BMW X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance is the first luxury compact plug-in SUV, but it won’t come to the UK
7 September 2016

The BMW X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance, a plug-in hybrid version of the compact SUV, has been revealed for the Chinese market.

Revealed at the Chengdu Motor Show, the electrified X1 uses the same technology found in vehicles such as the 2 Series Active Tourer eDrive and will be built at the BMW Brilliance factory in Shenyang, BMW’s joint manufacturing facility with Brilliance Auto. BMW claims it is the first plug-in hybrid compact SUV in the luxury segment.

The X1 xDrive25LE iPerformance is powered at the front wheels by a 1.5-litre petrol engine and at the rear by an electric motor. Combined, they deliver 228bhp and 284lb ft, giving a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.4sec. BMW claims combined fuel economy of up to 157mpg and an electric-only cruising range of up to 37 miles. Its 35-litre petrol tank should give it an overall range of up to 391 miles. The electric-only mode functions up to 75mph.

A BMW spokesman said there were no plans to bring the plug-in X1 to the UK, as market needs were already covered by BMW’s existing EV and hybrid offerings.

Last month BMW stressed its commitment to developing new powertrain technologies as part of a focus on becoming a mobility provider and tech company rather than just a car maker. Global sales are rising for the group, with the X series of SUVs and the latest i cars performing particularly well. China is also a strong market, driving sales across Asia up by 7.3% in the first half of 2016.

BMW’s CEO Harald Krüger said last month: “Through May this year BMW recorded the strongest absolute growth in the premium segment of electric-powered vehicles. Moreover, in this period BMW nearly doubled the dynamic growth of the entire PHEV and BEV premium segment.”

Phill Tromans

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