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Kia Stinger's future could be electric after an upcoming refresh

Kia's design boss dropped some thoughts on the future of the brand's halo grand tourer.

2020 Kia Stinger GTS
It's hard to believe the Stinger has been out for a couple of years now.
Steven Pham/Roadshow

The Kia Stinger is a lovely hatchback with some darn decent performance chops. Its grand-touring nature makes it great for long slogs to nowhere in particular, and you'll have a hoot in the process. But while it's certain that the Stinger makes for a good time, its future is a little less certain as Kia's priorities evolve and as buyers' tastes do the same. Thankfully, it appears Kia isn't ready to label the Stinger as a one-off kind of proposition.

Like nearly every other car that exists these days, the Kia Stinger will receive a midcycle refresh, according to a new Top Gear interview with Karim Habib, the automaker's head of design. "We just wanted to strengthen a few things," Habib told TG, and specifically mentioned the lighting, which means new headlights (or different internals) are likely on order. As with other midcycle refreshes, it wouldn't be obscene to assume some visual nips and tucks in addition to maybe a new feature or two, but it's unlikely Kia will go too crazy in the process.

This is the first time that we've heard confirmation of the Stinger's pending face-lift, but it's not the first we've heard about it altogether. In April, a report from Australia claimed that the Stinger refresh will include a bump in power, although it's unclear if that includes both the base 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 and the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. Then again, there's also a rumor that the 2.0-liter might fall by the wayside in favor of a fresher, 2.5-liter design that will also see duty in the updated Kia Optima.

But what of the Stinger's future beyond this mild series of tweaks? Well, it's anyone's guess at this point, but Habib's optimistic that the Stinger laid the groundwork for future Kia vehicles, whether they carry the same badge or not. "I definitely hope that the spirit of the Stinger stays at the core of what Kia is as we change as a brand," Habib told Top Gear. "As the technology goes toward EVs and as the world and its appetite for these kinds of cars changes, the concept probably has to evolve as well … But the sporty, affordable, beautiful sculpture -- I really believe that's something that needs to live on in the brand."

For those of you hoping for an electric Stinger, the timing is in your favor at the very least. Kia announced earlier this year that it intends to release 11 electric cars by 2025, the first of which should be arriving next year. While the OEM hasn't explicitly said which vehicles will be included, it's not crazy to imagine some of these being electric variants of its current lineup (like the Soul EV or Niro EV), while others can be stand-alone models, and you bet your bottom dollar there'll be some crossovers in the mix, too. The company has mentioned a planned $25 billion investment to make this happen, so let's hope there's some wiggle room for something that's more exciting than the rest.