Cars Mini models nomenclature article header

Published on June 18th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair


Understanding MINI Nomenclature

It’s time for yet another nomenclature article. This time, we’re covering MINI. We’ve talked about how successfully BMW Group has handled their individual brands before, and part of that success comes down to how ubiquitous BMW-era MINI vehicles are. Ask any non-MINI fan to tell their vehicles apart and they may struggle to differentiate between generation and body type. A MINI is a MINI, and that makes them much easier to market in whichever market segment they’re aimed at.

That being said, there are enough types of MINIs on sale to do a nomenclature article, so here it is.

The first thing you need to look for is what Body Style the car in question is.

1. Body Style/Model

For MINIs, the Body Style is the model name. There are essentially 5 body style/models in the current range:

  • 3-door Hatch
  • 5-door Hatch
  • Convertible
  • Clubman
  • Countryman

While the first three are easy enough to understand, the last two are basically MINI’s take on ‘Station Wagon’ (Clubman) and ‘Crossover SUV’ (Countryman).

MINI 3-Door Hatch, the classic shape
MINI 5-Door Hatch, the extended edition of the classic
MINI Convertible, 2 doors, no roof
Clubman – the ‘wagon’ of the MINI range
Countryman – the crossover of the MINI range

Now that you know what MINI model you’re looking at, it’s time to understand what’s powering the thing.

2. Powertrain Option

There are a few powertrain options in the MINI range. Here’s what they’re called:

  • One
  • Cooper
  • Cooper D
  • Cooper S
  • John Cooper Works (JCW)
  • Plug-in Hybrid

Here’s roughly what each of those entail:

  • One – 1.5L turbocharged petrol, inline 3, 102hp
  • Cooper – 1.5L turbocharged petrol, inline 3, 136hp
  • Cooper D – 2.0L turbocharged diesel, inline 4, 150hp
  • Cooper S – 2.0L turbocharged petrol, inline 4, 192hp
  • John Cooper Works (JCW) – 2.0L turbocharged petrol, inline 4, 231hp/306hp + performance mods
  • Plug-in Hybrid – 1.5L turbocharged petrol, inline 3 + electric motor, 224hp


  1. Newer JCW models get 306hp (Clubman, Countryman), older ones output 231hp (3-door Hatch, Convertible). JCW models are more than just powertrain options, many mechanical components are swapped for performance alternatives.
  2. The MINI Countryman has optional ALL4 (all-wheel drive) on each powertrain and a Plug-in Hybrid option as well
JCW range MINI Nomenclature
The JCW range

Here’s which powertrains are available for each of the current MINI models:

3. Aesthetic Package

Finally, there’s the aesthetic package. Three are available on all*** current MINI models:

  • Classic
  • Sport
  • Exclusive

Classic is the budget-oriented look, with thicker spoked rims, standard seats and a standard steering wheel.

Sport is the performance-oriented look, with a JCW steering wheel, JCW seats, JCW rims, JCW bodykit, and JCW sill finishers

Exclusive is the luxury-oriented look, with MINI Yours leather steering wheel, leather seats, fibre alloy interior inlays, a 6.5” screen, dual tone rims, and chromed exterior.

***In some markets, you can mix and match these with other options. JCW-specced models have their own exclusive kits, which are quite like the Sport package

Now you know how to identify and choose MINIs. Pass this article on if you like it!

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑