2016 BMW X1 revealed

3rd Jun 2015 4:38 pm

New model based on the UKL front-wheel drive platform, unlike the outgoing rear-wheel drive model.

BMW has revealed the new X1 four months prior to its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2015. It goes on sale internationally later this year, and is based on the front-wheel-drive UKL platform that also underpins cars from sister-brand Mini.

A more compact transverse engine layout replaces the longitudinal arrangement, leading to more interior space and improved safety credentials. Engine options in the international markets include a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in two states of tune and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel in three outputs.

The 2.0-litre petrol unit is tuned to deliver 189bhp and 28.5kgm in the X1 sDrive20i, and 228bhp and 35.7kgm in the more powerful xDrive25i. The 25i has a claimed 0-100kph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 235kph. The diesel engine, codenamed B47, replaces the N47 unit used by the previous X1. It delivers 148bhp and 33.6kgm in the sDrive18d; 187bhp and 40.8kgm in the xDrive20d, and 228bhp and 46kgm in the xDrive25d. In the future, BMW is likely to add the three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines that do duty in the Mini Cooper, to the X1’s engine line-up.

The entry-level X1 sDrive18d is the only model to receive a standard six-speed manual gearbox. All other new X1 models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which, in combination with the optional Driver Experience Control, includes a coasting function that disengages the clutch when you lift off the throttle at speeds between 50 and 160kph as standard.

The X1 sDrive18d and sDrive20i come as standard with front-wheel drive, while the others — the xDrive20i, xDrive25i, xDrive20d and xDrive25d — all get four-wheel drive as standard. BMW claims the four-wheel drive system used by the new X1 is considerably lighter and boasts a 30 percent reduction in torque losses, over the older arrangement for added fuel savings and greater traction in off-road conditions. Among the long list of standard driving aids on all models is DSC (dynamic stability control), DTC (dynamic traction control) and CBC (cornering brake control).

The new X1 is 4,439mm long, 1,821mm wide and 1,598mm tall. This makes it 36mm shorter, 21mm wider and 53mm taller than the outgoing model. The wheelbase has been increased by 90mm.
The new X1 now uses more components made from hot-formed high-strength steel and aluminium within the main body structure. It also uses tailored bland steel for the front bulkhead and B-pillars, and an aluminium bonnet. As a result the weight has dropped. For example, the entry-level, sDrive 18d is 135 kg lighter.

The BMW X1 has a MacPherson strut up front and a multi-link suspension in the rear. This is linked to an electro-mechanical speed-sensitive Servotronic steering system that alters steering feedback with changes in speed. The new model comes with adjustable dampers and an optional function that enables shifting between Sport and Comfort suspension settings, along with Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro driving modes.

The new X1 has a more defined front end, angular headlights with LED DRLs and circular fog lamps. The contoured bonnet, pronounced wheel arches and extra cladding on the sills, in addition to the increased ground clearance complete the rugged look. The shorter bonnet and longer roofline result in an altered silhouette, which is due to the UKL design module. Retaining the five-door layout of old X1, the new model also receives larger rear door apertures for ease of entry.

Alongside standard models, BMW is also working on a performance variant of the new X1 to rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG. Details remain scarce, but sources have indicated to our sister publication, Autocar UK, that the M division is engineering a high-output variant of its parent company’s new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine. In standard guise, it kicks out a maximum of 231bhp. However, detailed revisions to the induction system, together with other power-enhancing tweaks, are said to take output to “well over 300bhp”.

Also under development, but not likely to be part of the initial launch line-up, is a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid version of the new X1. It is claimed to use a powertrain set-up similar to that of BMW’s original Active Tourer concept, revealed at the 2012 Paris motor show. The concept used a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine to power the front wheels and an electric motor to drive the rear wheels, with a combined system output of 190bhp.

Closer home, BMW is likely to launch the new X1 in India sometime this year. Expect India-specific details to trickle in as the launch nears.

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