The new BMW X1 - previewed by the Concept X1 at the Paris Motor Show – will be offered in both four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive configurations when it goes on sale in 2010, according to BMW insiders.
BMW has previously resisted producing two-wheel drive versions of its SUVs, but the company believes that weight savings and efficiency gains will persuade buyers to accept a rear-drive only version of the X1. The company is expected to offer the rear-drive X1 with four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines.To differentiate it from the four-wheel drive X1, BMW is planning to introduce a new ‘sDrive’ badge. This will lead to a complicated naming structure, with model names like the BMW X1 18isDrive.Larger-engined versions of the X1 will have four-wheel drive as standard, and will wear the same xDrive badge as the X5 and X6. Turbocharged four and six cylinder engines will be offered with the 4x4 drivetrain, including an uprated version of BMW’s 2.0-litre twin-turbo common rail diesel which will produce ‘well over 220bhp’ according to our insider. The production X1’s looks will be very similar to those of the X1 Concept, and are inspired by those of the bigger X3 and X1. Premium manufacturers are expecting that the compact SUV segment will grow as demand for larger off-roaders weakens. Land Rover will introduce its sub-Freelander LRX in 2010, Audi is working on a Tiguan-based Q3 and Mercedes is set to spin a compact ‘GLC’ off the next-generation B-Class.The X1 is based on the same platform as the 3-series, and will be built alongside it at BMW’s Leipzig plant in Germany.