BMW’s enormous SUV line-up will be strengthened next year with the unveiling of the third-generation X1, which will be on sale by 2022.
The company’s smallest SUV is one of the biggest contributors to its coffers; it accounts for more than 12 per cent of all BMW SUV sales, and it’s second only to the X3 in the brand’s SUV line-up, with more than 260,000 sold in 2019.
The new X1 – previewed in our exclusive image – will look more imposing than the current model to battle the new Mercedes GLB. The beltline is flatter, the rear window is more upright, and the overhangs shrink slightly. We can expect the X1 to appear chunkier and like a proper 4×4, separating it further from the coupé-influenced X2.
The interior should be a much more straightforward update. BMW will introduce the new interior architecture used on the latest 1 Series, so expect a more angular design to the switchgear and vents.
It’s all but certain that the new X1 will use an updated version of the current car’s UKL2 platform. You can expect the engine line-up to remain very similar, kicking off with front-wheel-drive sDrive versions using a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine, developing 138bhp and priced from just over £30,000. Diesel is likely to remain on the menu too, especially for the buyers of xDrive all-wheel-drive versions.
The xDrive25e plug-in hybrid model will continue, but BMW’s biggest priority will be the development of an all-electric version to rival the Mercedes EQB. The brand has confirmed it will be on sale by 2023.
BMW has already revealed an electric version of the larger X3 called iX3, with a maximum range of 285 miles on a single charge thanks to an 80kWh battery pack. It’s likely that the all-electric iX1 will borrow that car’s 282bhp electric motor, but given the different platforms and floor sizes, battery size will have to be capped at a smaller level. However, 150kW rapid charging capability should be fitted as standard.
Find out the winner from our Mercedes GLB and Volvo XC40 twin test here…