Ahead of its official debut in Frankfurt scheduled for later this year, BMW has revealed details on the all-new second generation X1. The exterior looks largely unchanged, but the X1 rides on an all-new platform. As expected, gone is the rear-wheel-drive platform as the X1 is now built around the Mini-based UKL front-wheel-drive platform – making it North America’s first Bimmer to do so.

Yes, BMW’s have long since been synonymous with rear-wheel-drive ultimate driving machines, but it’s also 2015 and honestly, the majority of buyers shopping around in the ultra-compact crossover segment won’t be too bothered by the change in platforms (nor the loss of the ability to rip doughnuts with a stab of the go-pedal), and most will welcome the change to the more economical platform – mounting the engine transversely equals more cabin room, better fuel economy and lessened NVH. Another reason to keep calm and drive on is to remember the X1s are all xDrive-equipped. Looking at it this way, sharing the UKL platform with Mini makes perfect sense for the new X1.


Apparently, for North America, we’ll be losing the availability of the six-cylinder xDrive35i. The X1 will only be available in xDrive28i form for us when it’s launched in the autumn, with a possible front-wheel-drive sDrive version to follow.

Power for the xDrive28i comes courtesy of the 2L turbo-four pushing 228 hp. Sending power to all four wheels will be an eight-speed autobox. As usual, engine options include all sorts of downsized gasoline units and of course, neat diesel choices for the European markets will have the choice of buying their X1s with a third pedal and six-speed manual box.

Inside, back seat passengers will be happy with the extra 37mm of knee room. The X1’s utility factor increases with an added 85 litres of space in the trunk. Available options, new for 2016 model include full LED headlights, Dynamic Damper Control, BMW’s excellent heads-up display, and the Driving Assistant Plus system. The abundance of new features and specifications help ready the X1 continue its urban warfare with the likes of the Audi Q3, Lexus NX and the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

One of the benefits to the ultra-compact crossover segment is that driving dynamics are far more car-like than they are SUV or truck-like and if pricing for the new X1 remains inline with its competitors, you can expect the X1 to be a hit for our market.

Check out the European press release on the next page.


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