Tesla Model S Knock-Off Kia Stinger May Go All-Electric For 2020


2018 Kia Stinger

2018 Kia Stinger, Image Credit: Kia

The 2018 Kia Stinger made its debut recently at NAIAS in Detroit. Having had the opportunity to see it in person, it stuck in the memory bank as one of the nicest looking new vehicles at the event.

One couldn’t help but think Tesla Model S or Audi A7. Billed as a grand touring large hatchback, competing in the luxury segment, this all makes sense. The first thought coming to mind was … will Kia make plans to electrify this model?

2018 Kia Stinger

2018 Kia Stinger, Image Credit: Kia

Kia’s overseas product boss told Car and Driver that the vehicle will have a diesel version (not available in the U.S.), and potentially an electric powertrain in a few years. He shared:

“We can utilize the currently available hybrid, plug-in-hybrid, and EV technology.”

He said that since packaging for EV tech is so different, engineers already planned ahead and designed the transmission tunnel to be able to accommodate batteries. Though the new Stinger has a longitudinal layout, the engineers assured that the vehicle is manufactured in such a way that the electrification setup for the transverse Optima can be utilized. He continued:

“I have full confidence in our engineers … and if we need the EV Stinger to come to light, our engineers can come up with ideas for putting the batteries into this vehicle.”

Inside the Kia Stinger

Inside the Kia Stinger, Image Credit: Kia

It will likely be 2020 before we see this in the works, which isn’t too far away, as that is the date that many automakers are shooting for. At that point, depending on how things work out for Tesla, we may only see the Model 3 beginning to satisfy a greater capacity of new orders at that point in time. Hyundai’s Genesis (which is built on the same platform and has now led to the automaker’s new luxury division) already has electrification plans for 2018, which makes the electric Stinger even more promising.

Kia and Hyundai are looking at a goal of 300+ miles for these vehicles as they come to fruition. The Kia Stinger is slated to have an all-wheel drive option and an EV version would pull off a zero to 60 sprint in under five seconds.

Source: Car and Driver, Kia News Blog

Categories: Kia

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30 Comments on "Tesla Model S Knock-Off Kia Stinger May Go All-Electric For 2020"

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I wouldn’t call it a Tesla S knock-off since gas version probably cost:

“We’re probably going to be starting in the low-$30,000s,” said Hedrick at the Detroit Auto Show.

It’s more of Tesla 3 competitor if it becomes EV, at least from pricing.

Stinger gas version is pretty compelling. If it’s German name instead of Kia, it would create far more buzz.

That design is DATED as it stands . They’d better make lots of Updates if they want this to work Half Assed …lol

I always thought the Tesla looked similar to the Optima. In other words the Kia Optima a few years ago was actually a pretty nice looking car for the price.

“designed the transmission tunnel to be able to accommodate batteries”

Sounds like a PHEV, not a long-range EV.

Very good catch there.

Umm, no. You clearly haven’t looked at the way the BEV Hyundai ioniq’s battery pack fits. Hyundai and Kia are owned by the same group.

Many auto makers will release comparable electric vehicles to Teslas in range and performance BUT Tesla is the only one with the electric charging infrastructure that can let you go from coast to coast in the United States. And no, charge point /evgo/blink networks are crap since they each need a key fob and are very unreliable and mostly in metropolitan areas. They all need to standardize and become as easy to pay for as Shell/ Sunoco etc

No kidding – nothing wrong with Teslas but please LEAVE TESLA OUT of any article that hasn’t nothing to do with them.

While I agree that Tesla Motors has established the measuring stick, I, too, am weary of the media’s desire to compare and contrast with one vendor. The base fact, however, is that the Kia Stinger is high performance, within 6″ in either direction, four doors, has a hatchback/new-term design for the rear cargo, and has some similarity in looks. That’s where it ends. Kia has some great lines, and that’s partly because they tend to borrow heavily from successful designs of other manufacturers.
Is it luxury? High-tech? A shift in automotive paradigms? No. It’s a Kia.

They don’t tend to borrow the design. They hired Audi designer a few years back. They created the design.

The only thing KIA doesn’t have in top of the line interiors are wood, but the nappa leather, heated/cooled, heated steering wheel are all top notch.

You have to be a real Tesla fanboy to think this is a Model S knock-off. By these standards, every sedan is a Model S knock-off.


Yeah, I really don’t like the title for this article. I doubt many Tesla fanboys agree either.

Given that the Tesla is an Aston Martin and Jaguar knock-off, wrt to styling, perhaps the title of this post should be revised.

I’d consider an eye exam…

The Model S was penned by Henry Fisker.

Incorrect. Fisker was hired initially to design it, but von Halthausen had to start clean sheet because Fisker was using Tesla to build his own Hybrid sport car, which failed… horribly.

This looks more like the Jaguar that Tesla knocked off (2009/2012 XF) than like the Tesla S. It’s got a grille, metal thing on the fender, holes in the lower front fascia.

The car actually looks more like existing Kias (like the K900 for example) than any Tesla or Jaguar.

They already have the Plug in Optima. They could just make an EV version. Why make another sedan.

Kia needs to focus on bringing the PHEV Sorento to market.

FWD vs RWD. Different beasts altogether.


“Kia needs to focus on bringing the PHEV Sorento to market.”

I would settle for Kia to double the Soul EV battery pack size, without killing cargo space, and sell it nationwide.

The rigid thought processes persist though, it is amazing to see the large shifter MT reminder. Many new cars, even minivans like the Pacifica and 2018 Odyssey eliminated it.

Yet another piece that has nothing to do with EVs.
I’m sure every car designed in the past 1-2 years by every carmaker allows for some kind of future electrification (at least a Euro-compliance PHEV) — it’s not EV news until there’s at least announced plans to do so.

“I have full confidence in our engineers … and if we need the EV Stinger to come to light, our engineers can come up with ideas for putting the batteries into this vehicle”
doesn’t cut it, and sounds like a response to a hypothetical question, not something the exec said on his/her own.

To be more specific, Kia & Hyundai already have announced PHEV and BEV plans for the next 2-3 years.
A BEV, or even a Volt-type range PHEV, versiob of a full-size car like this is not likely from Kia for the simple reason that it would still cost too much for the segment of the market where they play. That will take a few more years yet.

From either interior or exterior, I can’t believe someone could remotely confuse this car with either an OLD or NEW “S”.

Anyone that has driven a KIA lately knows they have dramatically stepped up their game, but I’m waiting for the higher hp model coming out after the 3.3 (if sales do well). Sounds like their pretty confident this will sell. I’m guessing the 3.3 awd will be $45k.

The Model S is itself a ripoff of a Jaguar.

Good read! Only thing I’d say is KIA is no knockoff anymore. Their interiors are top notch. The Nappa leather is very soft. Also, the Stinger GT already does a 0-60 under 5 seconds. Hopefully, an EV can do it in under 4 seconds.

Lol. “Model S knockoff”? The automotive world doesn’t re olve around Elon, fanboy.

Think Maserati GranTurismo…