The new BMW X1 will launch in the fourth quarter of 2015, and will be both smaller and lighter than the current model. The car features a new platform, a revised engine range and various weight savings.

A high-ranking BMW manager has confirmed that the new X1, known under the codename F48, will abandon the longitudinal engine layout of the existing model for a version of the transverse engine arrangement of the new 2-series Active Tourer.

He said: “The next X1 will be slightly smaller externally but offer similar interior space to the first-generation model. The decision to base it on a new platform structure shared with the 2-series Active Tourer will also make it lighter than the model it replaces.”

The X1’s slight reduction in overall dimensions will allow BMW to widen the gap between the X1 and X3 in readiness for a new X2 model in 2017.

Conceived along the lines of the forthcoming X4 and second-generation X6, the X2 is described as a more sporting variant of the new X1, with which it will share its platform, engines and interior fittings.     

Power for the new X1 and X2 will come from a range of turbocharged three-cylinder and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. They range in capacity from 1.5 to 2.0 litres and are also used in the 2-series Active Tourer.

The engines will channel their reserves to all four wheels via either a standard six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic gearbox. Unlike the new 2-series Active Tourer, the new X1 is not planned to be sold in front-wheel-drive guise.

A transverse engine mounting rules out the use of BMW’s in-line six-cylinder engines in the new X1 and X2. However, separate sources have revealed that BMW is developing a powerful new turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol unit with an output in the region of 300bhp.This would allow BMW to rival the 296bhp Audi Q3 RS and 355bhp Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG.