Since it made its debut in 2009, the BMW X1 has been quite a success and has been giving luxury sedans and other compact SUVs a run for their money. The second-generation BMW X1 is slated to be launched in the second half of the next year and has now been spotted undergoing trials in China. The new car will be smaller and lighter than its predecessor, apart from featuring a host of cosmetic changes.
Besides a host of styling changes, the second-generation SUV will also grow smaller in dimension to make way for a sportier X2, which will slot in between the X1 and the X3. The new X1 will adopt a new transverse layout for the engine in place of the longitudinal one the current car uses. This indicates that the two-wheel-drive (2WD) variants of the X1 will be front-wheel-drive (FWD), though 4WD will also be offered in the xDrive variants. The UKL FWD platform is also used in other BMW Group cars like the 2 Series and the new Mini.
BMW has been working on new four-cylinder and three-cylinder engines which will be used in its new range of cars, including the 2 Series Active Tourer and the next X1. These engines will be mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. Reports indicate that the new BMW will also introduce a plug-in hybrid as well as a high-performance M version of the X1 to compete with the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG and the Audi RS Q3.
The new X1 will be introduced as a 2016 model and we can expect it to be launched here a few months after its international launch. Reorganising its line-up to introduce a new car is a smart move by BMW, which will help it expand its customer base and increase volumes. Even in India, the X1 has been the cash cow for the German manufacturer, though the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA might affect its numbers.