New BMW X1 revealed and lineup includes its first electric powertrain


BMW today reveals the updated, third generation of its popular X1 compact sports activity vehicle – with one significant addition to the lineup.

For the first time it has an all-electric drive system and will be called the iX1.

As of now, they are expecting that version to go on sale next year, though exactly when is not clear yet. And they don’t have pricing on it yet either though they do for other models.

The iX1 xDrive30 has electric all-wheel drive, one electric motor at the front axle and another at the rear.

Overall, there are substantial additions to the standard equipment, including special technology in driver assistance, control/operation and connectivity.

It is interesting to note how flexibility in the production of the different models means fully electrics, plug-in hybrids and internal combustion engines (ICEs) can be made on a single assembly line at the group’s Plant Regensburg.

The new car goes on sale in October with two petrols and two diesels from the start.

Then models including the fully electric iX1 xDrive30 and two plug-in hybrids will be added over the subsequent months.

The plug-in hybrid models have extended electric range while latest generation 48v mild-hybrid technology gives a bit of a boost to petrol and diesel models.

The new car is up 53mm in length (to 4,500mm) is 24mm wider (1,845mm) and 44mm taller (1,642mm). There’s more interior room thanks to an increase in wheelbase and track.

The front has been heavily revised with a near-square kidney grille and slim all-LED headlights following the rest of the Beemer range these days: bold fronts.

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Big wheel arches, flush door handles and a long roof spoiler create a more muscular SAV look (17ins alloys are standard but xLine and M Sport have 18ins alloys). Sizes up to 20ins are optional.

The luggage compartment can be expanded from 540 to 1,600 litres. 

In the iX1 and plug-in hybrids that goes from 490litres to 1,495 litres.

A rear seat bench slides forward/backward by up to 13cm – it’s an option for internal combustion engine models.

Standard spec includes voice control, two-zone automatic climate control, navigation, front-collision warning and parking assistant including reversing assist camera.

Standard, too, are cruise control with brake function and front-collision warning.

Plug-in hybrid models combine with a 3cyl petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor sending power through the rear wheels.

Petrol and diesel engines have three or four cylinders depending on model. The 7spd Steptronic transmission with double clutch is standard now.

Two models with front-wheel drive and two with xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive are on sale from launch.

But all eyes will be on the electric. The iX1 xDrive30 has a system output of up to 313hp and a claimed range of 413kms to 438kms.

It benefits from adaptive recuperation and latest charging software.

The Curved Display fully digital screen grouping brings together 10.25ins information display and control display with 10.7ins screen diagonal.

Prices start (OTR) at €49,075 for the X1 sDrive18d premier, €61,405 for the xDrive M Sport Premier, €64,874 for the xDrive23i MSport Premier.

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Eddie Cunningham

Motoring Editor Irish Independent. Read Eddie's articles first every Wednesday in the Irish Independent