The first generation MINI began production in 2001 (UK/Europe) with the original MINI ONE Hardtop/Hatch (R50). The MINI was introduced to the North American market in 2002 and continued until the first generation MINI Convertible ceased production in 2008. Non-convertible models of the first generation MINI (R53 Cooper, Cooper S and JCW) ceased production in 2006.

The R50 chassis distinction belongs to 2001-2006 MINI One (Mk I) and base model Cooper. The R52 chassis was used on convertible models of Cooper S and JCW from 2004-2008. The R53 chassis was used on the for hatchback models of the Cooper S and JCW from 2002-2006.

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