The all-new BMW X1 has been spied ahead of a 2015 launch. And despite sharing a similar shape to its predecessor, it will buck the trend by being the first BMW 'X' model to be offered with front-wheel drive.
Based on the the new UKL1 front-wheel drive platform, which will also underpin the new MINI (set to debut at the LA Motor Show in November), the new X1 won't be actually be the first front-wheel drive BMW. That accolade will go to the production version of the BMW Concept Active Tourer, due in early 2014.
The versatility of this new FWD architecture, which can be modified for a variety of lengths, widths and heights, will enable it to be fitted to a huge range of new BMWs and MINI variants. Reports suggest up to 20 models based on this architecture are already in the pipeline.
The disguised prototype still retains some key BMW design elements such as the twin-kidney front grille and prominent air intakes. The sloping roofline also gives the prototype a sportier profile to that of the current X1.
A new family of 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engines are likely to feature, expected to be shared with the new MINI. Power figures are yet to be confirmed but outputs ranging from 122bhp to 224bhp for the petrol and 82bhp to 184bhp for the diesel motors is predicted.
The next-gen X1 will demand a slight premium over the current model when it arrives in early 2015, with prices expected to start close to £28,000.