From 1 January 2005, BMW’s MINI will be available with a number of new options including a new automatic transmission.

For the first time, the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper S Convertible will be offered with a six-speed automatic transmission that includes Steptronic mode and Steptronic paddles on the steering wheel as standard. Unlike the MINI One and MINI Cooper Continuously Variable Transmission system, this new automatic transmission has fixed gear ratios which result in quicker gear changes and a dynamic driving experience tuned specifically to match the MINI Cooper S’ sporty character.

This new automatic transmission also features AGS (Adaptive Transmission Control). AGS allows the transmission to adapt in accordance with the driver’s driving style. For example, the transmission will build the revs for longer before changing gear if it ‘knows’ the driver enjoys driving to the car’s limits. The automatic transmission is priced at £1,050.

MINI One, MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper Convertible will keep the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Steptronic, but the option will also include Steptronic paddles on the steering wheel. CVT works without a specific gearing ratio that results in it being continuously variable. It can adapt constantly to the driving environment to hand, offering both smooth in town gear changes and more dynamic transmission slots when the driver chooses to enjoy a meandering B-road. The CVT transmission is priced at £1,050.

MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper S Convertible will also have the option of a limited slip differential. The limited slip differential increases traction resulting in improved handling and increased stability. It also ensures that the threshold for Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is increased benefiting enthusiastic drivers as they seek to wring the full performance out of their MINI. The limited slip differential is priced at £100 or is fitted as standard if a CHILI pack is specified. It is only offered in conjunction with a manual transmission.

17″ 5-Star BULLET light alloy wheels, previously only available on MINI Convertible models, will be offered on all other MINIs in the range. This wheel becomes standard for any MINI Cooper S ordered with a CHILI pack from January onwards. Customers have the option of keeping the 17″ S-Spoke alloy (previously standard with a CHILI pack) if desired.

17″ WEB Spoke light alloy wheels are new two-piece bolted alloys that will be available on all models in the MINI range. Pricing starts at £480 to £1,600 depending on model selected and level of specification.

Further changes have been made to existing options:

The content of the visibility package will be increased to include automatic ‘headlight-on’ sensor. Priced at £220, the package also includes automatic dimming rear view mirror, rain sensor and heated front windscreen.

Satellite Navigation will be expanded to include a single CD player and TMC (Traffic Message Channel) as standard. TMC is an advanced traffic warning system that not only gives visual and verbal warnings of impending traffic problems but can also re-route the driver to avoid the delay. To reflect the additional specification level, Satellite Navigation will be increased in price from £1,410 to £1,650, or £1,550 if ordered in conjunction with a SALT, PEPPER or CHILI pack.

All MINI models will benefit from a change to the capacity of the washer bottle. The bottle has been increased in size by 0.4 litres to approximately 2.5 litres. In addition, an orange warning lamp will be situated on the right hand indicator stalk to advise drivers when their washer fluid is running low. As a result, the security alarm lamp that is currently positioned on the right hand indicator stalk will move to the left hand indicator stalk.

New Accessories
MINI has introduced a retrofit leather seat upgrade kit ideal for customers who wish to upgrade their own MINI or have bought a used MINI with cloth seats but would prefer leather. The kit fully upgrades both the front and rear seats. An added advantage for MINIs fitted with standard seats is that upgrading to leather seats also includes the addition of sports seats. The retrofit leather seat kit is priced at £1,450 plus three hours fitting time. For a further £100 the heated seat option can also be added.

Three trims are available:

Mono – only available in Panther Black.
Twin – Panther Black edge with either Chili Red or Lapis Blue in the middle of the seat.
Stripes – Panther Black with two coloured stripes running through the seat in either White, Grey or Chili Red.