I was told that on the launch date (1st week of June IIRC), it'll be only pre-specced cars - and each dealer's allocation for that whole month (June) will be pre-specced cars which arrive in time for the launch day. They're expecting two or three cars per dealership, based on number of orders, how well they've sold the MINI, whether they were really nice to Mr. BMW at Christmas, etc.
Thereafter, all of the cars can be built to the customer's spec (with the lmitations of what's in the brochure, of course - still cannot specify rhino-hide seats!). So the dealers' allocations in July, August etc will not be pre-specced cars (unless the dealers choose to spec them in a particular way themselves, but that's unlikely to happen while there are still long waiting lists).
So we're expecting to see two or three customer specced cars per month starting in July. Being number 6, I've been told (but with absolutley no guarantees or promises) that I could see my car in August, maybe September, July if I'm really, really lucky.
News is that these first cars - still on course for June launch AFAIK - will all be Dark Silver or Electric Blue.
I'm hoping that this is just a marketting ploy to put a lot of Cooper S cars on the road on launch day in the two exclusive colours, and that those of us that want a different colour will still be able to collect cars in July or August.
I don't know what I'd do if the choice was between a Cooper S *when* I want it, or a Cooper S *how* I want it.
On Friday 1st March, MINI Australia announced to a Melbourne prospective 'S' owner party that the first 75 'S' models will be pre-specced and in 'S' colours only.
This did not go down well, as you can imagine. Those of us who have been waiting a while will now see other people who have no colour preference drive away with their car months ahead of us.
This is the complete opposite of earlier rumours that Australia would not have pre-specced cars pushed onto us.
The continual delays and moving back of delivery dates along with the depressing news about the first lot of 75 is extremely disappointing, as I have had no communication from BMW/MINI Australia in this regard. All of this information has come from this site. I have been registered with MINI since July 1999, and the initial release date in Australia was to be March 2002, when both the Cooper and the Cooper 'S' would be released together. I put my name down because I wanted to get a MINI early, preferably the 'S', but this has now been pushed back 3 to 4 months, and my position on my dealer's list means that I won't see my 'S' for at least another 4 months after that.
It's a pity MINI didn't make this delay apparent to the 'S' purchasers earlier, as I would have ordered a Cooper initially to trade up to the 'S'. It's too late to do that now, and I'm cheesed off. Now I just have to wait.