Small SUV / 4×4 are a good way for premium car makers to mop up the demand that exists for luxury SUVs, but which is stifled not only by the current financial troubles but also by Eco concerns. So making a prestigious 4×4 which doesn’t guzzle fuel and makes a passing nod to environmental concerns is a sensible niche to pursue.
BMW’s offering in this department is the new BMW X1 which is, in many ways, a 1-Series on stilts, although it has components in common with both the 1-Series and the 3-Series. It will be available in both 2WD and 4WD with engines ranging from a 1.8 litre 4-pot petrol to a 3.0 litre turbo-diesel with a 6-sped manual ‘box or an auto option.
These relatively undisguised photos from BMW are the first official shots that have no real subterfuge in them, and show the lines of the car pretty clearly. It seems to be a better looking car than the X3 (which isn’t all that great) and should appeal as an SAV to a younger crowd on a smaller budget, as well as those who still want the 4×4 convenience and the raised ride-height but in a more eco-friendly package.
Although these shots from BMW show the car clearly, we did report on a completely undisguised BMW X1 in April that was being used for a commercial shoot in Germany, so our regular readers will already have a good idea of what to expect. And we wonder if this is the only colour BMW thinks it looks good in. This car is the same colour as the car used in the commercial – a 1970s Chocolate Colour!
The BMW X1 starts production in the Summer, with an offical launch at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.