BMW hopes to win the hearts and pockets of compact SUV buyers with its second (and more modern) take on the X1 that we spied testing both on the Nürburgring and in Northern Sweden.
Speaking with UK magazine Autoexpress, BMW’s head of design, Karim Habib, said that the new X1 will be funkier to look at and sportier to drive than the outgoing model, despite being based on the German firm’s versatile UKL1 front-drive architecture that also offers the option of all-wheel drive.
“The next X1 will be on the new [UKL1] platform,” said Habib. “This has been referred to as the front-wheel-drive platform, but actually enables a lot of all-wheel-drive possibilities. We’ve realized that platform allows us proportions that – for small X cars – can give you more ‘X-like’ proportions than the current X1. And in that sense I think it looks sportier because it looks more like an X car.”
Asked by the publication if the new X1’s looks are tuned towards a younger crowd, Habib said: “I don’t think it’ll alienate the current X1 drivers, but on the other hand I really do think it’s going to be a very mature product; a bit more rounded.”
From the spy pictures of the camouflaged prototypes as well as a couple of sneak peeks from China recently, it seems that the 2016 X1 will have a more streamlined / digestible appearance than the awkwardly designed and proportioned current model that was based on the underpinnings of the E91 3-Series Touring.
Another significant change for the second-generation X1 will take place under the hood where it will stop offering a straight-six engine. Instead, it will borrow the powertrain lineup of the related 2-Series Active Tourer with a range of 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol and diesel mills, all turbocharged, and paired to either 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmissions.
A plug-in hybrid model with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor producing around 190-horses is also believed to be under development, as BMW teased this drivetrain in the original Active Tourer concept in 2012.
The BMW design boss said that we’re going to see a prototype version of the new X1 this summer, with the final production model to follow in the coming months.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops