The next couple of years will be very busy for BMW as it launches a handful of new models including new versions of current top sellers and some models we’ve never seen before. The new X1 falls into the latter category and will take the automaker into the compact SUV market currently dominated by the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
The X1 has been conceived with the flexibility to offer traditional RWD and xDrive AWD configurations, as well as a wide variety of gasoline and diesel powertrain choices. While we will be seeing the compact SUV for the first time in the metal at this September’s Frankfurt auto show, the new model isn’t scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. until 2011.
It will be released in Europe this fall, however, where it will be offered with a choice of four engines--one gasoline and three diesels--and will be available in both RWD and AWD.
Every X1 will also be available with BMW’s EfficientDynamics technology, helping to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. These will include brake energy regeneration, engine stop-start systems and a gearshift point indicator.
The initial model range will include the 258hp and 228lb-ft of torque xDrive28i 3.0-liter gasoline model, which can accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 127mph while returning fuel economy of 25mpg. This will be followed by a 204hp and 295lb-ft of torque xDrive23d, a 177hp and 258lb-ft of torque xDrive20d and sDrive20d, and finally a 143hp and 236lb-ft of torque xDrive18d and sDrive18d.
As for styling, BMW family traits can also be found in the design of the front and rear lights, which resemble those used on the recently revealed 2011 5-series GT and the 2009 7-series sedan, respectively. The shots also confirm that BMW designers have stuck closely to the lines of the Concept X1 showcased at last year’s Paris auto show.
Inside, five full-sized seats in an elevated position offer generous space, while the backrest in the rear is also adjustable for angle and folds down in a 40/20/20 split. Luggage compartment capacity may be increased from 14.7 cu ft to a maximum of 47.3 cu ft. An electrically operated Panorama glass roof is also available as an option.
Like the 1-Series BMW sedan, coupe and convertible, the X1 won't be cheap by the time it comes to America. A base price around $30,000 is likely, as is a fully-loaded price above $40,000.