The new BMW X1 continues its global rollout and its latest stop was in South Africa where a photo shoot was organized with a generously equipped version. Although it’s only a front-wheel-drive sDrive18i model, it makes up for that with the desirable M Sport Package and plenty of optional goodies. The compact crossover is finished in Alpine White metallic and rides on large 20-inch wheels (style 869).
As it’s usually the case with cars highlighted in official press shots, the third-generation X1 comes with numerous optional features varying from adaptive LED headlights to the black Vernasca leather. It also happens to have a sunroof and a blacked-out kidney grille nicely contrasting the white body. The right-hand-drive luxury crossover (codenamed U11) posed for the camera in beautiful rural scenery.
For the time being, BMW South Africa sells the entry-level X model exclusively with three-cylinder power and front-wheel drive as the sDrive18i is joined by a diesel-fueled sDrive18d. The conventionally powered models are offered alongside a fully electric iX1 xDrive30. Globally, the smallest of the X vehicles is available with an assortment of three- and four-cylinder engines and with xDrive.
BMW intends to spice up the range later this year with the first-ever M Performance version of the X1. Likely to wear the M35i suffix and carry four exhaust tips, the hot crossover will rely on an updated B48 engine to push out a little over 300 horsepower delivered through an automatic transmission to a standard AWD system. Near the end of 2023, we’re also expecting to see a cheaper iX1, possibly an eDrive20 with a single motor and FWD.
Because the BMW Group knows variety is the spice of life, a more youthful and charismatic X1/iX1 will take the shape of the recently teased 2024 MINI Countryman. It’ll be made in Leipzig, Germany later this year with both ICE and EV powertrains confirmed. The X1 M35i will be complemented by a mechanically related Countryman John Cooper Works (JCW) likely due in 2024 or later.