BMW is preparing a next-generation version of its X1 compact crossover, which will be made available with an all-electric iX1 variant – spied here for the first time ahead of going on sale in 2022.
It’ll act not just as an alternative to the combustion-engined X1 SUV but will be a new rival for the likes of the Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge and the Mercedes EQA in the small, premium electric SUV segment.
The current X1 received a mid-life facelift back in 2019, which means this electric iX1 will form part of the next-generation X1 line-up that’s due next year. Any specifications for the iX1 are still yet to be confirmed, but we expect the new model will be based on a heavily reworked version of the current X1’s UKL platform.
BMW has already developed an electric version of the underpinnings, which prop up the MINI Electric. However, the iX1 should feature the company’s next-generation EV system, (as seen on the iX3), granting access to a 210kW motor if required, and battery technology that should easily see the EV’s range surpass 320 kilometres and towards the figures of rivals from Volvo and Mercedes.
With its next X1, BMW will aim to cater for as many buyers as possible, adopting the same “Power of Choice” strategy it’ll employ on the next 5 Series and 7 Series. It means alongside the EV there will be petrol and diesel mild-hybrid options, plus a plug-in hybrid model.
Like the BMW iX3 and its combustion-engined counterpart, the pure-electric iX1 will look near-enough identical to the new X1, with the only noticeable differences being a blanked-off radiator grille and re-shaped rear valance, which does away with an exhaust cutout.
The iX3’s vertical bumper intakes also seem to be lurking under this mule’s camouflage, as BMW tries to create a family “face” for its electric SUVs. The production car should also feature a couple of blue highlights, some aerodynamically efficient alloy wheels and unique badges to signal its eco credentials.
BMW’s decision to expand its electric fleet forms part of the Group’s wider measures to reduce its overall carbon footprint. By 2030, BMW aims to lower its supply chain CO2 emissions by 20 percent over 2019, while an 80 percent drop in emissions from its factories and other sites is targeted by the same date.