The next BMW X1 will mark a revolution for the German brand, as it prepares to create a winning recipe and a car aligned with the brand’s extensive electrification strategy. To do this, the X1 will move to an updated version of the current car platform, which will allow BMW to offer petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrids and a fully electric version of the Audi Q3 rival.
The X1 is BMW’s second most popular SUV and its fourth best-selling car worldwide, so this new car is really important in times of delays, interruptions and reduced deliveries around the fully automotive world.
The car, which has been spotted numerous times during its long development program, will debut in the second half of this year and will be sold in Britain before 2022. The starting price of the range is set to rise slightly from the current model’s £ 30,555, and the key to unlocking the new X1’s application will be a thorough modernization of the inside and outside of the car without any major space changes.
The current X1 is now BMW’s oldest SUV, and the firm’s entire passenger-car line-up is smaller than the soon-to-be-Axed i3 and almost replaced the 7 Series. As such, the concept of the X1 remains relatively unchanged and there is plenty to update. The new car will still be a compact premium SUV marketed as a more conventional and practical alternative to the Sportier-looking X2, which will be renewed in 2023.
The interior in particular will be significantly more advanced than the current car. The next X1 will feature BMW’s latest iDrive 8 system and the ‘Curved Display’ infotainment suite, which includes a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel blended with a 10.7-inch central display. The SUV will move away from the rotary dial input, however, only the touchscreen will be transferred to the user interface.
The exterior design, shown by Spy Shot and previewed in our exclusive images above, will incorporate the effects of the latest compact models from the German brand. Sharp lines and details, more angular headlights and tail-lights and larger kidney grills at the front will be introduced as part of the visual refresh. A slight increase in speed will give the car more appearance, with a boxer, taller and more attractive profile.
Under the new look will be the development of the front-wheel-drive architecture used by the current model. The new X1 will move to the FAAR platform, which is used by the new 2 Series Active Tourer and will support the next MINI Countryman.
The turbocharged three- and four-cylinder gasoline-powered light-hybrid-assisted combustion engine will make up most of the range, driving the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The UK line-up could probably start with the X1 sDrive20i, using a 168bhp 48-volt-assisted three-cylinder engine, coupled with a four-cylinder 48-volt option with 215bhp.
In contrast to its declining importance and popularity, the X1 will also retain diesel power, possibly using the latest iteration of the brand’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine from the new 2 Series Active Tourer. It develops 148bhp and should return to the economy in the high 50s.
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The two extremes of the X1 line-up will be represented by a high-performance model made with inputs from BMW’s M Division and an all-electric model called the iX1, which will compete with the likes of Mercedes EQA and Volvo XC40 Recharge. .
The expected X1 M35i’s spy shots hint at the sporty exterior styling with a wide track, low suspension and a quad exhaust setup. The model will take its running gear from the hottest version of the 1 Series hatchback, the M135i. If fitted with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine at least 302bhp and the XDrive as an all-wheel drive standard, a sub-five-second dash can be within reach of 0-62mph.
The combination of the powertrain of the all-electric iX1 model is less easy to predict, as we have yet to see a compact electric BMW model using the FAAR platform in production form. However, the company’s information on the capabilities of the FAAR platform has previously suggested a maximum range of 280 miles for a 60kWh underflow battery – enough to ensure that the iX1 will be competitive with its competitors.
Now read our BMW X2 xDrive25e plug-in hybrid model drive …