Kia could be cooking up an even hotter version of the Stinger

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Kia made quite the splash at the Detroit auto show when it pulled the wraps off its new Stinger sedan. The shapely four door has coupe-like lines, packs a pair of turbocharged engines, and offers the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. It seems that you'll be able to explore even more choices with the Stinger in the not-too-distant future.

Our favorite? An even hotter version than the 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 model we already saw at the show.

This is all based on a story from Autocar that shared a bit news regarding a handful of powertrain options that are being examined for future versions of the Stinger.

Buried at the bottom of the piece is the prospect of more focused version of the Stinger.

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We reached out to a U.S. Kia spokesperson. While there are no current plans for such a model, given that the Stinger program is headed up by former BMW M Division boss Albert Biermann, the Kia rep said a higher performance model would make sense.

A hotter Stinger may not get a different engine than the twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6. It could be the same engine in a slightly higher state of tune, perhaps up to 400 horses, or it could get the same engine with sport and performance extras like a body kit, stickier tires, and sportier suspension settings. It could be both. We'll have to wait to find out, but we would really love it if Mr. Biermann would take the Stinger all the way up to a BMW M3 competitor.

The Autocar story also says that a diesel variant is coming soon. Kia has a 2.2-liter turbodiesel that's dubbed the CRDi engine. It currently produces 197 horsepower and a rather impressive 325 pound-feet of torque. That mill is an option in both the Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe. It isn't offered here in the States, obviously, as we're currently allergic to diesel thanks to Volkswagen. Our insider says Kia has no plans to bring the diesel to the U.S.

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Kia is exploring other more electrifying possibilities. The Stinger, despite offering a longitudinal engine layout, can share components with the Optima, including the hybrid and plug-in hybrid bits. “We can utilize the currently available hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology,” Kia's overseas marketing boss Spencer Cho told Autocar. “Stinger will be able to benefit from those technologies.”

Kia also appears to be exploring the idea of a fully electric version. Our Kia rep acknowledges that the industry is well on the road to electrification, but says there are no plans to electrify the Stinger---hybrid, plug-in, or EV--in the near term.

For now, all we really know is that in addition to the 365-hp V-6, we will also get a 255-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder at launch. The Stinger goes on sale late this year as a 2018 model.

--Senior editor Kirk Bell contributed to this report

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