In February, Naza Kia said it was confident that the Kia Stinger would eventually be brought in to Malaysia. The sighting of a unit in the country suggests that this is shaping up to be a certainty. It may be some time before the car is officially launched though – we’re guessing that the clad mule you see in the photos is an advance unit brought in for evaluation.

Its introduction here is of course dependent on demand and legibility, and the presence of the evaluator may be to seek answers on this front. As previously reported, the introduction of the Stinger would fall in line with Naza Kia’s intention to elevate itself into a more premium market space.

The Stinger, which made its debut in Detroit, is the road-going manifestation of the four-door, rear-wheel drive Kia GT show car from 2011. It marks the Korean automaker’s entry into the compact executive sedan market, and the 4.8 metre-long offering is set to go up against the likes of the BMW 3 and 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4.

A trio of engines are available for the car – petrol options are a 255 PS/353 Nm 2.0 litre Theta II turbo and a 370 PS/510 Nm 3.3 litre Lambda II twin-turbo petrol V6, while the diesel pick for Europe is a 200 PS/440 Nm 2.2 litre CRDi turbo unit. All are paired with an eight-speed auto transmission from the K9.

Two drive configurations are available for the Stinger, a rear-wheel drive layout with a mechanical limited-slip differential and a rear-biased, all-wheel drive system with brake-operated Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control.