MINIUSA Officially Announces 2005 Changes

You heard it here first! This is the news many of us have been waiting for (including word of an Limited Slip Differential and Automatic for the MCS). The following are excerpts taken from an internal MINIUSA document about the official US 2005 model year changes (also expected in all other markets). You can download the entire document (PDF format) here. Note that what's below does not include much of what has been posted in our 2005 MINI Revealed article.

Exterior (listed for both the MC and the MCS)
  • (A24) Purple Haze replaces Indi Blue (Black Eye Purple in the rest of the world)
  • (A25) Astro Black replaces Cosmos Black (deep blueish black)
  • (A28) Hyper Blue (Available 1/05 for the Cooper/possibly US only)
  • (T6LP) Dark Blue leather available on MC & MCS (as seen in here)
  • (T6PN) Panther Black Leather replaces Profile Panther Black (MC)
  • (FTDN) Tartan Red/Octagon Black Cloth/Leather Combo is available on Sport Seats (as seen here)
  • (K7TV) Gray leatherette with Gray interior (replaces Black Leatherette with Gray interior)
  • (AHPN) Octagon Panther Black Cloth w/Black Interior replaces Kaliedo Panther black cloth w/black interior (Not Available on Cooper S)
  • (T6LP) Lapis Blue Leather is Deleted from the Cooper S
  • (T2EM) Emerald Greeen is deleted from the Cooper
New Options
  • (2TA) Limited Slip Differential available on MCS with Manual starting 1/05
  • (205/202) Automatic Transmission with Steptronic paddles available for MCS starting 1/05
  • (318) Interior Surface Body Color. Now the dash and door panels are available for the Cooper S in Hot Orange, Cool Blue, Hyper Blue, Chili Red and Liquid Yellow. (Cooper S Only)
  • (345) Chrome Line Interior: Chromed rings around all gauges, bezels around the hazard light button & dash light dimmer, inserts on the hand-brake, and rings around the gearshift and rear cup holders (as seen in Cabrio press photos)
  • (346) Chrome Line Exterior:
    MC: Chrome strip integrated into the front bumper 2 chrome strips for the rear bumper chrome fog light surrounds chrome mirror caps
    MCS: Chrome radiator grill slats chrome tailgate handle chrome mirror caps
  • (405) Chrome mirror caps are available separately
  • (473) Center Armrest available starting 1/05
  • (547) Cockpit Chrono Pack optional (oil pressure/temp, water temp, fuel gauges) to replace center speedo (as seen in Cabrio press photos)
  • (ZCV) Convenience package (available 1/05):
    Universal Garage Door Opener (available separately)
    Auto Dimming rear view mirror
    Rain Sensor & Auto Headlights.

Rear Fog Light will be blanked off with a plastic insert as the position of the light is not legal in CA or OR. MINI is recommending a dealer-installed accessory kit for persons who have a need for a rear fog light

“All of these new items will complement the existing options and packages and pricing will be announced shortly. “.

The parenthesis indicate the MINIUSA order code. Bold added for emphasis.

Just a clarification: it appears that Hyperblue is available for the MCS and MCS convertible starting in July and not available on either Cooper model until 1/05.

  • Kirk

    I've always liked the position of the reverse lights in the center… now comes the move to put the rear fog lights in the center but illegal in CA and OR, some owners aren't going to be very happy.

    Why is it illegal? The third brake light is in the middle.

  • The Limited Slip Differential available on MCS with Manual starting 1/05, is a great option. I would like to hear what type MINI has chosen to use and what the price will be.

  • Every state has different laws when it comes to lighting and in this case two states' laws are the reason all US MINIs will have an ugly black piece of plastic in their rear.

  • Josh

    I like the LSD option. As much as it makes me cringe, a sport auto will probably sell well in the US. Is it just for here? Why did they change the color name, just for Hendrix?

  • Matt

    LSD, Shorter ratio box, more power, new colors, leather/cloth sport seats, cool new xenons…. maybe a JCW S for delivery in 05?

    is the “astro black” the “blueish black,” and if so, do you have a pic of it?

  • No pic but that was how someone described it to me when I asked.

  • My guess on the color name change is that the term “black eye purple” just does work in middle America.

    Besides purple haze is a much much cooler name.

  • dc


    My letters to MINIUSA must have been read.

    I'm so happy I could trade in my 2002 MC on an MCS when my lease ends in 2005.

    Maybe back to D-stock in SCCA classification, wun with the Integra Type R, WRX, BMW 330Ci.

  • Frank

    No doubt the most significant changes for the MCS in 2005 aside from the 170HP engine upgrade is the availability of an Automatic transmission (Further details about the type of gearbox that will be used?) and the availability of LSD.

  • nfo

    what kind of automatic trans do you guys think this will be for the S??

  • I heard that it won't be a CVT but something very similar to what's found in the current 3 series which is a 5-speed automatic with manual controls. A decent enough unit but nothing to get very excited about.

  • Frank

    What's found in the current 3 series is either a 4 or 5 speed slushbox. I am not sure if this type of gearbox will hurt the performance of the MCS (Reason why MINI went with a CVT in the first place when the Cooper was first launched).

    Could this be a SMG gearbox?

  • I asked that question of the my source about a month ago and he eluded that it will be a more standard auto rather than the SMG unit BMW offers in it's cars.

  • nfo

    that sucks….. i guess i'd rather have the 6spd anyway! 🙂 i can only imagine how costly the other new options will be!

  • JFS

    Thanks for the information!!!

    Great news on the LSD, let's hope is reasonable.

    Any word on the “MP3-Compatible CD Player” announced on the MINI International website a few weeks back?

  • The MP3 cd player should be standard on all 2005 MINIs.

  • Chris

    What about Pepper White? Will it still be available?

  • I believe Pepper White will still be offered but not in Cabrio form.

  • John

    Any chance LSD will be “MINI authorized” option/accessory for 02-04 MCS?

  • John

    Also, with Purple Haze color, does that mean my Indi Blue MCS has just increased in value?

  • Bernard

    I bet the blue/black color is BMW's carbon black. It's an M3 color. Best described as black in the shade and dark blue (like carbon paper) in the sunlight)

  • Ryephile

    I wonder if the '05 can be retrofitted with the current rear lighting system (to maintain the single center back-up light)?

    LOVE the LSD option – can't wait to see how much the part costs at the Parts Counter!

  • CJ

    so wait, they have an auto for the MCS now?

    (205/202) Automatic Transmission with Steptronic paddles available for MCS starting 1/05

  • 2BlueMCSMRdstr

    Echoing what has already been said, I sure hope that the LSD will be an option for pre-'05 MCS models.

    I also wonder what the bump to 170 HP will mean for current JCW owners. Will there be a power bump to the JCW kit as well to maintain the HP benefit of the JCW kit?

  • Scott

    mmm, LSD retrofit… please, please, please let that be the case.

  • dgszweda1

    Darn you BMW!

    I can't believe this. An LSD for January. I had heard the rumors but was hoping it would be available in September. I will have push my order back to January now. ARGHHHH!

    On a side note do you think it will be an option or standard? Most other small cars make it standard (such as the new Neon).

  • Theo

    Wait a minute…LSD, Purple Haze, Hendrix…WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

    I think I remember all that stuff from when I was 20. Not sure, though…


  • lexbomb

    LSD… LSD… LSD… LSD… please please Please PLEASE make it a retrofit for 02 – 04 MCS!

  • greatgro

    LSD an option or standard? Are you kidding me? I'm positive it'll not only be an option, but a very expensive one. But a good one that's for sure. 😉

  • It's listed under options.

  • Eric Rowland

    Any leads on an actual picture of purple haze/BEP? The swatch/hazy night picture just isn't cutting it. Awesome info – thanks Gabe!

  • Charlie

    Try logging to and clicking on All Innvations, and you'll find “Black Eye Purple” (which will be “Purple Haze” in the USA.

    I thought they should call it “Domestic Violet” but that wouldn't pass the PC test in Ameerica

  • Thank you,Gabe. Again,you're ahead of the curve when it comes to info regarding the MINI. I can hardly wait on the info from you guys in regards to the pricing for an '05 MCS Cabrio.

  • Josh

    Will Hyper Blue be a MCS only color? I'm glad I got my Indi Blue already.

  • Well if the document is correct then Hyper Blue will be available for both the MC and the MCS. This is a change from the information that had been released by MINI international.

  • Scott

    According to the link that Charlie posted ( – go to All Innovations and click on Cooper S – Hyper Blue is MCS only…

    Guess we'll find out soon which is correct.


    Let me display my ignorance…Just how effective will LSD be on a MCS? Is this just to allow quicker takeoffs when dropping the clutch?

  • Chris


    The LSD is a little bit more than that. It's essentially a device that allows you to get power to the wheels that have traction. Say when coming out of a turn and the your front right wheel is loosing grip, the left wheel that has the traction will get more power so that you can come out of the turn faster/more control. It's one of those things that an autocrosser wouldn't want to live without but an daily driver wouldn't miss, if he didn't beat on his/her car. (Please add to correct info or to add more)

    Good Stuff! I would love to get this on my car with the JCWs brake upgrade. So many cool thingscoming out from MINI.

  • Chris

    I really hope the LSD is a retrofit.

    That would be so cool and expensive at the same time.

  • Josh

    I'd like to see Mini offer a JCW MCS from the factory…..Works kit, LSD, 18″ JCW wheels, upgraded brakes…

  • Lucas

    Hmmm…. I think BMW/MINI might be shooting themselves in the foot here… With the introduction of automatic transmission on MCS, who would want to buy the MC, other than those who can't afford MCS? Would this be the beginning of the end of MC?

  • I would say no. And no offense but your rational doesn't really work as MINI currently sells a majority of MC's as equipped with a manual.

  • dc

    If you want a retrofit, just get a Quaife.

    About $1000 plus installation. eg

  • Scott


    Of course, the dealer won't perform the install because the Quaife LSD is aftermarket – neither will they warranty it. (I already asked.) About the only place even remotely local (aside from the dealer) that I would trust to do the Quaife install would be Helix in Philadelphia and that's a bit of a ride.

    This potential for a retrofit covers both.

  • Evan

    I think that most of the changes are really good, although I'm glad I got the Indi Blue and the old rear tail lights. My next one will definately be in that Hyper Blue though.

    In terms of the auto for the MCS- can't wait to see how they packaged that considering that they used the CVT in the MC for that reason. Now we have the supercharger and the auto? Probably will be a 5speed unit, but from where? Wouldn't it be hard to fit a RWD BMW unit?

    Lastly, the auto for the MCS will not detract from MC sales. The Cooper is a blast by its own merit and is plenty powerful. Even gently accelerating I'm at speed very quickly…. It will be interesting to see how many auto MCS sales there are, especially since I'm sure it'll be an expensive option.


    You might be surprised at the number of MCS automatics that will be sold. Here is the reason I will probably be buying one. I have an 04 MCS and love it. My wife has a back problem that makes clutch operation + shifting both difficult and painful. She has driven my MCS and loves it but is hampered by the back problem. I wanted to buy her a Cabrio but she doesn't want an MC because of the power difference. She currently drives our older Corvette and likes the performance. So!! up comes the possibility of an MCS Cabrio automatic and my problem is solved. That is just one reason out of probably many that people may have.

  • Gilbert Cabral

    Do any body know if this cvt trans will apply to mcs 2003,? or can be upgraded.

  • Frank

    I am surprised that NO ONE has commented on the availability of a factory installed remote garage opener in the MINI. This is indeed fantastic news for those of us that are getting sick and tired of carrying a brick sized garage door opener.

    Is this a Homelink transmitter?

    Proof once again that MINI is listening to its customers.

    MINI now the time has come to get down and dirty with that Traveller station wagon!.

  • Don't worry Frank – I've got some news on that wagon coming!

  • Timothy Sipples

    Also wondering if the 170 hp tweaks will be available for retrofit, although 7 hp won't be worth a whole lot of effort.

    Don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but the MINI-official Sirius receiver price came down (to $395 plus installation). Still not a bargain compared to aftermarket, but getting better.

  • Frank

    Gabe, time to spill the beans! Can't wait!

  • Josh

    The PDF says the garage door opener is “also currently avalible as an individual option.” Does that “currently” mean NOW or September or January?

    I'd go out and get it today.

  • Larry

    Will the LSD be a factory install or will it be a dealer (spelled more expensive) installation.

  • If I order a 2005 Sirius system, do I get a new head unit which will then also play mp3s? It might be worth $395 (plus installation) to get both.

  • The standard head unit should play MP3s out of the box.

  • Scott

    I don't think you need the Sirius kit to get the MP3 compatible head unit…

    As Gabriel posted up above – the MP3 compatible head unit should be standard on all 2005's

  • Larry – it appears that the LSD will be a factory option. However that's still not confirmed.

  • WAY

    With the LSD what will SCCA do about SOLO 2 classification??? Please leave it in G stock.

  • MiniMahsa

    What I want to know is: Will there finally be a PDC (park distance control) for the front of the vehicle. I already have it in the back, but now all the other cars are making them available in the front too, and whether I really need it or not, I just have to have it!


    Does any one know if the tail lights are geared to be the led type mentioned some time ago. Most BMW's have progressd to these. No more tail light mods.


    Really wish I could test-drive a steptronic… Odd, because I've always thought that auto trannies certainly never belonged in a sports car, but the steptronic paddles sound really cool, plus I just moved to a high traffic congestion area, and shifting really can wear on you pretty quickly. I wonder how spongy the tranny will be… argh…

  • yorobby

    “steptronic” paddles.

    There is no official confirmation what type of automatic will be put into the Cabrio.

  • Melissa

    Hey does anyone know if the 2005 model will have the red interior? Not just the seats but the side panels and door panels aswell?

  • Melissa Einbinder

    What will the price change be between the 2005 and the 2004 model?

  • TBRK

    A Mini S Convertible with an Auto tranni with steering wheel paddles a la BMW SMG with an arnmrest to boot. I guess that Mini might be appealing to the Sixties children who owned them back then but don't want to shift a manual tranny and still like the power and hanlding. When can I buy it? Do you guys know the prices of the MCS Cabrio? Keep up the great work! Thank you.

  • BBSteve

    First of all, love your site. Awesome articles and info… can't find anything like this down in Oz! I'm really likin' the revised gear ratios ('cause it's a pig off the line)… Just wondering if anyone has had trouble with their transmission? I've only had my MCS for 4 months and my gearbox has died. The gearstick cable snapped off leaving me with no gear selection & nowhere to go! Did some digging and discovered that apparently this has been a big problem for the Mini's. Hopefully will be resolved in the 05 model.

  • mike duffy

    Could use some objective, non-emotional input. I'm thinking of selling my '02 Mini and getting an '05. No problems with the '02, outside the usual rattles and semi-stalling, but the gear shift has been less than impressive. The one thing I really liked about the MC S was the short, quick, sports car-like shifting, so was pretty excited to hear about the new Getrag gearbox. But is this REALLY a good reason to trade in a perfectly good car? Obviously, I'm having trouble being objective here. (Also, the lack of any storage compartments can be really annoying, but I may be grasping at cheap rationalizations at this point). On another point, has anyone had problems with a squeeking sound when shifing into 1st and 3rd gear? It sounds like rubber parts rubbing together. Happens in cold and hot weather, but seems more noticable in cold.

  • Aaron Pailthorp

    So Black Eye Purple/Purple Haze is not available as an interior color? If you go for this body color, don't get an interior body color? Hmmm, going to have to try and see Purple next to Hyper Blue.

  • Andrew

    I found out from MINI itself that Hyper Blue will be available for both the MC and MCS in the US. Not so in Europe. In Europe, Hyper Blue will be MCS only. The MCS exclusive colors in the US will remain Electric Blue and Dark Silver, which is a shame. I just ordered a 2005 MCS in Hyper Blue and I wanted mine to be a little bit more unique.

    Incidentally, I almost went for Dark Silver, but opted for more color. And I don't like Electric Blue. Electric Blue is more like aquamarine and reminds me of the paint they used to put on Chevys in the late 80s.

  • Atif

    What is a cooler color. Black or the Black eye purple and can the roof be the same color.

  • EB

    Is it a problem to replace the standard Radio/CD with a aftermarket radio? I was thinking of replacing the factory installed radio with a Pioneer or Kenwood. Any suggestions

  • Robert

    Was ordering my Mini S in Indi Blue but now that it is discontinued how much purple is in the Purple Haze? I am worried that it may look too much like Barney..tell me your thoughts…should I stay with it since I really liked the Indi Blue?

  • Andrew

    I've already ordered a 2005 MCS. So, if I add the Chrome Line Exterior, will I be essentially making my MCS look like the previous years' MC? That is, with the exception of the mirror caps. I don't know if I would want that option.

  • Staci

    Ordered purple haze, I was told it was a blue with purple tint, however, the pictures I've seen are really purple, Barney purple, help? does anyone really know what this color looks like, I do not want a purple car. Every site I have viewed shows a different color.

  • Some angles can look straight-up purple – some look just like blue with a little magenta added. If it were me and I was worried I would go with hyperblue or electric blue (both available 1/05).

  • Joey

    I'm considering buying a MCS with automatic when the lease on my BMW 330xi is up. Trouble is, I have to do this by February and not sure if the MCS w/ auto will even be available then. Plus, I'll be giving up my BMW and that, on the surface, sounds difficult to do for a MINI Cooper. Thoughts?

  • Bacsi6948

    So, changes are coming. The thought of a slush box in the MCS teases me. Having lost the left leg in NAM always limited me to automatics.

    So the question comes, trade for an 05 MCS with automatic or keep my 04 CVT MC? This is a no brainer for me, I'll keep my 04 CVT. I know that I couldn't stand the wait for an 05 and besides I love it more than any other car I've ever had in the past 35 years.

  • June Milby

    A rear seat vision screen option is available in the UK. Are we going to be able to get that in the States? My eight year old is longing for this feature.

  • Bartosz

    I'm so happy that BMW MINI got some many options for the mini. I just loved them and newest versions of mini 2005 ,sweeet…

  • Kimes

    I want the LSD for '05. As you know, it is only available on 1/05 and if you ordered your '05 mcs now (like me) it will not be a retrofit option (much less a pre '05), or at least that's the word today.

  • Sergio A

    Woosie lazy americans and thier need for automatic transmissions! Geeze people, a true sports car is a manual! So either learn to drive one, or buy yourself a 4-door automatic grocery-getter!

  • EB

    I ordered a 05 MCS today and had the choice of leatherette or cloth seats. Any comments or suggestions? Is the cloth seat a dark or light silver/gray? Is the leatherette comfortable – does it got hot and sticky in the summer time. Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!!!

  • memory

    on my '04 MCs the steering rack went kaput after 9,000 mi. this concerns me. i'm thinking of getting an extended warranty. ?anybody else have that problem? ?any suggestions on extended warranties (cost, company name, etc.)

  • Hey guys.

    Anyone knows the acceleration from the new mini cooper S 2005 with 170 PS? and the new gearbox?

    because im getting 1 and if its not good enough i better put the jcw 2 on it

    thx alot


  • SuperCharged

    Are the gear ratios chosen for the 2005 spec mini a good thing? Does this mean the 2005 Mini will have to rev higher while just doing cruising speeds? If so, by how much?

  • ski

    I was on the mini.usa site and it listed on automatic transmission for the S. So I was glad to see it will be available in January, 2005. How has the automatic been on the base mini. Can you get onto freeways fast enough?

    What should one know to make the decision between the base or the S mini? I have read on one web site that the base is a joke. That the S is the one to get. On another site I read that most of us do not need the power of the S. I have also read that if you want an automatic you should look at other cars, not the mini.

  • SuperCharged


    The base mini also has amazing handling, and a lot of the cooper s attributes. The main difference in performance is the engine, and for a standard engine of it's capacity it is quite powerful. While you may not NEED the power of the Cooper S, it's nice to have, and is a lot of fun. In my opinion, the Cooper S isnt the kind of car to match an automatic transmission.

  • LombardSteet

    My brother has an Audi TT 3.2 with a “steptronic” transmission. (I use the quote marks because I don't know if that's a brand name or not.) It has 6 speeds I think. You can put the thing in drive and it will do all the shifting for you, or move the lever over to the side and flick it back to shift up or away from you to shift down. Or you can use the paddles on the steering wheel. As I recall, the one on the right shifts up, the one on the left shifts down. Reminds me a lot of my Honda 350 motorcycle I had in college – click up for downshifts, down for upshifts.

    I don't know if this is what MINI is talking about, but I'll bet it's close. It is extremely cool. Much faster shifts (the clutch is electronic). You can shift without removing your hands from the wheel. And you can forget about it when your hands are busy holding a cup of hot coffee or cell phone.

    OTOH – I love working a clutch! If it had been an option when I ordered mine, I don't think I would have ordered it. Even if it were no-cost. (Well, maybe if it were no-cost!)

    No, on second thought, probably not. On the Audi or a Bimmer, maybe. But the MINI is so retro – seems like it ought to have a clutch.

    And few of my daughter's friends know how to drive a stick!

  • No – the TT 3.2 has a very different transmission than what the MCS will get. It's more of a semi-automatic like SMG (actually called DSG). The MCS will be getting a standard automatic – similar to the standard Audi TT full automatic ironically.

  • Does anyone have any advice on the two paint colors jet black and silver? One person told me that the black will fade over time and the silver will look newer longer- another person told me that the silver will oxidize and look gray over time. Help?

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