This is an overview of what changes we'll see on the 2005 MINI. For US specific information see this article: MINIUSA Announces 2005 Spec.

Since we seem to be getting details weekly and at times daily on the upcoming changes to the '05 model year MINI I thought I'd post something that I could keep updated as more information becomes available.

As is widely know the MINI will be getting a freshening for the 2005 model year. This freshening will encompass a number of things:

    mc cabrio

  • A convertible offered in One (not available in the US), Cooper, and Cooper S form. Available in the US for test drive in mid-August. Some cars will be delivered to customers then but the official on-sale days in the US is September 1.
    The top is designed to incorporate a “sunroof” feature. The first 16 inches of the soft top slides open and closed along the top rails just like a sunroof and can be operated at speeds of up to 75 miles-per-hour (first shown in Autoexpress and MotoringFile almost a full one and half years before it's introduction). For info on the convertible see this article:Cabrio In Depth. For tons of pics and info do a search for Cabrio in the top right of this site.
  • New colors: Cool Blue, Hot Orange (both Cabrio only), Black Eye Purple (called Purple Haze in the US), Astro Black (deep blueish black) and Hyper Blue (initially only on the MCS). Electric Blue will now be available across the range. Indie Blue goes away.
  • New map lights, door opener lamps and exit/entry lamps under the door casings (first seen with the intro of the convertible
  • New Octogon Cloth, Dragon Cloth, and Octogon Cloth/Leather seating
  • Standard One and Cooper seats now with larger side bolster.


  • Rod antenna standard – carries both satellite, telephone and radio functions. This means that there is no more shark fin.
  • Larger interior rear mirror. (as discussed previously)
  • Optional Anthracite Headliner (dark grey)
  • New storage areas under the toggles and e-brake. (as discussed previously)
  • Clock moves from the headliner just next to the mileage read-out.
  • Larger rear cupholder. (as discussed previously)
  • Extra sun visor integrated into the drivers side. (as discussed previously)
  • The interior in both cars will see some tweaking in several areas. First off the dash moves from a 5 piece unit to a three piece one. Secondly there will be a gauge package offered that moves to the location of the current speedo (the speedo moves next to the tach). This will only be an option and doesn't signal any sort of permenant move for the speedometer. The clock will be moving to the center speedo and the in it's place will be revised interior lighting. Finally there will be an optional chrome package – higher quality than the current aftermarket sets out there. See this thread for more details: 2005 Interior Revealed
  • In-dash CD player with MP3 CD playback. (rumored for last year – finally see light of day in 2005)
  • Powerfold side mirrors – available in Japan for 2004 finally make their way elsewhere. (not for the US however)
  • Headlights will be redesigned as well for 2005. The biggest change will be the switch from standard to projector beam lighting for the optional xenon lights. From this picture we can cleary see the change in the MINI's unmistakable face with this addition.
  • The Cooper will come standard with a Getrag 5-speed replacing the previous Midlands Unit. You can read more here: Getrag for the 2005 Cooper
  • A new key will be introduced with the Cabrio and then make it's way to the rest of the line-up for the 2005 model year. The new design will feature three buttons and will function similar to the current BMW 3 series key. You see a photo and read more here.
  • Interior color trim (matching the exterior of the car but only available for four colors – different from the MCS to the MC)
  • New wheels for the Cabrio, two new wheels or the entire MINI range, and a new version of the R90. The new variation of the R90 will be standard on the MC40 and available as an option from August forward. The 18″ JCW wheels will finally be available in the US starting in March of 2004. To see the new set of cabrio wheels along with the other two optional choices check out this article from past November: Three New Wheels for 2005
  • Cooper S now with a revised supercharger, revised exhaust system, and new ECU – 170hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is increased to 138mph and 0-60 times should improve slightly as well. The MCS also has shorter gearing in 3rd, 4th and 5th gears for quicker acceleration. (as discussed previously)
  • One and Cooper now with a Getrag 5-speed with shorter gearing for quicker accelerations. The Cooper will also have a slight increase of torque as well.(as discussed previously)
  • The 2005 Cooper Facelift (as shown above). The facelift entails both front and rear light redesigns as well as a complete reworking of the chrome line trim – removing the chrome from the front bumper and replacing it a smaller chrome strip that runs across the lower air intake. Further, and possibly in an effort to match the current level of chrome, the designers have chosen to outline the front foglights in chrome as well. Also upfront we see the secondary lights are now more flush with the bumper and appear to be slightly larger than before. The lower black piece on the bumper now has a bit of contour to it where there was none before (actually reminding me of the upcoming 2005 M5). It, along with the shape of the lower grille, seems to lend itself to a more aggressive look. Look for these changes to be introduced early fall of 2004. For plenty of pics check out our Cabrio gallery.

    Around back we see more design changes. First off the rear fogs move to where the reverse light had been previously. Further the light clusters are cleaned up a bit design wise and the yellow turn indicator lights have been reduced probably in an effort to follow current automotive fashion trends.

    Interestingly the rear retains the small bumps on the back which will continue to be part of the chrome line trim option on the MC. The lower black portion seems to borrow some design cues from the current crop of BMW M cars (as does the lower front spoiler mentioned previously). To see all these changes check out the the cabrio gallery: here

  • The 2005 MINI Cooper S facelift. The MCS will see a much more subtle reworking for 2005. The main changes we'll see are to be both the front and rear lights which will be the same as what currently seen on the Cooper Cabrio and the revised grille as seen on the Cooper.
  • Also look for a tweaking of the interior design below the toggle switches with the addition of some much needed storage space as well as a true center console below the ebrake. You can see them both clearly here and here.
  • New accessories! …you can find out more about new accessories that are coming this spring and summer from MINI here.
  • We'll also see a full line of JCW accessories later in 2004.