Handsome redesign coming for compact crossover

The BMW X1 is already one of the better looking options in the compact crossover segment, and it looks like designers will up the wow factor for the next-generation model.

Fresh prototypes for the redesigned X1 have been spotted, revealing some of the new styling themes. The testers are still at a relatively early stage judging by their makeshift lights and interior elements, which makes sense as the new X1 is only due as a 2023 model. This means the showroom appearance should be in the second half of 2022, at the earliest.

Even at this stage in the development we can already see the redesigned X1 will take on a bolder, more brutish look than the current model thanks to the wide, shark nose grille. The rest of the design looks to be an evolution of the current model, though the signature Hofmeister kink looks to be more vertical, which should further accentuate the design’s toughness.

The platform is BMW Group’s latest front-wheel-drive architecture designed for compact cars, known as FAAR. The platform made its debut in 2019 in a redesigned 1-Series hatchback sold overseas and has since appeared in the 2-Series Gran Coupe launched for 2020.

The FAAR platform is an update of the UKL platform underpinning the current X1. The biggest change is the option for battery-electric powertrains. Yes, an electric X1 likely to be badged an iX1 is in the works. It’s one of at least 13 battery-electric models BMW Group will offer across its brands by the end of 2023.

Other powertrain options should carry over from the current X1, meaning a series of 1.5-liter inline-3 and 2.0-liter inline-4 engines, all of them turbocharged. Mild-hybrid technology will likely become a standard feature, and a plug-in hybrid setup utilizing the 1.5-liter engine will likely be on offer again. We don’t get the current plug-in hybrid X1 but the next-generation version might be available locally.

2023 BMW X1 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2023 BMW X1 spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Drive will be to the front-wheels as standard and all-wheel drive will be available. The sole transmission is likely to be an 8-speed automatic.

Don’t hold your breath for an X1 M from BMW M, but something along the lines of the 302-hp X2 M35i is possible. It will make a great alternative to the new GLA35 and GLB35 from Mercedes-Benz AMG.

Stay tuned for updates as development continues.

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