Nicknamed ‘XCite’ or ‘NEC’ for new entry crossover, the model will borrow elements from a variety of vehicle classes. That usually means polarizing styling (we’re looking at you, BMW X6), practicality, efficiency, and a quirky marketing campaign.
The Sport Cross’ design has not been finalized yet, however an internal document describes the XCite with the following words: avant-garde, different, urban, unconventional, young, aggressive, wide, low, courageous, anti-establishment, consciously compromised, disrespectful, sensitive, and sensible.
A mass-produced anti-establishment crossover that is both disrespectful and sensible? That’s a new one.
The XCite is expected to ride on BMW’s UKL platform, the same one that underpins the 1 Series and the X1. That probably means front-wheel drive, optional four-wheel drive, and a variety of four-cylinder powerplants with six-speed transmissions.
While it will reportedly boast a long hood and compact cabin like the X1, the 1 Series is expected to employ a radically different look. Like in the conceptual illustration shown above, the Sport Cross will likely wear a muscular body, wide stance, progressive styling and a totally bespoke interior.
A “senior BMW engineer” told Automobile Mag that the vehicle will look as different from the X1 as the Range Rover Evoque does from the Land Rover LR2. To avoid cannibalization, the vehicle will have to do just that.
Signs point to a five-door hatch arriving sometime in 2018, with a base price of below $30,000. A three-door version will follow a year later. BMW plans to build approximately 250,000 examples of the Sport Cross over its lifecycle.