So it’s official, BMW will be releasing a front-wheel drive based X1. We all knew it was coming and, honestly, was the most logical move for the X1 by BMW. All of its competitors are front-wheel drive based, Lexus NX, Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA Class, so it just makes sense that the X1 would make the jump. Being the only rear-wheel drive based of the three might give it an advantage in a small way, but ultimately front-wheel drive is the most cost effective way to make the X1 as competitive as possible. And after seeing the X1 and learning of its powertrains and technology, I think it’s going to be best in class. But it can always get better.
Both Audi and Mercedes have high-performance variants of their respective small crossovers. Audi has the SQ3 and Mercedes has the GLA45 AMG. Both of those are hopped up versions of pretty basic crossovers and both are excellent fun to drive. Lexus doesn’t really have a true performance variant of the NX, as the F-Sport model is more akin to BMW’s M Sport Line. But BMW should beat Lexus to the punch and attempt to counter Mercedes and Audi with an X1 M.
It seems to make logical business sense, as both of BMW’s largest competitors have their high-powered versions, BMW needs to compete. While an SQ3 and/or GLA45 AMG might not be the most logical of vehicle choices, there is still a market for them. I’ve seen a surprising amount of GLA45 AMGs on the road lately, so the demand is there. It only makes sense for BMW to cash in on that demand so as to not let its German rivals take all the slices of turbocharged pie.
BMW also has the means to do so. I don’t think that BMW’s 3.0 liter I6 engines will fit the transverse setup but with BMW’s TwinPower technology, it could easily boost the 2.0 liter turbocharged engine to well over 300 horsepower. I’m not entirely sure if the 7-Speed DCT gearbox would be compatible in the front-wheel drive based architecture, but even the standard automatic gearbox in the X1 would do fine. A manual would be very fun as well. Couple that with BMW’s torque vectoring xDrive all-wheel drive system, M tuned suspension, bigger brakes and a cool looking body kit, and BMW has the perfect recipe for a hot-crossover.
Another added bonus is that young adults with families would be able to convince their significant others into getting a high-performance car because it would also be practical. The X1 is about equally as practical as the Audi Q3 and Lexus NX, but have you seen the Mercedes GLA? The X1 crushes the GLA in terms of interior space and practicality. Plus it looks far better than all three, and I’m not just saying that because this is BMWBLOG. So young families could have the high-performance car they’ve always wanted, while still being able to transport two kids in car seats and a couple of strollers in the trunk. Plus, it would be the cheapest path to a true BMW M car.
All things considered, I don’t see any reason why BMW shouldn’t make an X1 M. If there is a market for the massive X5 and X6 M, what’s stopping BMW from giving the X1, an arguably more deserving car, the same treatment? It would be a blast to drive, look great, be practical and it would dispel any haters of BMW’s fwd architecture. The market is there and BMW can’t let its competition run away with it.
So please BMW, give us an X1 M.