Brand's smallest SUV prepares for renewed competitors

The updated BMW X1 has been spied undergoing testing near the company's headquarters in Munich, Germany.

When the second-generation X1 was unveiled in 2015, it made waves for being the first major globally-available model from the Bavarian brand to use a front-wheel drive platform — the earlier 2 Series Active Tourer is significantly more niche, and the 1 Series sedan is restricted primarily to China.

The facelifted version of the 'F48' X1 should bring the necessary improvements to help it fight the new generation Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, but stops well short of being an era-defining redesign.

At the front, the X1 facelift will feature a new double kidney grille. Although not as tall as the ones fitted to the latest X5 and upcoming X7, it will have bolder chrome bars than today's car.

The lower section of the front bumper has also been redesigned with plenty of horizontal slats.

Heading to the back, the X1 "life-cycle impulse" will have new graphics for the tail-lights, and an updated design for the lower portion of the rear bumper.

Our spy photography agency reports the interior has also been partially camouflaged, and could feature an updated infotainment system. We expect to see revised trim and specification levels as well.