The second generation BMW X1 just made its web debut today and the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive. Penned by Calvin Luk, the young Aussie responsible for the 1 Series LCI — and we’re told for another future production series BMW — the F48 X1 is not only the first front-wheel drive X-car, but also a preview of the future BMW design language.
The first BMW X1 was launched in 2009 and as of September 2013, approximately 500,000 models were sold worldwide. We expect that number to be significantly higher when BMW reports the final numbers this year. In the U.S., the X1 has been flying off the dealers’ lots and to many, it has been a surprise success.
Not only the design has been improved, but also the dimensions of the X1 have increased. The new 2016 BMW X1 has grown quite a bit over the previous model, sprouting 53 millimeters in height, with a 36 millimeter raise in the front seating position, to give the X1 a more commanding view of the road. This increase in size, and switch to front-wheel drive architecture, has also given the X1 better interior space, to the tune of 37 millimeters more rear knee room and 85 liters more cargo space, bringing the total to 505 liters. With the rear seats folded down, the X1 has 1,550 liters of cargo space.
The front-end is more muscular than the E84 X1, the massive kidney grille inspires confidence and sportiness, while the elongated headlights house the equally beautiful LED lights. The hood slopes downward more, which is also attributed to the taller ride height, and has creases in it to give the X1 a more sporting appearance. The rear of the new X1 sits more upright and it is also more massive than its predecessor; couple that with beautiful taillights and the new X1 is a beauty from any angle.
On the inside, the F48 is a huge step ahead. BMW has not only fitted the car with the latest and greatest tech, but it has also improved the quality of the materials and trim. The stitching on the right side of the center console is reminiscent of the 6 Series, which is always a good thing. The new shift knob, which made its debut in the 2 Series Active Tourer, looks very good as does the steering wheel. The sporty seats with side bolsters round up the successful design of the interior cabin.
Despite switching from RWD to FWD, this new model shouldn’t be any less fun, so we expect the same dynamic and sporty ride that has made the previous X1 a fun car to toss around. We look forward to driving the car this fall, so stay tuned for those driving impressions.