The third-generation BMW X1 will arrive in Australia before Christmas, with more space, more technology and, possibly, the choice of petrol and all-electric.
The BMW X1 2023 a small SUV has been unveiled, ahead of its launch in Australia in Q4 2022 (October to December) – with the electric iX1 to follow next year.
Replacing the current ‘F48’ model on sale since 2015, the new ‘U11’ X1 small SUV presents BMW the latest design language, interior tech and powertrains from its small car range – and previews the upcoming X2 and 1 Series hatch, due closer to mid-decade.
It’s the first X1 to offer an electric option in global markets, badged (unsurprisingly) iX1. With production due to start in November, Australian deliveries of the electric vehicle are expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, a few months after the petrol range.
Pricing has yet to be confirmed for Australia, but expect to pay more than the current car, which ranges in price from $47,900 plus road charges for a base sDrive18i, to $56,900 for an sDrive20i (after the removal of the $66,990 xDrive25i last year).
The Australian range at launch will consist of sDrive18i and xDrive20i petrol variants – the former tuned only for Australia, and the latter not offered in Europe at all – with the iX1 xDrive30 to follow later. Diesel power will no longer be available.
Styling-wise, the new BMW X1 draws inspiration from the brand’s latest models – including its under-the-skin twin, the European 2 Series Active Tourer hatchback – with chiseled shoulder lines, door handles flush and a pair of almost rectangular kidney grilles even larger than those of its predecessor.
Styling details vary by model chosen; standard models get chrome highlights and black body cladding, M Sport cars get sportier bumpers and body-colored arches, and the electric iX1 gains blue accents, i badging and a rear bumper unique.
18-inch to 20-inch diameter alloy wheels will be available in Australia, as will matrix LED headlights (similar to the updated 3 Series sedan), LED taillights, a selection of metallic and satin colors and optional black accents on M Sports Cars.
Inside, the new X1 benefits from BMW’s latest dual-screen dashboard for its compact cars, with a 10.25-inch instrument display and 10.7-inch touchscreen integrated into a curved panel.
Running the latest iDrive 8 software, the central display incorporates augmented reality satellite navigation, a ‘Hey BMW’ enabled voice assistant, 5G connectivity, over-the-air updates and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The traditional shifter and center tunnel designs of the current X1 have been ditched in favor of a space-saving floating console, housing a “shift-by-wire” switch-style gear selector – but no rotary iDrive controller, for only the second time in a BMW since the introduction of iDrive in 2001.
Other interior highlights include a storage area under said floating console, dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, four USB-C ports, panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, head-up display and a choice of six unbranded speakers or 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound systems.
Drivers can choose between five new ‘My Modes’, covering Personal, Sport and Efficient modes as standard, with Expressive and Relax modes available in the options list.
Standard and sport front seats available in Europe, trimmed in cloth, Sensatec synthetic leather, Alcantara (suede-like trim) or genuine Vernasca leather, and available with heating, power adjustment, massage and lumbar support.
At the rear, BMW claims “seat comfort significantly superior to that offered by the [old model]”, with 40:20:40 or 60:40 adjustment available for the bench seat and sliding (up to 13 cm of movement) and reclining functionality.
The new BMW X1 is 4500mm long, 1845mm wide and 1642mm tall, on a 2692mm wheelbase – 53mm longer overall, 24mm wider, 44mm longer and 22mm longer in wheelbase . Track widths are increased by 31mm for safer handling.
The trunk volume reaches 540 liters on petrol models (+ 35 litres) and increases to 1,600 liters with the seats folded down (+ 50 litres). Electric and plug-in hybrid models offer slightly less, at 490L with the seats up or 1495L with the seats down.
Under the hood, four models will be available in Europe at launch – two petrol and two diesel – with more combustion engine options to follow in the coming months, plus the electric iX1 and two e-badged plug-in hybrids.
In Australia, two petrol versions will be available at launch: the front-wheel-drive sDrive18i and the all-wheel-drive xDrive20i.
The sDrive18i is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox – but while European models develop 100kW and 230Nm, Australian models will offer 115kW and 230Nm.
The Australian xDrive20i model is not offered in Europe, using a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with 150kW and 300Nm – sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Instead of the xDrive20i, Europe gets a more powerful xDrive23i, with a 150kW/320Nm version of the 2.0-litre engine, a seven-speed automatic setup and all-wheel drive, complemented by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system which can boost delivers a power of 160 kW/360 Nm for a 0 to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds.
Diesel buyers in Europe can select two versions of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic: 110kW/360Nm front-wheel drive sDrive18d, or a 145kW/400 Nm xDrive23d all-wheel drive with lightweight engine. hybrid technology (155kW with gasoline and electric combined).
The headliner of the electrified range will be the iX1, launched in a single xDrive30 variant with two electric motors developing 200kW and 494Nm in standard drive, with an additional 30kW available in ‘boost’ power mode (for a total of 230kW).
It’s the fastest X1 money can buy – until the inevitable M35i performance model arrives this time next year – with a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 180 km/h.
A 64.7kWh battery laid flat in the ground offers a range of 413 to 438km (depending on options) according to European WLTP tests – on par with or bettering rivals Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus in Australia. Regenerative braking is offered.
DC fast charging up to 130kW is available, good for a 10-80 per cent charge in 29 minutes, or 120km of claimed range on paper after 10 minutes of charging.
AC charging at 11kW or 22kW is available, for empty-to-full home charges in as little as six hours and 30 minutes with the former, or three hours and 45 minutes with the latter.
European buyers can also choose from two plug-in hybrids – the 180kW/477Nm xDrive25e and the 240kW/477Nm xDrive30e – both with 1.5-litre three-cylinder engines, all-wheel drive, seven-speed dual-clutch cars and a 14.2 kWh battery. packs.
These variants – which have not been confirmed for Australia – are capable of a range of up to 89 km on electric and 0-100 km/h sprint times as low as 5.7 seconds with a full battery. However, the maximum charging power peaks at 7.4 kW AC.
Under the skin, an adaptive suspension with a 15mm lower ride height is available, along with variable electric steering, revised suspension geometry and clever stability control “limiting wheel spin near the actuator ” supposed to intervene 10 times faster than traditional systems.
A full suite of advanced safety technologies is available, led by a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system that combines adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist to accelerate, brake and center the car in its lane up to 180 km/h.
Other assist features include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian/cyclist detection and intersection support, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, front and rear parking, automatic parking and a 360 degree camera.
The BMW X1 2023 is expected in Australian petrol showrooms in Q4 2022 (October to December), before the iX1 arrives in Q1 2023 (January to March).
Pricing and specs will be announced closer to launch.
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