BMW News


A BMW X1 prototype has been caught again by Carpix, but unlike the previous tester caught on a flatbed, this one is rolling along on its own. At first glance, the next-gen BMW X1 prototype appears to an evolutionary change from the current model, but the small crossover will ride on a significantly different chassis when it arrives in showrooms in 2015.

As previously reported, the new X1 will be front-drive based, and will likely share much of its chassis with the next-generation Mini Countryman. All-wheel drive will be optional. Engine choices could include BMW’s two-liter turbo four, making at least 200 horsepower, or, in some markets, the 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-three already slated for the upcoming 1 Series GT and Mini Cooper. Don’t expect the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six to return due to new drivetrain layout. In Motor Trend's 2014 SUV of the year test the BMW X1 was found to have limited interior room, but the crossover’s platform change may help fix that issue in the next-gen model.

The switch from rear- to front-wheel drive could lower the BMW X1′s MSRP to better compete with other front-drive compact luxury crossovers like the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA. BMW enthusiasts may lament the inclusion of a front-drive car in the lineup, but the automaker is simply catering to customers who aren’t concerned about drivetrain layouts. In 2010, for example, BMW discovered that 80 per cent of 1 series owners thought their vehicle was front-drive. The survey likely helped BMW’s decision to include front-drive vehicles in its lineup, which, along with the next-gen X1, will soon include the 1 Series GT.––Paul Duchene