According to Automobile Mag, BMW is preparing to launch a new niche model. Dubbed 1 Series Sport Cross or XCite, the name BMW uses internally for the new lifestyle vehicle.
Known internally as NEC, short for new entry crossover, BMW XCite will straddle two segments. It will be neither a 1 Series “SUV” nor a downsized X1, but it will likely be badged the 1 Series Sport Cross when it hits the market. The crossover is based on the UKL front-wheel drive platform and would sit below the second-generation BMW X1, also a front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive crossover.
The BMW 1 Series Sports Cross aims to extend the next generation 1 Series which will move to a front-wheel drive layout. The 2 Series Coupe and Convertible will remain on the rear-wheel drive architecture and will be using the next generation 35up RWD.
It is likely to come with body styles: a five-door hatch in 2018 and a three-door variant a year later. The exterior and interior design will also be different from today’s BMW lineup. Although BMW’s design freeze is still several months away, most proposals are quite progressive and polarizing, sources say. The design could feature a compact greenhouse on top of a muscular body; a wide stance; a long nose, long roof, and wide track; and an edgy mix of M Sport and X-line styling elements.
XCite will be available with three- and four-cylinder engines and with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
BMW aims to compete in this quirky segment with the Citroën C4 Cactus and the Nissan Juke.
Automobile Mag says that an “internal paper lists a variety of the XCite’s attributes: avant-garde, different, urban, unconventional, young, aggressive, wide, low, courageous, anti-establishment, consciously compromised, disrespectful, sensitive, and sensible.”
The base price will likely come in below $30,000, somewhere between a 1 Series and an X1, and BMW plans to build 250,000 units over the life of the crossover.