BMW have revealed an all-new generation of their most compact SUV/crossover, or Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) as they might insist, the X1. Aside from a new exterior and interior design, there’s now a fully electric variant called the iX1.
Designated the U11, this 3rd-generation X1 replaces the F48 that’s been around since 2015, bringing with it a refreshed look that reflects the Munich automaker’s current design direction. Upon this initial announcement, the range consists of the xDrive23i, the sportier xDrive30e M Sport plug-in hybrid, and the all-electric iX3 xDrive30.
New Platform, New All-Electric iX1
Of course there is a substantially larger kidney grille at the nose, but besides this the exterior surfacing has been made a little more squared for a chunkier look that’s amplified by more noticeably flared wheel arches, plenty of gloss black (Shadowline?) trim accents, and flush door handles.
That said, it still overall resembles an X1 so far as its side profile goes while the rear end echoes the 1 Series (F40). Inside is where things get a bit more dramatic where the X1 has clearly been brought up to snuff with its more recent stablemates.
BMW FAAR Platform
It sits upon BMW’s newer FAAR platform as opposed to the F48’s UKL2 underpinnings enabling broader support for electrified powertrains. As before, it will lock horns with rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40.
With an overall length of 4,500mm, width of 1,845mm, and height of 1,642mm, the all-new X1 is expectedly larger than its predecessor, though not by much. More pertinent is its lengthened wheelbase (by 22mm) and 31mm wider track, all contributing to a more voluminous interior.
Complete Interior Revamp
Greeting the driver and passengers is a completely restyled cabin with an elegantly tiered dashboard as its focal point. Perched above that is the dual-screen iDrive infotainment and digital driver’s display framed within a curved panel.
Presumably, much of the physical controls have been replaced by the iDrive system running BMW Operating System 8. The centre tunnel is also something new from the brand, featuring a multi layer storage area, vertically mounted wireless smartphone charger. A new miniaturised gear shift lever and rotary iDrive controller sit atop a freestanding console.
We’ll expect the powertrain spread to include plenty of returning turbocharged small capacity engines from the automaker’s existing arsenal, albeit with the majority of them standing to integrate a 48V mild-hybrid system to improve efficiency and low-speed responsiveness. All of which would be mated to an 8-speed automatic sourced from Aisin.
The PHEV of the bunch, the X1 xDrive30e, uses a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo-petrol paired with an electric motor to produce a stout combined output of 326hp and 477Nm. By contrast, the electric iX1 xDrive30 – which you can tell apart by its enclosed grille and blue themed accents – is powered by a pair of electric motors for all-wheel drive, delivering a combined output of 313hp and 494Nm, needing just 5.7 seconds to reach 100km/h.
iX1: BMW’s Entry EV
It utilises a 64.7kWh lithium ion battery that BMW claims can deliver a range up to 438km based on the WLTP cycle. The iX1 supports AC charging up to 22kW and DC fast charging at a rate of up to 130kW which could theoretically bring the iX1 from 10% to 80% capacity in 29 minutes.
The automaker expects the combustion-powered X1 variants to hit showrooms internationally closer to the end of Q3 2022 with the iX1 and plug-in hybrid xDrive30e to follow around November. Closer to home, we’ll keep our ear to the ground as to when BMW Malaysia might be launching the new model locally.