BMW X1 plug-in coming in 2016

PHEV version of the BMW X1 spotted testing, will form part of extensive plug-in family

The BMW X1 plug-in hybrid has been caught testing ahead of launch next year. Likely to be badged X1 xDrive30e, it’ll form part of a range of plug-in models from the 2 Series Active Tourer up to the 7 Series luxury saloon.

Snapped by our spy photographers this week, the plug-in X1 will use a 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to a powerful electric motor for sub-50g/km CO2 emissions and more than 135mpg.

Like the upcoming BMW 330e and BMW X5 xDrive40e, the X1 PHEV will look much like the standard car, albeit with an additional flap in the front wing to connect the car to mains electricity. Details on charge time and range are not yet available, but the X5 will do 19 miles on electric power alone – so we expect the X1 to match (or exceed) that number.

Performance is likely to be pretty brisk, too. We’ll have to wait until the car is revealed for official figures, but a 0-62mph time of less than seven seconds is possible, with a top speed of around 130mph. For comparison, the current range-topping X1 xDrive25d diesel will sprint to 62mph in 6.6 seconds.

The trade-off for those performance and efficiency gains will be a compromise on interior space and practicality. As with many hybrids, the batteries will be stored under the boot floor – reducing load space by up to 100 litres. That said, the new X1’s boot is 85 litres larger than before, so owners of the outgoing car shouldn’t be too concerned.

It’s likely the X1 xDrive will sit at the top of the current model range, with a price tag of more than £35,000. We’ll have more details towards the end of the year, ahead of the car’s launch in 2016.

See more upcoming new cars on our Frankfurt Motor Show preview page.

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