BMW collaborates with Chinese firm Brilliance to establish new 'Zinoro' brand; the first prototype spotted could be based on an X1

Spy shots have revealed what appears to be a BMW X1-based crossover from Zinoro.

The brand, a result of the collaboration between BMW and Chinese manufacturer Brilliance, was reputed to be basing its first models on BMW's E90 3-series saloon and X1. 

Compared to a normal X1, the prototype vehicle has a different grille, headlights, bumper and other minor styling tweaks. The rear end of the prototype was heavily disguised, concealing any updates.

It's thought that Zinoro's cars will be all-electric and, initially, that they will only be offered in China. They will be sold through unique dealerships with no direct link to BMW.

Zinoro's cars will also focus on practicality and comfort, in order to distance them from the more sports-orientated BMW offerings.

Various tie-ups have appeared recently, as foreign maufacturers attempt to gain a foothold in the lucrative and rapidly expanding Chinese market.

Rivals include Nissan, which has collaborated with Dongfeng to create the Venucia brand, and Mercedes-Benz, which partnered with BYD to form Denza.

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