New BMW X1 spied ahead of 2015 launch

Fresh BMW X1 spotted in testing - it's expected to get front-wheel drive and three-cylinder engines for the first time

BMW is readying its next-generation X1 small crossover ahead of a 2015 release, as seen in our latest spy shots. The release date is expected to be around June next year, and the SUV looks set to be based on the brand's new front-wheel drive platform, and get a range of three-cylinder engines for the first time.

With the X1's closest rival, the Audi Q3, recently receiving a range of updates and an all-new Volkswagen Tiguan on the horizon for next year, BMW is hoping to stay ahead of the game with its new model.

The familiar shape remains, but a more sloping roofline, a larger and more prominent grille and redesigned headlamps look likely for the new car, plus more plastic body cladding for a chunkier look. The shoulder line appears higher, although not to quite the same extent as the rival Range Rover Evoque, leaving a more compact rear window and sportier stance from behind.

Powertrain details are yet to be confirmed, but we know the X1 will be the second BMW available with front-wheel drive following the recent release of the 2-Series Active Tourer MPV. The new X1 will be based on the same front-wheel drive UKL1 platform as that car (as well as the new MINI range). The 'XDrive' four-wheel drive system will remain for more powerful variants.

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We also expect to see BMW's new 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol with 138bhp in the car, plus the 1.5-litre three-pot diesel engine from the MINI. Other engine options should include a range of four cylinder petrol and diesel engines. 

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