With BMW introducing the new MINI late this year, there have been lots of questions from MotoringFile readers about future availability of both the new and current car. With some recently received information we are now able to give a more accurate view of 2006 and early 2007 production.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, the next generation MINI hardtop will begin production in September of 2006. However our sources are indicating that this initial production will be meant mainly for Europe. In fact we’re hearing that the the US market won’t see the new 2007 MINI until as late as January with an official launch in early February.

What cars will be on US dealer lots this fall you ask? Well for one the current convertible will continue in production for at least another year before being replaced (more below). So that means that it will be in stock and available throughout the model change over this fall. Furthermore the MINI plant will be producing the current hardtop car (the R50/R53) in good numbers throughout September and October and even a few in November. These cars will make it across the pond and to US dealers by October and November. The hope is that this will close the gap between the end of the current MINI and the start of sales for the 2007 MINI. The current hardtop MINI’s production should cease altogether in November of 2006. It’s worth noting that these last R50s and R53s will be pre-specced.

So what does that mean for the folks in the US who want in on the last model year of the current hardtop? Read this article for all the details.

Here’s a break-down of availability for each of the three body styles:

The R50/R53 hardtop (2001-2006)
Production continues until November with the last couple of months mainly meant for the North American market. Production ends completely in November 2006. The last month or so of production meant for the North American market will be pre-specced


The R52 convertible (2004-2007)
Production continues unchanged until 2008 when an R56 based convertible should arrive.

R56 hardtop (2006-?)
Production starts in September for Europe and late 2006 for North American markets.