BMW’s second-generation X1 will be getting a significant change in its engineering in 2015. Instead of the existing car’s rear-wheel-drive platform, the upcoming car will be built on a new front-drive architecture that will be used on upcoming Minis as well as on a new 1-series GT, which will debut this September at the Paris motor show.
Sources said that this move to change platforms has been decided in order to provide added packaging benefits to the next-generation BMW X1 and have reduced production costs. They suggest that the new small soft-roader will accommodate more compared to its predecessor, due to a new transverse mounting of its engine that saves space.
Offering economies of scale is the fact that the new X1 shares major elements, such as several of its driveline combinations, with the second-generation Mini Countryman. The company is developing the new front-wheel-drive platform, which is also referred to as the UKL or ‘Unter Klasse’ (German for ‘entry level’) structure, to underpin an entire range of new BMW Group cars, like the next generation of Mini models and a few BMWs.
Just like the existing Countryman, it will be incorporated with a Haldex style multi-plate clutch to offer four-wheel drive capability to the second-generation X1. The new X1 will be based on the UKL platform, suggesting that it will be offered exclusively with four-cylinder engines. Furthermore, BMW has confirmed that it doesn’t plan on re-engineering its six-cylinder engine to be transversely mounted.