BMW is planning a radical engineering change for the second-generation X1 in 2015.
The new model will eschew the rear-wheel-drive platform of the current car in favour of a new front-drive architecture to be shared with future Minis and the groundbreaking new 1-series GT, which is set for a Paris motor show debut in September.
The decision to switch platforms is aimed at providing the next-generation BMW X1 with added packaging benefits and lower production costs, according to insiders.
They hint that the new small soft-roader will offer added interior accommodation over its predecessor, owing to a new space-saving transverse mounting of its engine.
And in a move that is set to provide valuable economies of scale they also indicate that the new X1 will share key elements, including many of its driveline combinations, with the second-generation Mini Countryman.
The new front-wheel-drive platform, known as the UKL (German for ‘Unter Klasse’ or ‘entry level’) structure, is being developed to underpin a whole range of new BMW Group cars, including the next generation of Mini models and a limited number of BMWs.