Cars > News

Robert De Niro is endorsing the new Kia e-Niro

Do we really have to explain why?

Kia has a new electric crossover SUV for tough guys. SCREENSHOT FROM KIA

Sometimes you kind of know how a marketing campaign came to be. Such as with the new Kia e-Niro. The European version of the company’s first fully electric crossover SUV was revealed at the Paris Motor Show a short while ago, and to make sure that potential buyers would really know about it, Kia’s marketing department must have had a few brainstorming sessions. During one of those meetings, someone probably pointed out that the name of the car and the name of a famous Hollywood actor happen to sound the same. Everyone in the room likely stopped breathing for a moment and then decided that this was it—this was the idea to roll with. And so Robert De Niro is now starring in adverts for the Kia e-Niro.

This cool guy hates Donald Trump, so we believe him. SCREENSHOT FROM KIA

It’s not as if this EV needs much publicity. The fact sheet alone should make anyone who still considers buying a petrol- or diesel-powered car think twice about that idea. Buyers can choose from two different battery packs: a 64kWh lithium-ion polymer battery good for 485km on the WLTP combined cycle and up to 615km on the WLTP urban cycle. This long-range battery comes paired with a 201hp motor, producing 395Nm of torque and allowing the little electric crossover to go from zero to 100km/h in a respectable 7.8 seconds. Anyone choosing the smaller 39.2kWh lithium-ion battery can still look forward to 312km of range per charge on the WLTP combined cycle, with propulsion coming from a 136hp motor that churns out 395Nm.

We’re not sure if any of De Niro’s famous movie characters will like this green car. Travis Bickle, guys? PHOTOS FROM KIA

Plugged into a suitable fast charger, the e-Niro can fill its batteries from 20% back to 80% in around 40 minutes, while features such as regenerative braking and the Eco Driving Assistant System have been included to make sure visits to a wall socket remain at a minimum. The latter can instruct the driver as to when he or she should lift off the gas pedal, for example, and it generally helps optimize the amount of energy recuperated while driving. A whole host of other driver assistance programs are onboard to increase safety as well, such as smart cruise control and forward collision avoidance.

But back to Robert De Niro: The 75-year-old acting legend has been hired by Kia to promote the e-Niro in Europe, and we have this short teaser video as a result:

Apparently, much more is to come, but only time will tell if the tough-talking celebrity can convince people to give Kia’s new EV a try. The e-Niro seems to be a neat package that has a lot going for it. Standing 4,375mm long, 1,805mm wide and 1,560mm tall, this electric SUV has space for five adults and 451L of baggage. It also comes with a seven-year, 150,000km warranty as standard that does cover the battery pack and the electric motor. For now, Kia seems to only plan on selling it in Europe and China, but we really hope the brand could bring it to the Philippines, too. Are you reading this, Ayala peeps?

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring.