With the aging i3 quirky hatchback living on borrowed time and the new i3 Sedan likely to be a China-only affair, the iX1 will serve as BMW’s entry-level EV in Europe. Mechanically twinned with the first-ever MINI Countryman EV, the zero-emissions compact crossover will ride on an electric adaptation of the FAAR platform, which itself is an evolution of the front-wheel-drive-based UKL architecture.
Ahead of its official reveal scheduled to take place at some point in 2022, the BMW iX1 has been speculatively rendered by SRK Designs based on recent spy shots depicting camouflaged prototypes. Much like the conventionally powered model, the small crossover without a combustion engine will adopt a more mature design compared to the outgoing X1. It’s going to look like a proper crossover and shouldn’t be all that different than the gasoline- or diesel-fueled model since they’ll all share the underpinnings.
The EV derivative will be the next step towards electrifying the lineup as BMW already offers a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the outgoing model. The iX1 will slot below the iX3 and flagship iX, with rumors stating an iX2 based on the next-generation X2 is scheduled to arrive in 2024. Both these lower-end electric crossovers could have a single motor driving the front wheels in the cheaper versions, but we’re hoping there will also be xDrive models by adding a rear-mounted motor.
It is believed iX1 20 and iX1 30 trim levels are in the works, along with 38- and 74-kWh battery packs. The cheapest version money will buy should have 124 miles (200 kilometers) of range at the very least, based on the WLTP cycle. Opting for the bigger battery sourced from the iX3 could offer enough juice for a minimum of 249 miles (400 kilometers). Details are scarce regarding output, but we’re expecting at least two power levels.
As with most upcoming facelifts or next-gen models, logic tells us the BMW iX1 will switch to the Operating System 8 with side-by-side screens. This setup has already been implemented in the latest 2 Series Active Tourer where the iDrive knob has been eliminated.
[Source: SRK Designs / YouTube]