV6 GT fills the void of the brand’s grand-touring aspirations in the electrified era, and we’re glad Kia got it right the first time around.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.
Photos & Source: Kia Motors America.