BMW raised more than a few eyebrows a few years ago when it started to release M Performance versions of front-wheel-drive-based cars. The M Lite lineup has been extended this year with the launch of a first-ever X1 M35i. As we’ve seen with other not-quite-M cars in recent times, the luxury brand is attempting to narrow the gap between these cars and the full-fat M models. Well, at least visually.

Design cues shared between these two tiers of M cars now include the quad exhaust tips and side mirror design but also an M badge on one of the kidney grilles. In addition, cars such as the M340i can be ordered with an optional carbon fiber roof – a feature previously available on the actual M3. While these cheaper sporty cars have an engine cover with “M Performance” lettering, we’re surprised to see an actual M logo underneath the X1 M35i’s hood, without the “Performance” anymore.

The walkaround video shows the M Performance X1 with faux carbon fiber on the plastic engine cover adorned by a sizeable depiction of the “world’s most powerful letter.” Elsewhere, this is a pricey build painted in Portimao Blue Metallic and riding on 20-inch wheels. It’s not a fully loaded specification since it’s missing the M Compound brakes, which can be visually distinguished by their gray calipers with yet another M logo.

The 2024 X1 M35i featured here has been fitted with the optional M Sport Professional Package encompassing Shadowline black accents on the body and headlights, plus the M Sport front seats. These come wrapped in black perforated Veganza (vegan leather) upholstery with Alcantara accents and the three famous colors.  It has blue stitching throughout the cabin while the trim adorning the dashboard and door cards is called Aluminium Hexacube.

It also happens to have the Premium Package with a panoramic moonroof, a head-up display, an interior camera, an anti-theft recorder, and a 360-degree camera. To sweeten the pot, BMW also adds the Parking Assistant Plus, a universal garage-door opener, and the Live Cockpit Professional. That Harman Kardon sound system is part of the standard equipment in the United States where this video was shot.

The X1 M35i configurator has been up and running on the BMW USA website since the middle of August. You can max it out at around $60,000 by adding a little over $10,000 worth of options. This range-topping X1 is already on sale in the US, with Europe to follow in November.

Source: NewCar / YouTube