The new BMW X1 has been revealed as a proper compact SUV, with a new platform and new styling that turns it in to a proper member of BMW’s SAV family.
Still, whatever BMW’s reason for the early reveal, it lets us see that the the new X1 – which, by the time it arrives, will be the 2016 BMW X1 – has turned in to proper grown-up member of BMW’s SAV family, growing up from the current X1, that’s more like an Allroad than an SUV, and looking a great deal better for it.
That means a taller but shorter X1, with a proper ‘Baby X3’ look, with a more aggressive nose, contoured bonnet, bigger wheel arches, LED running lights and added cladding for a more purposeful look.
Under the skin, the new X1 gets the same UKL Platform that underpins the 2 Series Active Tourer (and will be put in to service in the 2016 MINI Countryman too) which means a transverse engine for a stubbier bonnet and FWD for the cheaper X1 models, although the more expensive versions get xDrive 4WD even if the front wheels are still the main driven ones unless things get slippery.
Suspension is lifted from the 2 Series too with MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link rear, with an M Sport suspension option, adaptive dampers and electro-mechanical Servotronic steering that’s floaty in town and weighty on the blat.
Under the bonnet, UK buyers will get a single petrol option with the with BMW’s 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol coming with 189bhp in the xDrive20i, with most of the focus on the diesel range.
That means an entry-level FWD sDrive18d with 148bhp from BMW’s new B47 2.0 litre diesel, 187bhp from the same engines but with 4WD in the X1 xDrive20d and 228bhp from the 4WD xDrive25d, with a standard eight-speed auto box for all models except the sDrive18d which gets a six-speed manual.
There will be more engine options turning up after launch, including the 3-cylinder 1.5 litre petrols from the 2 Series Active Tourer, a 3-pot diesel, a hybrid and, almost certainly, a performance version of the new X1 with perhaps more than 300bhp from the 2.0 litre petrol.
Suddenly, the BMW X1 stops being an odd little estate car with SUV pretensions, and turns in to a proper compact SUV. It should do wonders for sales.
The new BMW X1 will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September before going on sale. Prices will be revealed closer to the debut.