Mini Chassis ‘r’ Designations

We’ve had quite a few questions lately from customers 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, on to the list:

1st Generation New MINI (First Released 7/2001):
2001-2006 R50: MINI One & Cooper Coupe
2004-2008 R52: MINI One, Cooper and Cooper S Convertible
2001-2006 R53: Cooper S Coupe (conceived after the One and Cooper)

2nd Generation New MINI (First Released 11/2006):
2007-NOW R55: MINI Clubman
2006-NOW R56: MINI One, Cooper, Cooper S Coupe
2009-NOW R57: MINI One, Cooper, Cooper S Convertible
2010-NOW R60: MINI’s soon to be released SAV
2012-NOW R61: MINI Paceman

The next generation MINI due out in late 2012, the MINI hatch (the basis for an entire range of models), has been given the code-name F56. What does that mean for the the car and for MINI? Quite a bit really.

First off, that means that the current R generation of MINIs are dead- or, more specifically, MINI’s days of having it’s own unique code-naming structure within the BMW Group is likely ending. For those that don’t know BMW, all BMW models are moving to the new F nomenclature from 2009 to 2013. And this sign of MINI’s most important model following that trend seems to be yet another sign that the next generation MINI will be co-developed with a front wheel drive BMW.

We expect both the small front wheel drive BMW and MINI to share not only engines but also the upcoming and extremely versatile UKL1 platform (hence the similar code-name structure). Better engineering and more drivetrain options available to MINI are just a few pluses to this new plan.