Well, well, well, what do we have here? Excuse our surprise, but we cannot say that we were expecting to see the next generation of BMW’s X1 crossover make such an early appearance in front of our scoop photographer’s lens while it was being transferred between the carmaker’s testing facilities.
BMW’s smallest crossover to date, was only just updated in 2012, three years after it was launched on the market, at which point it was introduced for the first time in North America, but the Munich-based company is already deep into the development of its F48-codenamed successor.
The big news for the next X1 is that BMW will switch from the current car’s rear-wheel drive platform to the group’s new front-wheel architecture, dubbed UKL1, to be shared with a number of new cars, including all next generation Minis (hatch, Countryman etc.) and the upcoming 1-Series GT. So, unlike the current X1 that’s offered in rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, the new compact crossover will be available in front- and all-wheel drive versions.
The use of the UKL1 means that BMW will not offer the 2016 X1 with a six-cylinder engine, opting instead for a more comprehensive lineup of next generation four-cylinder diesel and petrol units, and quite likely, its new entry-level 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine range.
The prototype’s swirly plastic costume does its job to hide the car’s styling details, but at a first glance, the shape of the body seems more streamlined than the awkward looking and proportioned current X1.
We expect to see the new X1 to make its debut in 2015 with sales to begin in the same or the following year, depending on the region,
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoopS