Second-generation Bmw X1 will be built on a new front-drive architecture

Article by Christian A., on July 4, 2012

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.

Being the first premium model in the compact segment, the BMW X1 is a true pioneer. No wonder that with 2.5 years, sales have been a success. According to the brand, both the facility in Leipzig and the one in Tiexi, China, have already sold at least 275,000 units. This newest version is expected to reinvigorate the segment in order to face the new challenges head-on.

While the design of the body has been enhanced, the interior has experienced an upgrade. There is also a revised engine range with wider choice of BMW lines. While BMW is long known to have that trademarked driving pleasure, the new X1 is able to bring this to new levels. Because of how the brand managed to transfer many of the signature features of the BMW X to the compact class, this resulted not only in creating an entirely new class but also more competition for the X1.

Still, the X1 remains at the top especially when it comes to efficiency and athleticism. With the new version, the gap is widened once again due to the performance and corresponding fuel economy. Thus the X1 sDrive20d EfficientDynamics Edition for example reveals average fuel consumption of 4.5 litres for every 100 kilometers (under the EU test cycle), which is around 62.7 mpg.

CO2 emissions meanwhile are at 119 grams for every kilometer. This is, of course, a result of a combination of different features. This includes the utilization of the BMW TwinPower Turbo technology to optimize the engines.

Then there is also the unique automatic 8-speed transmission. Helping the new X1 achieve excellent fuel economy as well are the Brake Energy Regeneration, ECO PRO mode, and the Auto Start/Stop function.

At the same time as the launch of the new X1 to the Chinese market, BMW is already starting the preparations for the launch to the U.S. market. The focus is on China as demand continues to grow with models being allotted for the Chinese market to be manufactured at the new facility in Tiexi at the Shenyang Province.

Topics: bmw, bmw x1, fwd

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