BMW is about to release the next-generation of its smallest crossover, the X1. It will be the third-generation X1 but only the second front-wheel drive-based generation X1. Most enthusiasts won’t care about this new X1 but it’s actually going to be a big car for BMW and we’re excited to see what becomes of it. To go with its many changes, BMW will also be giving it an entirely new design and it’s going to do something, or rather take something away, that BMW really hasn’t before on an internal combustion car. The new BMW X1, as seen in these new photos, lacks exhaust pipes. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)

For the most part, the new BMW X1 looks really good so far. Even through the camo, it’s easy to see that its new design will be sportier and more aggressive than the previous generation. However, BMW’s decision to rid it of visible exhaust pipes is frustrating. It’s a small thing, and an unimportant thing, but it’s one that BMW enthusiasts were always sort of proud of, that BMW still kept visible exhausts while its competitors ditched them. There’s something that feels fake about hiding them and fans will be disappointed to see that they’re gone.

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We sort of get why they’re gone, to be honest. The BMW X1 will also spawn an all-electric variant — the BMW iX1. That will obviously lack any exhaust pipes whatsoever, being an electric vehicle. So to keep things uniform and give the X1 a forward thinking feel, the exhausts are caput on all models, not just the iX1. It’s also probably cheaper to not have to design a bumper with exhaust cut-outs.

That said, the rest of the car looks really good so far and could be one of BMW’s best looking SUVs when it debuts. Its kidney grilles are big but not overly so, relative to other modern Bimmers, its headlights look sharp, its profile and silhouette are sporty, and its roofline is aggressively raked toward the rear. I dig it.

When the new BMW X1 debuts, it isn’t going to be the most popular enthusiast model. However, it is going to be popular with many customers who want a BMW but need something practical for their family. As a semi-sporty family hauler, that will also offer an electric powertrain, the BMW X1 is going to excel.

[Source: Motor1]