Currently reading: 2016 BMW X1 PHEV spotted - first spy pictures
BMW will add a plug-in hybrid variant to its X1 SUV range towards the middle of next year, but it might not come to the UK

BMW's upcoming hybrid variant of the X1 SUV has been spotted testing for the first time ahead of a planned launch towards the middle of next year.

The regular X1 made its first public appearance at the recent Frankfurt motor show and goes on sale this autumn. At launch, the X1 will be powered by a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, but it's known that BMW is preparing a plug-in hybrid variant to add to the line-up and compete with the likes of Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV

We finally get behind the wheel of the second generation BMW X1, read our thoughts here

Autocar understands the new plug-in hybrid could make its debut as early as the Geneva motor show next March and that despite the growing demand for hybrids in Europe, it has not yet been decided if the X1 PHEV will come to this country.

Characterised by its charging port located on the forward flank, the X1 PHEV is understood to use a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine to power the front wheels, with a single electric motor driving the rear wheels.

The system - which was first seen on the original Active Tourer concept car of 2012 - has a combined power output of 190bhp and an electric range of almost 19 mile. It is claimed to return more than 130mpg.

Other styling changes made to this prototype include a new front bumper, which will likely be used to denote the hybrid X1 from the rest of the range. Given the fact that the X1 PHEV's batteries will need to be stored under the boot floor, expect usable storage space to decrease slightly from the 505 litres offered in the standard car.

The X1 PHEV will join BMW's growing range of hybrid products, including the 330e, X5 xDrive40e and 7 Series Hybrid.

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The BMW X1 is fine to drive, but buyers looking for premium feel may be better served by rivals' offerings

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