Design & Technology

Experiencing Kia by Sound January 5th, 2018


When talking about cars, the focus tends to heavily fall on physical qualities. Today, however, we will be zeroing in on the sound. Let’s talk about experiencing Kia by sound – more specifically- the Stinger by sound.



The Stinger, as Kia’s very first fastback sport sedan, sings with a low, thrilling hum under its hood and a powerful growl through its exhaust pipes. The Stinger offers a choice of three different turbocharged engines that feature sounds designed to be consistent with their layout:  2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine, a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, and a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine.




As the first Kia to be outfitted with a new active sound system, sound engineers paired the system with the five drive modes of the Stinger to satisfy customers’ desire to fully enjoy the sound of the engine. Drivers can adjust the level of engine noise in the cabin to be louder and more aggressive in tone by switching between the system’s eco, comfort, smart, sport, and custom modes.




When talking about engine sounds in general, there are three contributing features: the sound of air flowing into the engine, the mechanical sound of the engine, and the sound from the exhaust system.    

Turbochargers act as extra filters and the pathway for sound. The extra plumbing and gates ensure a more consistent flow and a long detour for the sound going in and out of the engine through the system. This results in a more sensual sound reverberating from the engine and a clean, powerful growl through the exhaust.




And what happens if you have not just one, but two turbochargers? It means that the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 has double the amount of extra plumbing and gates for the sound to travel through – the more room, the more possibilities.

Twin-turbochargers also equally split the amount of entering and exiting air travelling through the system before coming together again. It is, simply put, engineered in a way so that “noise” is reduced, creating a sportier sound.




The sound of Stinger was orchestrated a bit further by Air Design USA to really hit the spot for car enthusiasts at the 2017 SEMA Show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The modified Stinger in orange, Stinger GT Federation, had its exhaust sound enhanced with a K&N cold-air intake and a low-restriction, quad-tipped Borla exhaust. This modification allowed the Stinger to breathe more freely, giving it more space to reverberate, adding more depth to the growl of the exhaust.



Overall, sound is an incredibly important element in bringing a vehicle together as a whole. “The sound and the vibrations that a car has, those are the things that make you crazy”. With or without the modifications, the Stinger is a melodic fastback sport sedan guaranteed to exhilarate all car enthusiasts.


*Please note that engine options varies by region