The F56 Launch Timeline: What We Know

Despite the fact that the next generation F56 MINI has already been outed, it’s still sometime away from hitting dealerships. Initially there were rumors that the F56 would see a September launch at the Frankfurt Motorshow. That’s been nixed to give as much press as possible to the launch of the BMWi sub-brand and the i3. So where does that leave MINI? Read on for the details in chronological order.


Press Pre-drives

At sometime in the early fall MINI will invite key members of the automotive press to drive the F56 (with camouflage) in an effort to generate early reviews and discussion. This is likely the first step in the public marketing roll-out.

The Internet Debut

As is custom these days, MINI will likely release hundreds of images, video and full specifications before the car is seen in public. We’d guess that this is likely to happen in the early fall – likely sometime in October.

Public Debut

Rumors are swirling that MINI is planning an official unveiling of the F56 near the Oxford Plant in early November. This special event would be the first of its kind for MINI and could potentially follow successful launch events done by BMW at the Welt in Munich. Think of it as an Apple style special event.


Autoshow Debut

The first time the public will get a chance to see the new MINI will be at the LA Autoshow in the middle of November.

Dealer Events and the Final On-Sale Date

In most of the UK and Europe the F56 should hit dealers by December. However in the US we won’t get the car until likely February as production for the US specific variants ramp up. During the time between expect MINI USA and its dealers to coordinate launch events helping to show off the new car. Look for sales to begin in either late February or March of 2014.

  • lambdacalc

    Thanks for this terrific timeline!

    So, as a practical matter, how much longer will we be able to get an R56 JCW? Until at least the end of 2013/early 2014? Or will they stop production on those before then?

    Also, once the F56 becomes available, will MINI continue to make the R59 JCW?

    • Random MA

      Production of the R56 is almost done. At our dealership we only have 4 order spots left. Which means we will run out of HT to sell long before the new ones arrive. In regards to the R59, We have not heard of any changes to this yet.

    • It’s unclear how long they will produce the R56 as a JCW. However there’s a very good chance that it will go away with the rest of the R56 line-up.

      The R59 (and R55, R57, R58) will continue to be made in JCW form.

  • JM

    Do you think that Mini will present to us a show-car (teasing) to Frankfurt ? Is not their habit ?

  • Aurel

    Almost willing to bet we will see official photos long before October … they won’t be able to hold on that long.

  • Jason

    Slightly off topic regarding the launch, but will the F56 be offered with ventilated seats? Thought about it when getting in my car yesterday after it had been sitting out in the FL sun. Thanks.

  • Jason

    Slightly off topic regarding the launch, but will the F56 be offered with ventilated seats? Thought about it when getting in my car yesterday after it had been sitting out in the FL sun. Thanks.

    • les

      I know exactly what you mean Jason. Let’s hope so. Currently I don’t think you can get ventilated seats on a 3 series, and I would say we wont get them on the F56. One can hope though.

    • Chilly

      I couldn’t agree more! If they don’t then I’m definitely getting cloth – and hopefully they’ll have more options than black/charcoal!

    • Frank Granados

      Better yet, a more powerful and efficient A/C system. This has always been the achilles heel of the MINI. Although my BMW 328i does not have ventilated seats, the A/C system is extremely powerful and cools down the car very quickly. Having good air conditioning here in Florida is essential.

      • AMS

        I find that the day’s heat isn’t able to stick around very long once I put the top down…

      • ulrichd

        I don’t agree. I live in TX and have never felt the a/c in at the least the first gen cars (02-06) to be lacking. On really hot days I close the passenger side vent, putting more air through the center, and turn on recirc. Also I had the space cloth seats, that really help keep your backside cool and no sunroof.

        • Frank Granados

          I had 3 first gen MINIs, 2002 R50, 2004 R53, and 2005 R53. The A/C in the 2002 was pitiful at best. it could not handle temps above 80F and humidity in the 85-100% threshold. The A/C in the 2004 r53 was marginally better but it seemed more improved in the LCI 2005. Still, the A/C in the 2005 had a hard time handling temps above 90F which is the norm down here 9-10 months out of the year. The system was kept charged, cabin filter replaced yearly and never had any leaks. The A/C in the R55 ’08 Clubman S is a far better than the first gen cars. It is not “Chrysler” cold but it can handle our brutal heat/humidity. Now the A/C in my 2011 BMW beats them all and then some. That car has a superb A/C system, period.

        • Frank Granados

          I had 28% tints in the front and 15% tints in the rear quarter and hatch windows of my ’05 R53. No sunroof on any of my MINIs and the white roof should have been better at dissipating the heat. I love sunroofs but never got them in the MINIs mainly because they lacked a solid sunshade. That perforated shade is irritating and allows too much heat into the cabin. And no, tinting the sunroof glass was not enough incentive for me to get it.

    • Nope not this time around.


    I am extremely upset that they will not be debuting the F56 in Frankfurt. Many people in our club here were looking forward to being able to see it, I probably more so than others. It is a shame and I wish the would change their mind on this ignorant decision. I still cannot wait to see this car in person but now I will have to wait longer, that’s frustrating.

    • ulrichd

      I know, I was seriously considering a detour to the IAA during my fall Europe trip.

  • lambdacalc

    Gabe: Do you know what the chances are that MINI will make the awesome new yellow color we have seen in the spy shots available for the R59 Roadster once the new F56 Hatch is released?

    • Yes this is likely.

      • AMS

        Are you standing by your assertion that that’s Volcanic Orange?

        • Will you also be pledging no new taxes in your administration?

        • I don’t believe I’ve ever asserted that. If I did I was likely referring to the mirror caps on the camouflaged car above. And that was a guess. But given what I’ve heard Volcanic Orange is metallic and more true orange than the current orange.

        • AMS

          Yes, it was about the mirror caps, in the comments of this article:

          Isn’t the color of those mirror caps the same color featured in the Autoblog pics? In some pictures it looks sort of orange. In most, it looks very yellow. In all of them, it looks flat. Doesn’t seem like a good fit for your description, which is why I was asking if you still thought it was the new orange.

        • I would guess we haven’t see it yet. Sorry for the confusion.

        • God

          The F56 in the pictures is Volcanic Orange