With all the recent MotoringFile coverage of the 2006 model year last week focusing on the bigger stories, I thought it might be helpful to recap a few of the less talked about additions on the options list for the US. At the same time it might also be worth mentioning some of the new 2006 options that won’t be making it across the pond that have recently been mentioned.

Let’s begin with a few of the new 2006 US market options that may have flown under the radar over the last week:

New wheels – the 15″ Delta Spoke, the 16″ Bridge Spoke, and the 17″ Flame Spoke (aka Horse-shoes). All of these wheels come from the special editions available elsewhere in the world, however in the US, they will be dealer and factory options. In the case the Flame Spokes, they will also be available in the Checkmate special options package.

Speaking of wheels, the 15″ Rocket Wheel (currently standard on the Cooper Convertible) will now be available on the Cooper hardtop. And for fans of the 15″ Holey wheels, you can breath a little easier. They are not going away for 2006 as earlier reported.

The new silver stripes will also be a factory and dealer option available outside of the new Checkmate special options package in the US. They will be available on both the Cooper and Cooper S starting with 10/05 production.

It may also be worth mentioning that if you’re looking at the new silver roof option, know that you won’t be able to order traditional black or white stripes from the factory. The silver roof will only have the option of the new silver stripes. Of course if you’re determined to challenge MINI’s ordering authority, you can still get the black or white stripes on any car at the dealer level.

The US market will receive a few other bits and pieces from the new special editions. It looks as if the US will be getting both the MINI Seven and Park Lane dashboard designs. You can check both dashboards out at the international MINI website (but remember – we won’t get anything but the dash!): [ MINI Park Lane ] [ MINI Seven ]

As mentioned in story last week, MINIUSA will also be offering one other key Park Lane option – the Panther Black “English Leather” seats (front and back). MINIUSA will apparently make the seats available as an option across the entire range. It will be a premium seat and most likely priced accordingly.

For information on the new 2006 colors, the Checkmate special options package and the tentatively planned JCW factory option, check out a few of the stories posted on MotoringFile posted just last week.

Now, let’s talk a bit about what the US market won’t be getting.

We wrote about it last week but it’s probably worth mentioning again; the US won’t be getting the new Recaro seats (seen here) that will be available elsewhere in the world.

The special editions MINI One Seven, MINI Cooper Park Lane and MINI Cooper S Checkmate will also not be coming to the US. It would seem MINI is keen to let customer configure their own cars while making available some of the nicer bits of each of these packages. In other words they’ve learned the lesson of the MC40.

The white rear turn signals available on the new special editions (and also as dealer options) will not be coming to the states. Apparently these are not DOT approved for the US market and MINI has no plans to change that.

The MINI Se7en seating will not be coming along with the Park Lane or MINI Se7en graphics.

MINIUSA will continue to not offer the old style two-spoke steering in the US wheel despite some of the special edition press photos we might have seen lately. These photos were meant for other markets where the wheel is still available.

Oh and what about that rumored light-weight Cooper S you ask? Well we have yet to confirm anything about the car let alone whether or not it will make it across the pond. Hopefully we’ll hear more soon.

Finally it’s also worth mentioning that most of these new options will not able available until 10/05 production. It’s important to check with your dealer for all the details if you’re looking to order an early production 2006 MINI.

Will have more info and official pricing in the weeks and months ahead!