A new batch of spy shots of the next-generation BMW X1 has emerged. Codenamed F48, the new X1 will be radically different from the outgoing model, the E84. The new car will be smaller and will spawn off an all-new sportier model called X2 to slot in between the X1 and the X3.
Besides the changed dimensions, the X1 will adopt a new transverse layout used in the new 2 Series Active Tourer 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 continue to be offered in some variants. This also implies that BMW will stop offering the X1 with the six-cylinder engines and will be available only with four and three-cylinder turbocharged engines mated to six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. Rumours also indicate that BMW is planning to introduce a high-performance M version to rival the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG and the Audi RS Q3.
Since it debuted in 2009, the BMW X1 has been quite a success for the German manufacturer. Even in India, the car has been giving the luxury-sedans and other compact SUVs a run for their money. Splitting the car into two segments is a smart move by the company and will help it cover a larger area in the market. BMW recently gave the X1 a mid-life update in the form of a facelift. The car was unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show in January and carries cosmetic updates to the exterior, refreshed interiors and updated equipment list. Powered by the same drivetrain, we expect the facelift to be launched in India by mid-2014.