In its second generation since 2015, BMW’s smallest crossover is undergoing final testing ahead of next year when the revamped model will debut with an all-new design inside and out. Ahead of its official premiere, the luxury compact model has been spied on a rainy day in Munich while undergoing final testing. This isn’t just any version of the Mercedes GLA rival, but the first-ever fully electric derivative.
To be sold as the iX1, the completely silent crossover had the production-ready body as well as the final headlights and taillights. Despite the full camouflage, you can see the charging port is on the rear-right fender where you’ll find the fuel cap on the X1 powered by combustion engines. The disguise can’t hide the vehicle’s more grown-up appearance making it look like a proper SUV rather than a raised hatchback.
Going up against the Mercedes EQA, the BMW iX1 will be mechanically twinned with the next generation of the Mini Countryman, which is also going to spawn a zero-emissions flavor. Expect a bump in size over the outgoing model, along with a more upright roofline to create a stronger visual distinction from the swoopy X2 crossover-coupe. Inside, logic tells us Bavaria’s entry-level X offering will boast the iDrive 8 infotainment system recently seen on the iX and i4 electric models.
The iX1 should go on sale either by the end of 2022 or early 2023 and will be offered alongside gasoline and diesel models. Much like it’s the case with the current model, its replacement will also offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain, which will likely have a lot in common with the all-wheel-drive PHEV variant of the new 2 Series Active Tourer minivan.
Riding on an evolution of the BMW Group’s UKL platform dubbed FAAR, the 2023 X1 should benefit from the company’s fifth-generation eDrive setup. However, it’s unclear whether it will come only in a two-wheel-drive configuration as it’s the case with the bigger iX3 or there are plans to also give it electric motors at both axles to enable an xDrive setup.
The iX1 is a vital model in terms of volume for BMW’s greater EV plan, which also includes electric versions of the next 5 Series and 7 Series sedans. In addition, China is getting a new i3 next year that will take the shape of a long-wheelbase 3 Series Sedan without an ICE.
Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube