BMW is cooking up a hotter version of the entry-level BMW X1.
We've known for a while now that BMW is working on a new redesigned X1, but now, for the first time, our spies have caught BMW testing a new high-performance M variant.
The most obvious difference between this and previous X1 prototypes is the quad exhaust system normally found on M cars that gives it a sportier look than the regular BMW X1 we've spied before. Our source believes this is an enhanced M Sport model rather than a full-fat M model, however, so don't expect the performance to be on par with models like the X3 M and X4 M. BMW's hot new crossover will likely be called the X1 M35i since BMW already offers an M35i version of the 2 Series Gran Coupe.
At this stage of development, the X1 M35i is fully camouflaged, but the production model will likely have the usual M Sport enhancements such as a redesigned front bumper with larger air intakes, beefier brakes, and firmer suspension.
In its current guise, the range-topping X1 xDrive28i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four pot producing 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW's current M35i models utilize a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four rated at 301 hp, but the X1 M35i could get a power boost to give the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 some healthy competition.
We don't get a look inside the car, but previous spy shots have shown the next-generation X1 will have a redesigned, more high-tech interior with a new three-spoke steering wheel and a curved dual-screen combining a digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen for the infotainment system.
While we aren't expecting the cabin to be as technologically advanced as the flagship iX, it will be a significant upgrade over the current X1, which is equipped with an 8.8-inch touchscreen. The new X1 M35i should arrive at the same time as the regular X1, which is expected to debut in late 2022.