So Long, Stinger: Kia Sends Its Short-Lived Sports Sedan Out with 1,000-Unit Tribute Edition

2023 Kia Stinger Tribute Edition
(Images: Kia)

The Kia Stinger officially hits the end of the road.

We’ve known that it’s coming for awhile now, but the automaker finally went official Wednesday: Stinger production is coming to an end. To celebrate the occasion, you’ll be able to order one of 1,000 Tribute Edition models. Once those sell out and assembly winds down, though, your only option to nab a Stinger from here on out will be to check out the used market.

2023 Kia Stinger Tribute Edition

So, what does the 2023 Kia Stinger Tribute Edition bring to the table? At its core, you get the same 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine chucking out 368 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The changes Kia introduces with the Tribute Edition are cosmetic, including the Moonscape Gray (shown here) hue, although you can also order it in Ascot Green.

This special model also gets black exterior trim elements, black Brembo brake calipers and bespoke 19-inch gloss black wheels.

Inside, you get Terracotta Nappa leather seats and door trim, as well as a carbon fiber aesthetic for the center console. And in the spirit of a limited-run car, Kia says there are wasp-shaped emblems on the headrests. There will also be a door sill plate on the driver’s side denoting each car’s place in the 1,000-unit production run.

Mind you, that number applies to the global run — as our friends over at Autoblog learned, only 400 of these Tribute Edition Stingers are bound for the U.S.

Why is the Stinger going away?

Most of us in the TFL Studios office have a soft spot for the Kia Stinger since it first launched back in 2017. You might be wondering why the automaker is killing it off, and there are a couple answers. One is more implicit: The Stinger hasn’t sold in huge numbers, especially over the past couple years. So far this year, Kia dealers sold just 7,415 examples, compared to 112,170 Sorentos.

The other answer, Kia covers in its official release. The company says the Stinger’s performance spirit will live on in its other GT models, including the new, electric EV6 GT. “As we enter a new age of mobility, Kia will satisfy the needs of customers who seek to enjoy elevated levels of dynamic driving pleasure through high-performance electrified models such as the EV6 GT. And the brand’s strategy to continue accelerating the development of innovative electrification technologies will ensure that sustainability and strong performance combine effortlessly under the Kia badge.”

To wit, the company manages impressive performance numbers for the hot EV6, including 576 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque. It can also sprint from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, so there is still an option for those wanting a quick Kia. More on that below: