A BMW X1 M performance SUV is on the table as a possible new model, with the brand refusing to rule out any such derivative of its smallest SUV.
Any such BMW X1 M would be directly targeted at baby performance crossovers such as the Audi RS Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG. Those two cars are priced at $81,900 and $79,900 respectively, and offer power outputs of 228kW/420Nm and 265kW/450Nm respectively.
By contrast, the current, four-year-old X1 has a top-end model – the xDrive28i – with 180kW and 350Nm, and a price of $59,900.
BMW M performance arm sales boss, Jörg Bartels, refused to discuss any future product plans with CarAdvice at the launch of the new M3 and M4 in New Zealand this week. However, he reiterated that nothing is off the table for the M brand, and that the company has already offered M models of its X5 and X6.
“I will say again what the boss of BMW M has stated in the past – all BMWs are eligible for an M model,” he said.
“We will see how Audi and Mercedes go with that,” Bartels said of the launch of the compact performance SUVs.
The question over the need for a performance SUV as part of the line-up lead to only a hint of possibility of such a car eventuating, but BMW will unveil an all-new X1 in 2015 that is expected to see the introduction of a flagship fast model.
It certainly wouldn’t hurt for a performance small SUV to join the ranks at BMW. The X1 is only loping along in sales terms with 737 units moved to the end of May – easily outsold by the likes of the Q3 (1320 sales to May 2014) and with plenty of pressure from Mercedes-Benz with its new GLA-Class.
Audi has stated that its RS Q3 (above) is expected to attract 100 buyers in 2014, and a facelifted version is likely to lob locally in the first half of 2015.
BMW’s new X1 will be based upon the same modular underpinnings used in the 2 Series Active Tourer. That means that unlike the current car which is rear- or all-wheel drive, the new model will be front- or all-wheel drive – the same configuration as the Q3 and GLA.
The new model should be unveiled in the first half of 2015, along with a facelifted version of the 1 Series hatch. The sportier 2 Series coupe launched just a few months ago in Australia, and it will be joined by the 2 Series MPV (which will be offered with an M Sport kit) in November, and a 2 Series Convertible is expected late in 2015 or early in 2016.