BMW Unveils X1 M35i, Its First M Performance Crossover
We’ve seen our fair share of camouflaged prototypes undergoing testing on public roads as well as on tracks, but the disguise finally comes off today. BMW is giving the X1 a belated M Performance version – BMW X1 M35i – with a more potent four-cylinder engine linked to a quad exhaust system. Yes, M Lite models are getting the four tips, and we’ll be seeing more of them with subsequent product launches such as the next-generation X2 M35i and the M135i.
X1 M35i Gets More Power, M Compound Brakes, and iDrive 9
At the heart of the first-ever X1 M35i xDrive is a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline mill dialed to 312 horsepower available between 5,750 rpm and 6,500 rpm. The sporty crossover outpunches other M Performance compact models but only in terms of horsepower. BMW cites a peak torque of 295 pound-feet (400 Newton meters) available from 2,000 rpm to 4,000 rpm. For the sake of comparison, the M235i has 332 lb-ft (450 Nm), and so do the X2 M35i and M135i.
With the new M35i, BMW finally has a spiritual successor to the 300-horsepower X1 xDrive35i available during the E84 era, although that one still had slightly more torque (300 lb-ft or 407 Nm) from its larger 3.0-liter inline-six engine. The German luxury brand cites a 0 to 60 mph of 5.2 seconds and an electronically governed 155 mph (250 km/h).
Power and performance figures aside, the X1 M35i xDrive is available strictly with a seven-speed Steptronic automatic transmission incorporating a mechanical limited-slip differential. The adjustable M suspension comes as standard equipment, while M Compound brakes – a first for an M Performance model – are available at an additional cost. Go for the stronger brakes and you’ll get 15.2-inch drilled discs at the front and 13-inch rear discs, complete with high-gloss grey calipers featuring the M logo.
Highlighting how the X1 has grown over the years, the M35i gets standard 19-inch wheels but customers can choose from three designs of 20-inch alloys. The spicy crossover is BMW’s next M Performance model to receive the M-specific mirrors reserved for full-fat M models until a couple of years ago. The same thing can be said about the M logo on the kidney grille as only the true M cars had it until not long ago.
Stepping inside, the X1 M35i gets standard sport seats wrapped in black Sensatec and Alcantara with blue stitching but you can step up to the electrically adjustable M Sport seats with an illuminated M badge at the top of the backrests. Those two screens may look familiar, but the central display is running on iDrive 9 with the QuickSelect functionality and a revised menu structure resembling that of smartphones.
2023 BMW X1 M35i: Pricing, Specs, and Release Date
The Regensburg-built BMW X1 M35i will go on sale in the United States in October and will carry a starting price of $49,900, plus $995 destination and handling fees. Aside from the optional equipment we already mentioned, buyers will be able to add a Premium Package encompassing a head-up display, a panoramic moonroof, interior camera, and other goodies. There’s also a Shadowline Package to black out the headlights and some exterior trim, plus a variety of safety and assistance features.
The X1 M35i Is a Preview of BMW’s Future Compact Models
The BMW X1 M35i is a solid preview of what’s to come for BMW’s compact models in terms of performance and technology. The new X2 is debuting near the end of the year and the 1 Series will skip the Life Cycle Impulse and head straight to the next generation in 2024 when we’ll also see a new 2 Series Gran Coupe. The M Performance versions of these three cars should have nearly identical specifications, provided all of them will get the hotter derivative.