BMW M Performance brand to make its debut in the US with the X1 M xDrive35i

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 21, 2012

The Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) of the BMW X1 will finally be offered in the fourth quarter of 2012. The demand in Europe has been so consistently strong that it was prevented from entering the North American market twice. This car is the top-selling all wheel drive vehicle in Europe and is a big seller for BMW. The automaker saw this as an opportunity to have the latest improvements as well as to launch the BMW M Performance brand in the US.

Fans in the U.S. are disappointed that BMW’s M Performance X5 and X6M50d as well as the M550dxDrive and M550dxDrive Touring haven’t been offered in the country.

The U.S. market has also missed out on the BMW M135i, which will first come in the form of a 3dr and 5dr Sporthatch and then with additional xDrive. But then, the next-generation Coupe and Cabrio models, which are believed to be friendlier to the U.S. market, aren’t likely to appear in the near future. This means that presently, BMW has yet to have an official "M Performance" product for the U.S.

But BMW now plans to launch the compact popular SAV to the North American market with award-winning and efficient four cylinder twin-turbo power as well as introduce the BMW M Performance brand to the US with a Six Cylinder turbo BMW X1 M35i xDrive, which is also known as the X1 xDriveM35i.

It was conceptualized similarly as the BMW M135i Sporthatch, says xBimmers. The X1 M35i xDrive will be receiving the same engine displacement of 320 bhp. It will also get an M tuned chassis and reworked suspension, which offer outstanding sport-orientated dynamics. The M Performance style of the Sporthatch will be brought to the X1 with this refreshed aerodynamic package.

In addition, it gets specific alloys and M Performance features like specific seats and trim. Just like the M135i Sporthatch, the X1 M35i xDrive will serve as the flagship model for the X1. BMW can’t find a sound business case for a full blown M model. This means that the X1 M35i will be going up against the upcoming Audi q3 S-Performance model.

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