Space Blue & Solar Red Spotted

We can’t say when, where or how we got this exclusive MotoringFile image showing two of the three new 2006 colors, but we can say it’s a 100% legit picture of what will be on dealer lots in about four months time.

Seen in the photo above (and in a much larger version here) are Space Blue and Solar Red. Both cars also feature the new optional silver top, another 2006 addition we scooped a few months back.

Solor Red is reportedly a metallic that has hints of an orange/rust color. It’s much like BMW’s Flamenco Red found currently on the X3 but with a little more red rather than orange. I’m told in some light it also has a resemblence to the always popular Imola Red found on the BMW M3.

Space Blue on the other hand is fairly similar to BMW’s Toledo Blue, a dark metallic blue.

While we don’t have any photos of Royal Grey, we can tell you (based on a first hand account) that it will be similar to the current Dark Silver however with perhaps a bit more Taupe in it.

For those that may have missed the original news on the color changes a few weeks back, these new colors will take the place of Solid Gold, Electric Blue, and Jet Black which will all be dropped for 2006.

Naturally we’ll have more on the other upcoming 2006 additions in the weeks ahead.

[ Space Blue & Solar Red (large) ] MotoringFile [ Solar Red (large) ] MotoringFile
  • Gian

    Hey, I can’t see the pics, is it my computer or something else. Thank you for the info, I really like this website, Keeps me inform!!!!

  • The pics are there… you might want to just refresh your browser.

  • hi

    That blue is nice…does it have a silver roof? red doesnt look any different to me

  • mataku

    hm… they look similar to other colors already available. especially the red. I was hoping it’d be a bit more orange. for some reason they’ve gotten rid of the more radical colors in favor of very similar colors to those available, or maybe it’s just the pictures.

  • “That blue is nice…does it have a silver roof?”

    Yes – as stated in the article above, both cars have the silver roof/mirrors combo.

  • hi

    sorry didnt read properly. Are the rear lights any different?….looks like they have an extra white circular bit close to the top

  • nrkist


  • ChrisLW

    I’ll take a SB…I’m contemplating ordering an ’06 next spring to get the last of the current gen w/ the new special pkgs that are coming….will be interesting to see the red in person tho’

  • Bart

    now the big thing will be to see the two reds side-by-side!

    on the blue.. I was secretly hoping it would be much lighter than that.. (not that I’d replace my HB!! 😉

  • Ian

    Disappointing … replacing the bright EB with yet another deep blue! And I hope the new red looks more different to Chili Red in person …

    I’ll stick with real Chili Red 😉

  • AprilWhine

    It seems the MINI color options are turning to the dark side. 🙂 I do like the space blue though.

  • Richard Harvey

    mmmmm love the blue. Red I cant see any differance!

  • Looks like the clear circle on the top of the rear light may be a separate orange/amber turn signal light. I prefer that over the red rear blinkers.

  • That’s so much a CR, not a hint of metallic. I like the silver tops and the SB a lot tho. ~ on the tailights. they can’t be real because Gabe didn’t report on them in an earlier MotoringFile article ;). That ‘turn signal’ is just protective film left over. :p

  • Gabe, i’m liking the space blue/silver. maybe with some web-spokes… yeah, i think i’ll wait for 06 to loose the 03.

  • That’s so much a CR, not a hint of metallic.

    Well not sure what to say to that… however I can say that you are indeed looking at the new solar red – I’m 100% sure of that. Unfortauntely the image is a bit washed out due to the sun.

    tho. ~ on the tailights. they can’t be real because Gabe didn’t report on them

    Actually they were mentioned last March in the comment section of this story 🙂 They are the new optional tail lights for markets outside the US. No word yet if we’ll get them.

  • nfo

    these look good but i really wanna see Royal Grey! the silver roof is a really nice added choice.

  • Richard

    I love the Space Blue… I was thinking about HB/W but this one with silver roof and webspokes must look awesome.

    I might order the car to have it delivered in September here in Europe, Gabe do you think I might have any chance to get the 06my ?

  • Eric


  • John

    Is it my monitor, or does both cars seem to have tinted rear windows? Is this also a new upgrade?

  • greg

    Gabe. Any possibilities of a chrome roof? I saw an aftermarket one for about $2500!

  • dave


  • scott

    Ugh, Space Blue? Why another dark blue? I just don’t get it. There are so many nice shades of blue that are much lighter – anyone see the Lazer blue on the Lotus Elise?

    Is Space blue meant to be the Indi Blue replacement while Hyper Blue is supposed to be the lighter blue replacement? It just took two years to get there?

  • In my mind MINI has never offered a dark blue. Both Indi and Hyper Blue (especially Hyper) are much to light to be considered a dark blue. Personally I think a color like this is long over due. In fact I would have seriously considered it if currently available.

    And for those curious… MINI, like everything other automotive manufacturer, follows color forecasting very closely. A few years ago blues like Indigo were very popular in the forcasts… hence Indie Blue. Now that much darker shades of blue are showing up in the forecasts we have Space Blue. Remember, everything manufactured on this scale is done for a very good reason… including color choices.

  • Tom M

    Am I just goofy or have the spoilers been revised on both the MC and the MSC in the photos?… Or maybe both of the above?

  • dgszweda

    I know you can’t say how you got the pictures, but I can take a guess.

    The pictures were shot on Thursday the 12th of May. You got them Gabe sometime early morning on the 13th. They were shot with an older Canon A300, which is no longer being manufactured by Canon. They are carrying British license plates. There appears to be a few more Mini’s in the lot. The parking lot lights don’t look very familiar, but the shrubs and trees appear to be the same kind as the ones at the Oxford Plant. The parking lot spaces are also painted similiar to the Oxford plant spaces. Based on that and a couple of other things, I would say that it was taken in the parking lot of the Oxford plant. Seems you have an insider Gabe, who is taking illegal photos…. Hmmmm! Although the A300 is pretty slim and easy to sneak by.

  • Astro Black is my current favorite color. But MINI has made some odd moves. Why bring out Astro Black, then drop Jet Black and introduce another dark blue in Space Blue (which looks great, by the way). Then another red? Why not produce a non-metallic true BRG that so many people have requested?

    Will Space Blue be an MCS color only?

  • GBMiniGirl

    Two almost identical reds (granted one’s metallic) and they drop black? I don’t get it. How cool would a JB/Silver MINI look?!

  • Oh, and the color was and is Indi Blue (not Indie Blue or Indy Blue as I have seen it spelled all over the place).

  • RoccosModernLife

    mmm…I’m likin’ the Space Blue, but there’s only one red for me – Chili Red! 😀

  • Eric R

    I can’t believe you know what color ‘Taupe’ is, AND you know how to spell it! 🙂 Oh, and thanks for the pic!

  • mini vanilli

    gabe, one thing not mentioned. are these colors model specific?

  • eVal

    First, thanks for the pics – its always fun to see these spy shots 🙂

    As for the colors, well for me dark blue doesn’t do it on a Mini, I much prefer the unique Electric Blue, and/or colors like Hyper Blue that are more intense and playful (and not like a color you’d see on a sedate 7 series or the like). The Solar Red has a lot of promise, might be a real eye catcher if the highlights are really orange. IMHO though they are missing the boat by not pulling from the great classic mini colors like Island Blue:

  • Capn

    Is that the Royal Grey that is on that bumper down in the corner?

  • RB

    I agree with Scott!

    All the colors are very nice, except maybe the Pimp Gold, but why so many blues so close in range! EB was my 1st choice but I bought used so I took what was the best deal.

    As far as your [Gabe] color-casting comment..I’ve already made my feelings about that BS known here a long time ago. I agree that in our industry we need these things but as to wether…”Remember, everything manufactured on this scale is done for a very good reason… including color choices.” always works I can’t agree. Prime example…AZTEK… but then I’m just a lowly graphic designer not an AD.

    Thanx for the wonderful site and all your hard work………LOL…RB

  • Capn

    I like the new blue I was so PO’d that they killed the Indigo blue. That was my choice, Hyper is not a keeper but merely a transitional color. It is bland, no character. The Space Blue is more flavorful. After all, with cars like these, they need skin with flair.

    Pimp gold, lol

  • Evan

    I really like the Space Blue- if I were in the market for another MINI, it’d be a 2006 in Space Blue with a white top. I have to say that Electric was fun, but a little too brigh for me, Hyper is alright, but not deep enough. I am very glad I have my Indi Blue MC. I also thought that the red would be deeper, not just metallic. I’m sure it’ll look good in person though.

    To each his own.

    Thanks for the pics Gabe!

  • rob

    What one of you knuckle heads took a picture at the Oxford plant on our Magical MINI Mystery tour. They said no pictures. Bad Bad Motoring Advisor.

  • Bill

    I’m likin’ the new SB a lot, and kind of like the SR – hard to tell from this photo. Question is, if you get the Space Blue with the Silver roof, are there Silver bonnet stripes to match or would we need to go aftermarket?

  • I wished for a deeper red too but I also wish for a return of the candy apple red GM colors of the ’60s.

  • petsounds

    Man, I was really hoping they’d use the real Solar Red from the old Mini. I don’t like the way they appropriate names of colors and then drastically change them.

    These look so sedate (and why such a close red to Chili Red?). There’s definitely a trend with BMW in trying to make the MINI look more BMW-esque, probably to attract a wider market. But they’re sucking some of the life out of these cars.

    I’m not saying MINI shouldn’t have a dark blue, but it’s such a drab blue. Something like the old Santorini Blue on the Audi A4 from two generations ago would’ve been perfect.

  • mike

    hated to see indy blue go. eagerly welcoming the space blue. how about orange in a hard top? anyone, anyone? bueller?

  • I would highly recommend you wait before you pass judgement on either color in this photo. I’m told the red especially looks quite different in person.

  • There never was Indy Blue! It’s Indi Blue! I’ll never rest…

    I’d like an orange hardtop, but not Hot Orange. A true…let’s call it…Orange Orange.

    I second the comment about bringing back the original light blue from the classic Mini. (Like what MINI once showed as Candy Blue.) I would have seriously considered it.

    Can’t wait to see Space Blue in person.

  • theurbanhippie

    Ugh! Enough with the dark colors already! Even VW has the good sense to keep “fun” in their color scheme.

    I’m sticking to my Pepper White/Black until 2008. 😀

  • cct1

    Thanks for the pics! I was hoping space blue would be a dark blue–prayer answered. Can’t wait to see it in person. This might be the color I go for, if it looks good in the flesh. Now, to go with a silver top or not, that’s the next question (not sure how well that will work with dark blue)…

    As for an orange hardtop–I saw a burnt orange Mini Cooper, with black top (NOT a convertible),in, of all places, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I never saw the owner though–I’m not interested in getting that color (although I have to admit, it was nice looking), but I was interested in how they managed to get it on a regular cooper.

    Did anyone on the tour happen to see any of the potential new rim offerings?

  • “Did anyone on the tour happen to see any of the potential new rim offerings?”

    Okay… there may be some confusion here. Just to be clear – the information in this article did not come from a MINI plant tour.

    “Now, to go with a silver top or not, that’s the next question (not sure how well that will work with dark blue)…”

    Not sure if you realized it but both cars in the photos have the new silver tops.

  • Josh

    Gabe, were these cars photographed right outside of the factory in Oxford?

  • iamwiz82

    Looks like the gray one next to the Space Blue has chrome S-lites.

  • Johnny

    Look like the web spokes to me.

    Space blue is gorgeous, thank goodness.

  • petsounds

    Gabe – I’m not “passing judgment.” Just giving my opinion based on the limited information these photos present. If we aren’t allowed to do that, you’d have a pretty empty blog.. 😉

  • No worries! It’s just that the photo is a bit washed out due to the sun and I’d hate to have people think they were mis-informed.

  • RB

    ” Rick, why did you come to Casablanca?”

    “for the water”

    “Rick, there’s no water in Casablanca!?”

    ” I guess I was mis-informed.”

  • mark

    if you look at the reflection on the blue car’s bumper, you can see some lone person in a red shirt. The mystery photographer perhaps!

  • cct1

    Dang, I was hoping there was a scoop on new rim offerings. Guess I’ll have to wait…

    I realize those roofs are silver–but in that light, it’s really difficult to get a good appreciation of how they look in real life, as they almost look white. For anyone who has seen them up close, are they a metallic silver like the pure silver mini color? It’s one of those things I’ll have to see in person to determine wether I like it or not–especially since that dark blue would look great with a white roof–that’s easier for me to picture than the silver.

  • The silver roof is pure silver.

    …and the wheel scoop is coming 🙂

  • Ugh, looking at the tail-lights made me even happier that I have the first version on my MINI… (Properly modified, of course…)

  • Tony

    It’s bad enough that customers have a hard time picking which color they want with the ones that are available now. And soon they are going to have to pick between colors that are very close to others? Space Blue IS a little more blue then astro black, but not all that different. Solar red doesn’t look different then Chili at all. I think the two requests that I have heard the most is orange and pink.

  • joe

    Does the space blue MCS have some new tan leather seats covers?

  • RB

    What about a write in to say Electric Blue. We did with the headliner???

  • RB


  • Bucky

    That photo didn’t come from someone on our Magical MINI Tour… the cars in the parking lot where our bus let out weren’t arranged in that order. That’s if my memory serves me correctly of course. As for wheels, I can tell you that we did see some ’06s with a few of the new wheels. There was a new 16″ and 17″ wheels that were both painted flat black to disguise them. I can describe them in one word… hideous! The 17″ one looked like a flower. So don’t get your hopes up for new cool wheels.

  • I cant believe they are going to lose the Jet Black ! What a mistake. I just spoke to my dealer, he said my Jet Black Mini S Cabrio rolled off the assembly line on the 16th of June. Now I’m really excited. I’ll have one of the last Black Mini’s to be made. Really glad I didn’t order a red one, not that they’re common or anything. Happy motoring! See you on the track!

  • steven mait

    will the 2006 convertible still be a rag top or will it be insulated like the BMW convertibles?