Kia stinger turbo upgrade Lap3
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Kia Stinger Turbo Upgrade Guide

Chandler Stark

Meet Chandler

Chandler is an automotive expert with over a decade of experience working on and modifying cars. A couple of his favorites were his heavily modded 2016 Subaru WRX and his current 2020 VW Golf GTI. He’s also a big fan of American Muscle and automotive history. Chandler’s passion and knowledge of the automotive industry help him deliver high-quality, insightful content to TuningPro readers.

The Kia Stinger 3.3T is extremely powerful, capable of handling nearly 800whp on the stock motor. But it only produces 365hp from the factory. Pushing the upper bounds of its Lamba II twin-turbo engine will require some turbocharger upgrades. The factory turbos can handle pretty close to 500whp, but anything more than that and you will need to invest in a more power-capable turbo setup.

There’s a lot of considerations when choosing turbo kits and deciding whether you want to upgrade them or not. In this guide we’re going to discuss the stock turbo power limits, overall engine limits, and cover all the basics of Kia Stinger turbo upgrades, including kits and supporting mods.

Stock Turbo Power Limits

The stock turbos on the Lambda II V6 are two Garrett Honeywell MGT1446SZLK turbochargers. They run variable boost depending on the atmospheric conditions and fuel. Typically, it is around 12-15 PSI at sea level under normal conditions. The Stinger also uses an air-to-air intercooler for cooling the boost. The cylinder heads on the engine are designed so that they house the turbochargers themselves. This is instead of having a separate exhaust manifold and cylinder heads. 

The factory twin-turbos are good for approx. 475-500whp, when using E85 fueling, before they will need upgrading. However, at these levels you’ll be pushing them to their max, which is why we recommend upgrading the turbos if you want to always sit at or above 450whp.

The stock block and internals can handle nearly 800whp so there is tons of upside with upgraded turbos. You will start running into some limits with the transmission and factory drivetrain around the 600whp mark, though.

Kia Stinger Turbo Upgrade Supporting Mods

IMR Stinger twin-turbo kit
IMR Stinger twin-turbo kit

If you decide on a Kia Stinger turbo upgrade, there are a few mods you need to consider. The first thing to keep in mind are fueling upgrades. The stock fuel system uses direct injection with no supplemental port injection. The stock fuel system has shown itself capable of 600 wheel-horsepower. For those looking to go even more than that, adding supplement port injection can help, but it does require a separate fuel controller that needs to be integrated into the ECU. 

Upgrading the intercooler is also necessary for a turbo swap. The OEM intercooler is only meant for stock boost levels on the stock turbos. It will immediately become overmatched with a swap. You can view our Stinger Intercooler Upgrade Guide to learn about proper sizing and considerations for larger intercoolers.

You will also need to upgrade your downpipes and exhaust on the Stinger for a turbo upgrade. The stock downpipes are restrictive with the stock turbos, and they will completely choke off bigger ones. You can view our Stinger Downpipe Upgrade Guide if you plan on sourcing your own.

Kia Stinger Turbo Upgrade Options

  • Lap3 Twin-Turbo Kit
  • Pure Turbos OEM Turbos Upgrade
  • IMR Twin-Turbo Kit

1) Lap3 Twin-Turbo Kit

Now let’s get into the recommendations. First up on our list is the Lap3 Kia Stinger Twin-Turbo Kit. This is probably the most popular Kia Stinger turbo upgrade kits, and it was one of the first successfully to make it to market. The Lap3 kit is a twin-turbo kit that uses dual XCargot XT26 Turbos. Together, they are capable of making 600 wheel-horsepower and 550 wheel-torque. 

The kit comes with everything needed, including a larger front-mount intercooler, turbo housings, new manifolds, and new downpipes. You can also select the Lap3 ECU and TCU tuning solutions. The Lap3 is pretty pricey coming in at $12,000 (before tuning), but you can tell it has some excellent craftsmanship and work put into it. There is a reason it is the go to kit for many Stinger turbo upgrades, and it has been shown to perform very well on the streets. 

2) Pure Turbos OEM Turbo Upgrade

Next up we have the Pure Turbos OEM Kia Stinger Turbos Upgrade. This is not a turbo swap but instead is a turbo upgrade. Basically, they take OEM turbos and add a custom billet compressor wheel and custom HF turbine wheel. They also upgrade the rest of the turbo’s internals. This allows for stock sized turbos that fit the stock location, but pack a much more powerful punch. They are capable of more than 500whp, and are a much cheaper option than upgrading to a full kit.

If you do plan on upgrading your stock turbos instead of swapping them, you will still want to make sure you are doing all supporting mods. Upgrading the downpipes and intercooler are still very important, though you likely won’t need to worry about supplemental fueling. The Pure Turbos OEM turbo upgrade is a great option for those looking for a little extra power without breaking the bank with a full kit. You can also send in your stock turbos for a discount. 

3) IMR Twin-Turbo Kit

Our final recommendation is the brand new IMR Kia Stinger Twin-Turbo Kit. This kit is relatively new but is already shaping up to be one of the most powerful kits on the market. IMR uses a variety of different turbos with their kit from either IMR themselves or Garrett. They claim their turbo kit will be capable of up to 900 wheel-horsepower and includes all supporting mods.

The kit looks fantastic, and routes the air filters in front of the radiator and just behind the bumper. This provides for incredible flow and heat reduction. The green boost tubes are also a nice touch, as is the absolutely massive intercooler. We previously rated their intercooler as one of the best for the Stinger, and the one with their kit appears to be even bigger. The IMR kit is cheaper than the Lap3 at $9,500 and may ultimately make more horsepower. Both are solid options. 

FAQ

What size is the stock Kia Stinger Turbos?

The Kia Stinger uses twin Honeywell Garret MGT1446SZLK turbochargers that runs 12-15 PSI of boost.

What is the best Kia Stinger turbo upgrade kit?

The best Kia Stinger turbo upgrade kits are the IMR twin-turbo kit and the Lap3 Performance twin-turbo kit. Both of them deliver solid horsepower, with the IMR coming in cheaper.

How much horsepower can a Kia Stinger turbo upgrade make?

With upgraded turbos, the Kia Stinger can make more than 900 wheel-horsepower, or over 1,000 crank-horsepower with the IMR twin-turbo kit.

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