Next BMW X1 moving to smaller, lighter FWD-biased platformThu, 20 Feb 2014 08:44:00 EST
BMW's decision to make the upcoming 2-Series Active Tourer front-wheel drive has been polarizing to say the least, but like it or not, that is the direction the company will go in the near future – one rumor put the number as high as 23 front-wheel-drive models for Mini and BMW combined. The next-generation X1 won't send all its power to the front wheels, though, when it launches in early 2016. While it will use the same platform as the Active Tourer, rumors suggest all models will use all-wheel drive – at least at launch.
A "high-ranking," unnamed BMW manager confirmed to AutoWeek that the new model will switch to transversely-mounted three- and four-cylinder engines and the same six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions as the Active Tourer. The new, smaller platform will allow for more efficient packaging, and despite the smaller size, interior space will remain comparable. All the changes should make it significantly lighter too.
Don't start wailing just yet because BMW surely won't be entirely abandoning sporty models. AutoWeek claims that the Bavarians are working on a higher-output version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with power closer to 300 horsepower, about a 72-hp boost. It's also rumored to offer a sporty version of the X1 that may be called the X2.
We have already spotted the X1 testing multiple times, so it's definitely on the way. In other words, we'll just have to learn to accept these new compact Bimmers.
By Chris Bruce
See also: Upcoming Mini 5-door hatch spied in the snow, BMW Films are on the way back [w/videos], Help Mini decide on its next limited-edition Cooper.