The Kia Stinger’s fate is uncertain, but frankly, I’m not optimistic. Rumors of a car’s death typically don’t swirl without a hint of truth to them. It’s fair enough that we’re back asking these questions, because it took us so long to get the Stinger to begin with.
In this case, the production model was previewed with not one, but two concepts. The first one, the 2011 GT, was clearly the primary inspiration for what would eventually become the Stinger six years later. The concept had a softer nose and a more slender profile, with the sort of low greenhouse you could only really ever get away with on a design study. It also had rear-hinged doors. I understand why it had to change, but I generally prefer the GT all around.
Three years later, though, Kia turned up with something unexpected: another smaller, simpler concept called the GT4 Stinger. What’s more, this one only had two doors. It looked incredible, both on paper and in packaging, and in the months after its reveal we wondered aloud what became of it. That was in early 2015 — two years before the four-door production Stinger finally hit the market. All told, we’ve spent more time wondering about the Stinger’s existence than appreciating it while we’ve had it, and that’s just a damn shame.