This rumor comes from Paul over at MINI2:
“A little vogel tells me that MINI plans to introduce the option to have colour coded arches/sills. I think this is a great move and will be a popular choice judging by the feedback on here, what do you think?”
I know this would probably be a fairly popular option among some out there but I have to say I'm personally against the idea of body colored painted wheel. With the belt-line (where the glass meets the metal in the middle of the car) of the MINI so high and the car being so short it makes the wheels and the wheel wells look very insignificant and the entire car seem rather ungainly and tall. This would get even worse if you didn't have the 17″ wheels but 16″ or even 15″ wheels.
Further more the design of the car relies somewhat on the use of different material for the wheel arches and sills. As Christian Lanz explained to me recently “I believe that design elements should be constructed of varying materials that reflect their intended purpose. In contrast to the rest of the car, wheel arches are PROTECTIVE elements as well as esthetic ones, so why should their material be of an identical appearance or texture to the rest of the car's sheet-metal? I personally find it visually appealing when an object's components retain the natural appearance dictated by their function.”
Hopefully this remains an option and not a standard “feature” like the color coding of various plastic bits in most late model run BMW models. The best example of this is on the E36 3 series where the entire body including the lower sills, became body colored later in it's life cycle.