It's no secret that major automotive players have been suffering a lot lately. The first quarter of 2020 had been rough for everybody, mostly due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. Global automotive supply chains have screeched to a halt, and new car launches have been postponed. Potential buyers aren't even going out and buying new cars! To top it all off, people living in countries on lockdown aren't even driving the vehicles they already own!
Of the many serious problems that overwhelm automakers now, what Mini faces is something unexpected and quite amusing. The British marque (now owned by BMW), which is set to release its first all-electric Mini Cooper SE, is now forced to rename one of its wheel options. The uniquely-designed 17-inch light-alloy wheels boast an asymmetrical, two-tone design. These exclusively designed wheels are said to have 'aerodynamically optimised surfaces' and come as part of an optional trim.
The problem? Those wheels were initially named - get this - the 'Corona Spoke'.
Of course, Mini chose this name long before the coronavirus became a global pandemic infecting thousands of people. Yet, given the sensitivity surrounding the word these days, Mini probably made the right decision in naming it something else. The new name for this wheel is the 'Power Spoke'. The company has already started updating all of its marketing materials to reflect this new name.
Similar issues elsewhere
Mini isn't the only company that has been affected by the now-negative sentiment towards the word 'Corona'. Worldwide, the famous beer Corona Extra has also been impacted by its use of the same name.
Back in February during the early days of the global pandemic, a lot of people seem to have wrongfully related the coronavirus with the Corona beer. While most people did this jokingly, many people were naively concerned that drinking the beer would somehow give them the virus.
Seeing as how the word 'Corona' is a core part of this beer's brand, changing the name to something else is probably out of the question for its producers.
For Mini, maybe that is the silver lining in all of this. The car company was fortunate enough to be in a position where they could afford to change the name to something else. In doing so, Mini has probably avoided the PR nightmare that Corona Extra has to suffer through.
About the car
Whatever they choose to call their wheels, the Mini Cooper SE or 'MINI Electric' is still an impressive vehicle. The car boasts 135 kW of power and a range of 235-270 km on a single charge. Performance-wise, Mini claims that it can go from 0-100 km/h in roughly 7 seconds. Inside, the Mini Cooper SE's drivetrain leverages technology that was originally designed for the BMW i3, which indicates that it's definitely well-built for performance.
This car is supposed to reach Australian shores come July with an estimated price of $45,000. Of course, this is assuming that the launch isn't further delayed thanks to the pandemic. In any case, if you're a fan of electric vehicles, this one is definitely worth the wait.
We have covered the non-electric version of Mini Cooper in our Carpedia section, which is a compendium of articles about vehicles of all makes and models. Please check out our other blog articles and especially our research tools. You will no doubt thank us for a couple of nifty tools in there, too, namely our auto parts locator and directory. We’re also inviting sellers to post ads – it’s one of the most effective ways of widening your reach. Check us out now!
By Ray Hasbollah