A leak has prematurely revealed the 2017 BMW X1 ahead of its scheduled debut at this year’s edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Built on the Munich-based automaker’s UKL platform, the X1 is set to become the first front-wheel drive BMW sold in the United States.
Visually, the X1 gets a sharper-looking design that borrows styling cues such as angular headlights, a sculpted hood and a tall kidney grille from the entry-level 1 Series hatchback sold across Europe. The rear fascia ditches the current model’s L-shape tail lamps in favor of more streamlined units that emphasize the crossover’s width. All told, the second-gen X1 boasts a much more harmonious design than the current model.
The cockpit features a familiar layout but it gains a bigger multimedia screen located on top of the dashboard and a longer center console. The soft-roader continues to offer BMW’s familiar no-nonsense analog instrument cluster and a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel.
In Europe, the X1 will launch with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that is also found under the hood of the third-gen MINI Hardtop and the family-focused 2 Series Active Tourer. Buyers looking for more power will be able to order the X1 with a 190-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four, and a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid model is scheduled to join the lineup a little later in the production run. It’s too early to tell whether the turbo three will be offered in the United States; however, sources close to BMW have hinted the company’s new straight-six doesn’t fit in the X1’s engine bay.
What’s certain is that the six-speed manual transmission available on the Old Continent will not make the trip over the Atlantic. Here in the U.S., all versions of the X1 will ship with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive will come standard, and select trim levels will be available with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
Stay tuned — now that the cat is out of the bag, we suspect BMW will publish a full set of details about the next X1 in the near future. After it greets the show-going public in Frankfurt next September, BMW’s smallest crossover will go on sale in time for the 2017 model year.