MINI Product Numbering System Explained

We’ve had quite a few emails lately from readers wanting a full explanation of MINI’s internal numbering system. R55, R56, R53, it can get a bit confusing if you’re relatively new to the MINI world so we figured a quick explanation might be order.

But before we get to the numbers, let’s take a second a explain the system. Like BMW, MINI names each of their cars with internal code names that are great for quickly referencing specific models. Typically the lower numbers are related to when the car was conceived as a potential product. The by-product can be a sneak peak into MINI’s early product planning.

Now, onto the list:

1st Generation New MINI (First Released 7/2001):

R50: MINI One & Cooper Coupe
R51: Proposed long wheelbase MINI (never released)
R52: MINI One, Cooper and Cooper S Convertible
R53: Cooper S Coupe (conceived after the One and Cooper)

2nd Generation New MINI (First Released 11/2006):

R55: MINI Clubman
R56: MINI One, Cooper, Cooper S Coupe
R57: MINI One, Cooper, Cooper S Convertible
R60: MINI’s soon to be released SAV

  • Ian F

    Additionally, my understanding is the “R” is meant to stand for “Rover” rather than the “E” designation the rest of the BMW line starts with.

    I used to know what the “E” stands for, but I forget… 🙁

  • iNomis

    E is “Entwicklung” from leftlanenews –

  • Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering why there wasn’t a different number for the One and Cooper.

  • Timothy

    R54? R01 through R49?

  • Avitor

    Weren’t there also “R” numbers for the classic Mini under Rover?

    Do these numbers follow a sequence from the Rover/British Leyland days?

    Do these have any sequential relation to the original Austin Drawing Office numbers like ADO15?

  • Jack07734

    OK I’ll ask what is a R54?

    Cheers, Jack

  • Hi Jack:

    Are you going to be on the live-listener-line for show 100? I hope so – we can catch up!


  • Jack07734

    With a formal invite how can i refuse.

    Cheers, Jack

  • Ken

    R58: JCW Works MINI perhaps?

  • R58: JCW Works MINI perhaps?

    No. Model numbers designate truly different cars with different chasis. The only exception being the original MCS and that’s only because it wasn’t initially concieved when the new MINI was in it’s initial planning stages. The R58 will be something much more interesting.

  • my dealer said that there will be a fourth model for the new gen MINI, a MINI crossover with AWD. this could be the R58. but then again, my dealer said a lot of things in the past that turned out to be wrong..

  • agranger

    I’ll echo Jack… What’s the R54? Is it the GP, perhaps?

  • The GP was the RE92.

  • Evan

    Just read that BMW has exhausted its own E designations, in use since 1968. They move onto F designations, the first of which is the the F01 which is the next 7 series.

    MINI has a long way to go before using up all of its R options…

    R58? That may be interesting, or an already dead concept….

  • goofytruax

    During MTTS my wife was chatting with the MINI VP and told him we have our third kid on the way and could they make a MINI that seats 3 in back. His answer was we have soming in the works that would make all Mom’s moving kids very happy.


    R50: MINI One & Cooper Coupe R51: Proposed long wheelbase MINI (never released) R52: MINI One, Cooper and Cooper S Convertible R53: Cooper S Coupe (conceived after the One and Cooper)

    ^^^^^^^ ???????????? R50: Mini (entry model/design Base)and cooper R51: N.A.S.+ JAP SPEC (very different from Europe R52: Diesel(toyota engine not released to NAS market) R53: Cooper S (diff bonnett, battery in boot) R54: Convertible, All variants R55: Clubman/Traveller R56: Gen2 including one, Cooper, S and Diesel R57: Gen2 Convertible R58: 2 seat Roadster (possibly MOKE) R59: Currently 4X4 concept at Spartanburg R60 Program remains property of MG Rover. MPV FYI R20-24: Rover 400 (and Honda Civic 1993)variants R25: Rover 45 (400 facelift rebrand) R30-34: Rover 200 Program built 1994 R35: Rover 25 (200 Rebrand facelift built 2000 R40-45: Rover 75 Program and variants inc. tourer

  • R52: Diesel(toyota engine not released to NAS market) R54: Convertible, All variants

    R58: 2 seat Roadster (possibly MOKE)

    MINIOXFORDENGINEER – I don’t know what to tell you. MINI’s internal parts system even uses the R52 for the current convertible. Perhaps it was changed to this when it went into production?

    BTW we’re hearing from very reliable sources that the R58 will definitely not be a Moke type of vehicle.

  • Bilbo Baggins

    I would love to see the R58 introduced as an AWD R56.

    Forget making a larger AWD vehicle. Stick with the engineering that has been done by Getrag and use the R56 chassis, keep it low and sporty. Now that would get me to buy another MINI.

  • Soradetj Bannavong

    Dear Mams/Sirs,

    I am considering to buy a MINI from a used car dealer. For me this is a very big decision in terms of money. I would very much appreciate your help.

    This man imports used cars from Japan; these include only some MINIs (based from the lettering on the bonnet).

    I seller is as confusing as I am as far as the year it is made and the history of the car that I am very fond of. I cannot tell what year it is made or whether it is a reliable car. I want to travel up and down the country and whether I should expect problems on the road or not.

    I can only say that they don’t seem so old. This car I want to buy has an automatic gearstick. The lettering at the front hood and back is “MINI”. Does the numbering “1,3.i” at the front side, beside both doors mean anything. I was told that this is a 1300 cc model and has an ordinary carburettor instead of having an electric “distributor”.

    Can you help telling me what year it is made. Or can you tell me what to look for to indicate the year and the model.

    I am looking forward to receiving your help asap. Please help!



  • Anders Svejgård

    This list is in desperate need of an update……..