The closer BMW edges to being a…Volkswagen brand of this world instead of an exclusively premium manufacturer, the more mainstream some of its products become, and you can see this from the designs to the expansion into popular segments and the adoption of front-wheel drive platforms for models like the X1.
Truth to be told, from a mainstream buyer's perspective, it makes a lot of sense for smaller SUVs and crossovers that won't necessarily be ordered with all-wheel drive to come with a front-wheel drive layout as this solution offers reduced costs, increased fuel economy, less weight and more driver-friendly handling.
As such, the second generation X1, expected to be revealed at next year's Frankfurt Motor Show, will abandon the current model's older (E91) 3-Series Touring's platform with RWD and AWD, switching to the BMW Group's UKL1 architecture shared with the new Mini models like the hatch, which utilizes transversely mounted engines powering the front- or optionally, all-four wheels.
For its motivation, the X1 will also share the same engine lineup with the new Mini range, comprising 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder mills, all turbocharged. Unlike the current model, the new X1 will not be available with six-cylinder engines.
The competition for the X1 when it hits the market in 2016 will include the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3, both of which will be offered in the States this year.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoopS