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.”