For undetermined reasons MINI has delayed the official introduction of the new armrest until 2/05 production. Here's a bit of an explanation from an internal MINI UK release:

Due to a problem with the armrest the earliest introduction date for these options will be February 2005 but this date is still unconfirmed. Further details will be published via this medium when available.

Yes this is the “official” armrest that we've already posted a review and retrofit instructions on here at MotoringFile. It's odd that MINI would have released the first batch of production before deciding to delay official introduction.

Interesitngly the internal MINIUSA release below makes no mention of the delay:

Yes! The Center Arm Rest has finally come and it is a great looking piece with an internal storage bay. Plus, it is cleaverly designed to give easy access to the rear cup holder. Keep in mind that this will included in ZPP-Premium Pack for the convertibles at no additional cost.

  • 473 Center Arm Rest – Retail Price = $200

    Perhaps it's delayed due to the expected demand in the US? Just a though.