Every design element on the X1 Concept seems to be aimed at preventing this small SUV from looking cute or perky. If the squared-off wheel openings remind one of the VW Tiguan, the rest of the X1 Concept is far more Tiger than Iguana. From the squinted eyes to the pinched waistline, this SUV aims to look slim, lean, and low--not cute, puffy, and tall (Honda Element, Jeep Liberty).
The concept is presented in Meridian Gold Metallic, a rich, honey-yellow that BMW claims is as inspiring bathed in sunlight as in the glare of your Xenon HIDs.
A Typical BMW short front overhang is the start of the X1 Concept’s exterior. Along with a slim waistline, the front wheels seem almost abnormally far from the rear of the driver’s door, which sits well behind the midpoint of the wheelbase. This gives the vehicle a bit of a roadster/grand touring flair, along the lines of the Z4, and keeps the baby Bimmer safely away from station wagon or minivan styling comparisons. The departing view of the X1 Concept features L-shaped LED/neon lights and a steeply-sloping hatch somewhere between the angle of those on the X5 and X6.
What BMW describes as a "floor protection element" wraps much of the base of the vehicle in a black band, switching to a slimming silver stripe under the doors that pinches the profile to add elegance and perceived length to the shape. According to the company, true skidplate-style protection undergirds this stylistic element.
BMW’s expected round headlamp units behind a clear plastic panel are accented by organic-looking opaque elements. Strong accent lines from prow to stern and just a touch of Bangle’s flame-surfacing round out a compelling exterior design. Indeed, BMW touts a "highly attractive interplay of concave and convex surfaces," and the way light and shade play off them, in describing the design of the X1 Concept.
An extremely subtle design detail is the X1 Concept’s unique 19-inch wheels that feature a subtle graphite grey color--nearly hidden on the sides of the 10 spokes--that blends out gradually to become the polished aluminum featured on the majority of the wheel's visible surfaces.
2008 Paris Auto Show conceptEnlarge Photo