One of the latest BMW concepts that stirred up a lot of controversy between the bimmer fans, is the X1 Concept. The BMW X1, in a concept form, was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in October. A concept that many people believe will not be as useful or successful as BMW predicts. But that's another story for another day.
Since the X1 production version has not been yet unveiled, there weren't any test drives conducted by press media. The folks at Autobild were given by BMW the privilege to join them at the winter testing in Arctic Driving Center in Rovaniemi, Finland.
Since the article is in german, I had to rely on Google Translate and our friend EnI from GCZ, to pull out the most important things they discovered.
BMW X1 xDrive30i
X1 will be available in late 2009 and only in Europe(at least for a while)
the car is flat, not SUV-ish at all - it looks and feels much more like a 3er Touring "Allroad"(it is built on the same platform)
the car is very agile, and drives just like 3er xDrive Touring
the cabin is not cramped at all, yet the roof lies much lower compared to X3
the dash was still in camo and the basic layout comes from the 1 Series, the steering wheel as well and the big-screen navigation from the 3 Series
the car features 3.0L I6 engine with 272HP, and a 6-speed automatic gearbox
xDrive basis torque-distribution ratio in this car is regular 40:60
the sitting position is a bit higher than in 3er Touring xDrive but much lower than in X3
the car's driving and overall characteristics are much more similar to 1er & 3er than to X3
there are four models available xDrive20i, xDrive20d, xDrive30i and a hybrid version
Very interesting findings and in the end, it seems like the BMW X1 might have a place of its own in the BMW fleet. We know that the next generation X3 will increase in size and implicitly move up in the class, leaving a spot for the sportier, more agile X1.