An enhanced 2.0L Stinger has been created to celebrate the Australian Open of which Kia is a major sponsor.

Outside, there are unique 19” wheels, body decals, and a limited edition badge.

The interior receives special signed name plaques, a premium brown leather seating and trim, a 9 speaker audio system with an 8” touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a numbered special edition plaque.

Each of the 75 cars comes with a Babolat tennis racquet signed by Rafa, who has won 75 titles.

However, some of the shine was taken off the flagship range this week when ANCAP gave the base model Stinger 3 stars. It lacks AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) found in the top Stinger models.

Roland Rivero, Kia’s product planner, said the company will “respond swiftly”.

He will negotiate with Kia’s parent company to ensure AEB will be a standard fitment across the range, while keeping the 4-cylinder Stinger under $40,000.

Mr Rivero went on to say that this is the first time a split rating has been given to a range, with the top Stingers receiving a 5 star gong.

Clear signals will flow to the auto industry from this result. From this year, AEB will be required across the range for the entire range to receive 5 stars.

Kia COO, Damien Meredith said he was disappointed in the ANCAP announcement, but that most buyers have opted for the 4.9 0-100 V6 cars.

Mr Meredith also said he was surprised that more car companies haven’t followed Kia’s lead on the seven-year warranty.

Holden and Honda have offered longer warranties than the standard three year terms as part of special promotions, and Holden’s seven-year warranty, announced late last year, was only for a limited time.

The Kia boss telling us he would have expected more car companies to permanently commit to the seven-year period following Kia’s announcement, and especially after seeing how much it has helped Kia in the sales race.