The MINI model designations began with R50 for the original, first generation hatchback MINI, for the MINI One and MINI Cooper. The MINI Cooper S carried the R53 designation.

The R** model numbering was inherited from the Rover Group, under whom much of the MINIs development and planning took place, before the Rover Group was sold by BMW, with the MINI (and Cowley Plant, now known as BMW Group Plant Oxford) being retained.

The full range of MINI model designations are as follows:

  • R50 - MINI Hatchback - First Generation - MINI One, One D and Cooper
  • R53 - MINI Hatchback - First Generation - MINI Cooper S
  • R52 - MINI Convertible - First generation - MINI One, Cooper, Cooper S
  • R56 - MINI Hatchback - Second Generation - All variants
  • R55 - MINI Clubman - All variants
  • R57 - MINI Convertible - Second Generation - All variants
  • R60 - MINI Countryman - All variants
  • R58 - MINI Coupe - All variants
  • R59 - MINI Roadster - All variants

The model designation is also known as the Series.