Though still at the pre-production stage, the Kia Stinger has made its live appearance at the 2017 Australian Open, the annual tennis event for which Kia is a key sponsor. In the metal, the Stinger stays true to Kia’s family look with its grille design and C-pillars, while a longitudinally mounted engine under the long bonnet for its rear-wheel-drive layout is a sign of the Korean automaker’s ambitions for taking on Europe’s best.

Speak of engines, the Stinger takes on the European market with a choice of three engines, each undergoing final tuning before the RWD sedan goes into production later this year. First up is a 2.2 litre turbodiesel producing 200 PS at 3,800 rpm and 440 Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm, propelling the Stinger from 0-100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and to a top speed of 225 km/h.

Next is the 2.0 litre, turbocharged “Theta” petrol engine, which cranks out 255 PS at 6,200 rpm and 353 Nm of torque from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm. Capping the powertrain trio is the 3.3 litre, twin-turbocharged V6 Lambda II engine, producing 370 PS with 510 Nm of torque from 1,300 rpm to 4,500 rpm.

All engines here are paired with Kia’s own eight-speed automatic, which employs a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter, deployable through five shift and throttle maps. Along with the aforementioned RWD layout, the Stinger will also be available with all-wheel drive. The RWD car uses an optional mechanical limited slip differential, while the all-paw version is equipped with Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control.

Harnessing the lot is a bodyshell made of 55% “Advanced High Strength Steel” for a stiffer foundation for the Stinger’s components to work from. Suspension duties are tasked to MacPherson struts in front, and multi-links at the rear. Active damping also features here, with multiple driver-selectable modes.

As for Malaysia, Naza Corporation Holdings is “very interested” in bringing the Stinger into the Malaysian market next year, according to automotive group chief executive officer Datuk Samson Anand George. “Kia has undergone a drastic revolution in the past decade, and its stylish new models will continue to carry the brand forward,” he said.

“The Stinger’s global introduction is timely, considering Kia’s upward performance, and we are interested in bringing it to the Malaysian market because we are certain there will be demand for it,” he added.

GALLERY: Kia Stinger