BMW launched the X2 M35i nearly five years ago but it’s only now that the conventionally styled X1 is getting the M Performance treatment for the first time. After its official premiere at the end of last month, the compact crossover with the company’s most potent four-cylinder engine is celebrating its public debut. Naturally, it was a good opportunity for us to capture the first real shots of the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 competitor.

Frozen Pure Grey from BMW Individual

The new 2024 BMW X1 M35i made an appearance at the Norisring for the third round of the DTM season at which BMW grabbed a 1-2 win with S Sheldon van der Linde and René Rast. To make sure it grabs the attention, the M Lite crossover was painted in Frozen Pure Grey from the Individual catalog. It looks quite sporty with the 20-inch wheels with a Y-spoke design and a two-tone finish, contrasted by the red calipers. By the way, optional M Compound brakes with 385-mm front and 330-mm rear discs are available.

In case you needed a reminder, BMW is now putting quad exhaust tips on M Performance cars. The X1 M35i is not the first since the M760e already had four pipes but with a more subtle design. On this sporty crossover, it looks as if we’re dealing with a full-fat M model since it bears a striking resemblance to what you’ll find on a true M car such as the M2.

Sportier Inside Than Ever Before

The interior is also worth a closer look since this X1 M35i has the optional M Sport seats with integrated headrests and an illuminated M badge in the upper section of the backrest. BMW wrapped the seats in Veganza (vegan leather) with a red and black combo combined with the traditional M colors. To spruce up the cabin, there are red accents on the shift paddles and for the steering wheel’s 12 o’clock mark.

Since we’re looking at an X1 M35i built for the European market, it has a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine detuned to 296 horsepower. Buy the same performance crossover in the United States, Australia, and other markets outside of the EU and you’ll be getting an extra 16 hp for a grand total of 312 hp. Regardless of country, torque remains the same at 295 lb-ft (400 Nm).

Equipped with xDrive, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and iDrive 9, the Regensburg-made BMW X1 M35i will be launched this October in the US and the following month in Europe.

[Photos: Tom Kirkpatrick / BMW ]