Bmw delays X1 debut in US by the end of 2012, due to demand for new X3

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 1, 2011

Due to the high demand for the redesigned version of the X3, BMW won’t offer its compact X1 crossover in the U.S. until the end of 2012. Jim O'Donnell, CEO of BMW of North America, said that the X1’s supplies in the U.S. are tight since its sales are high overseas. In November 2009, the X1 was launched in Europe.

BMW wanted to offer the X1 in the U.S. in early 2011 but it decided to delay it until the end of the year. The launch has been postponed further by BMW’s European and U.S. management.

O'Donnell said that the X1 will “always” be a niche vehicle in the U.S. with expected sales of less than 5,000 units annually. The redesigned X3 crossover started sales in January. In the first quarter, 5,710 units were sold – a significant increase from 1,355 a year ago.

In 2010, BMW had only been able to sell 6,075 X3s. O'Donnell anticipates that X3 sales in the U.S. would hit 25,000 this year. The X3 peaked at 34,604 units in 2004. O’Donnell said that the X3 is “very hot -- and hot all over the world." O'Donnell said that the “only risk” is that units may be diverted to China and Germany.

He said that the X3 appeals to consumers since it’s larger than the previous generation. In fact, it’s almost as large as the original X5. The new X3 is built in Spartanburg, S.C. while the previous version was produced in Austria.

The BMW X1 exudes an assured sense of style, an air of dynamic versatility and a responsive sprightliness just from its body design. It is the first vehicle that takes the BMW X features and design elements to a new vehicle in the luxury compact segment.

Within its doors, the BMW X1 is designed to be functional in an innovatively chic way. The characteristic BMW driver orientation seems more noticeable due to the longitudinal lines that extend forward in the cockpit area. The use of premium materials and natural colours highlight the vehicle’s sporty adventurousness.

The higher seating stance, the spacious impression, the adaptability and the multiple storage options provide superior driving and riding pleasure, whether within or beyond city limits. There is always a feeling of great versatility, dynamism and freedom.

The three full-sized rear seats provide generous accommodation with ample passenger adjustment room. The backrests on these seats can be adjusted at angles or folded in a 40/20/20 manner. This allows additional luggage space, which increases from 420 litres/14.7 cu feet to 1,350 litres/47.3 cu feet. Customers can also opt for an automatic Panorama glass roof.

The latest drivetrain systems of the BMW X1 provide top performance with outstanding efficiency. There are gasoline and several diesel engine versions, all of which provide power and efficiency with low CO2 emissions. There are also 4x2 and 4x4 versions, with the latter featuring the intelligent xDrive technology.

Other features that are standard on the higher-end versions include the BMW EfficientDynamics package of functions, which include Auto Start Stop, gearshift point indicator and Brake Energy Regeneration. The BMW X1 sDrive18d 4x2 has an average fuel consumption figure that meets the EU standard at 5.2 litres/100 kilometres or 54.3 mpg imp, and a CO2 emissions rate of 136 grams/kilometre, proving its superiority in efficiency.

The BMW X1’s high-tech suspension system configuration features either a double-joint thrust bar or an aluminium double-joint tie bar axle for the front and a five-arm lightweight steel rear axle. The vehicle also features precision power steering, high-performance brakes, Dynamic Stability Control with Dynamic Traction Control, and an optional Performance Control which works on the brakes to provide a sportier driving experience.

The body construction of the BMW X1 is designed to offer the ultimate occupant safety. Standardly, there are three-point inertia-reel seat belts for all seats; front, side and head side airbags; daytime driving lights; and adaptive Brake Lights. Optionally, Adaptive Headlights, xenon headlights and a High-Beam Assistant can be installed.

The BMW X1 also comes with the newest version of the BMW iDrive, which can work with the optional Business and Professional navigation systems. The iDrive system standard configuration places a controller and direct selection buttons on the centre console, a smartly integrated Control Display on the instrument panel, as well as favourite buttons for air conditioning below the control panel. The latest and most advanced HiFi systems can be installed in place of the standard audio system. A USB port can also be added along with the regular AUX-in port. Also available are various driver assistance systems as well as the BMW ConnectedDrive range of services.

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