BMW's new small soft-roader spied during development testing
3 April 2009

This is the new BMW X1, snapped by our spy photographers during development testing ahead of the car’s launch in November this year.

The BMW X1 is the fourth model in BMW’s off-roader line-up, slotting in beneath the X6, X5 and X3. It is aimed at high-spec versions ofthe Ford Kuga and VW Tiguan.

The X1 is close in size to the X3, but is 112mm shorter, 64mm narrower and a significant 139mm lower. The next-generation X3 is also expected to grow in size, differentiating it further from the smaller X1.

Despite the disguise, the pictures clearly show that the production version of the BMW X1 is virtually unchanged from the concept version first shown at last year’s Paris show, right down to the large grille and a profile that’s strongly reminiscent of the X3's.

Read more on the BMW X1

The underpinnings for the BMW X1 come from the four-wheel-drive version of the BMW 3-series (not available in the UK). Powering the X1 will be a 168bhp 2.0-litre petrol unit, labelled xDrive20i, or a 175bhp common-rail diesel, called xDrive20d.

BMW’s excellent 268bhp 3.0-litre straight six, and 245bhp 3.0-litre turbodiesel engines will also eventually be available, but are not confirmed for the UK.

Matt Rigby

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