Next-generation BMW X1 to sit on the new UKL1 platform, will be front-wheel drive

Article by Andrew Christian, on August 12, 2014

The new BMW X1 compact SUV will be the second front-wheel-drive model that will be underpinned by the group's UKL1 platform, following the 2-series Active Tourer. The second-generation X1 will be the first modern-era BMW to be powered by the front-wheel drive. BMW will start selling the Active Tourer in Europe in September and the new X1 in June 2015.

Sources privy with BMW said the carmaker is planning to build a third model on the platform -- the X2 SUV, a three-door vehicle with a four-seat interior and will resemble the larger X6 SUV.

The new X2 will also be rolled out in summer 2015 and will be one of 10 derivatives that BMW plans to be underpinned by the front-wheel-drive architecture in the future. BMW also use the UKL1 platform for its new Mini, is planning to further streamline operations by developing the new X1 and X2 jointly with the second-generation Mini Countryman and Clubman.

The vehicles are expected to all share not only the new platform, but also the same drivelines, electrical systems and chassis components. According to BMW, the new X1 looks less like a small station wagon than the current model thanks to a shorter hood and a roofline with a steeper slope rearward.

BMW says the while the X2 is smaller than the current model, it is planning to offer an extended version to the United States, China and Russia – featuring a third row, longer rear overhang and a larger cargo space.

The new X1 is expected to be offered at a higher price than the current model and will be available with four-wheel drive. BMW is planning to offer a number of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder direct-injection gasoline and common-rail diesels for new X1.

The carmaker is planning to offer a plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid version, is not expected to launch it next year.

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