The smallest SUV in BMW’s line-up made today its official debut. Set for a first appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the new BMW X1 will go on sale in Europe by the end of the year, while in the USA it has been confirmed for 2011.

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In Europe the new SUV will be offered with a choice of four engines - one gasoline and three diesels - and will be available in rear-wheel drive and xDrive all-wheel drive configurations.

The BMW X1 xDrive28i is powered by a straight-six gasoline engine that delivers 258 hp and a peak torque of 228 lb-ft. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds and reaches a top speed 127 mph, all this with a fuel consumption of 30.0 mpg.

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The BMW X1 xDrive23d is powered by a 2,0 liter four-cylinder diesel engine that develops 204 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and reaches a top speed or 127 mph. The X1 xDrive20d delivers 177 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds and can hit a top speed of 127 mph.

The BMW X1 xDrive18d and the BMW X1 sDrive18d deliver 143 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque and sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 10.1 seconds and 9.6 seconds respectively , while top speed if 121 and, respectively, 124 mph.

Full details in the press release after the jump.

  • 2011 BMW X1
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Press release

For the first time the features and qualities so typical of a BMW X model are also available in a premium vehicle in the compact segment. Indeed, the BMW X1 is entering the market with the assignment to offer the Sheer Driving Pleasure so characteristic of BMW with a new standard of quality also in this segment of the market. The latest member in the family of BMW X models therefore stands for versatile, sporting performance and supreme agility in an urban environment and beyond.

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In its style and appearance, the BMW X1 is the epitome of self-confident elegance, sophisticated function, and stylish, modern character. With its superior drivetrain technology also comprising BMW’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system and its both modern and variable interior, the BMW X1 offers ideal qualities for truly versatile mobility ensuring a genuine driving experience. The elevated seating position and the driver-oriented design of the cockpit enhance the emotional driving experience. Sophisticated materials, strikingly contoured surfaces and BMW iDrive fitted in conjunction with one of the optional navigation systems accentuate the premium character of the BMW X1 right from the start.

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At the rear, the spacious compartment offers three full-sized seats. Folding down the rear-seat backrest split into three sections and adjustable also for angle, the driver and passengers are able to increase luggage compartment capacity from 420 litres or 14.7 cubic feet all the way to 1,350 litres or 47.3 cu ft. Numerous storage facilities and boxes add even greater function and practical value, while the optional Panorama glass roof ensures an even more generous feeling of space. The BMW X1 sets new standards for driving pleasure in the premium compact segment. Benefiting from BMW EfficientDynamics, it also offers the most favourable balance of performance and fuel economy within the segment of BMW X models.

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The BMW X1 is entering the market with a choice of one six-cylinder gasoline engine and three four-cylinder diesels. The straight-six gasoline power unit featured in the BMW X1 xDrive28i boasts a composite magnesium/aluminium crankcase, VALVETRONIC valve management and dual-VANOS, and delivers maximum output of 190 kW/258 hp. The BMW X1 xDrive23d comes with a 150 kW/204 hp diesel featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo and common-rail fuel injection.

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The diesel engines in the BMW X1 xDrive20d delivering 130 kW/177 hp and in the BMW X1 xDrive 18d with 105 kW/143 hp, finally, also come with common-rail fuel injection as well as a turbocharger with variable intake geometry. These engines are also featured in the BMW X1 sDrive20d and the BMW X1 sDrive18d with the latter, equipped with rear-wheel drive, offering average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of only 5.2 litres/100 kilometres (54.3 mpg) and a CO2 rating of 136 grams per kilometre as the most efficient and economical option for spontaneous driving pleasure.

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Body design

The driving characteristics of the BMW X1 combine superior agility with versatile sportiness – and precisely these features also come out in the design of the new model. At the same time the self-confident elegance so typical of the BMW X1 forms a perfect match with modern function all round. The front end, the side and the rear end flow smoothly into one another, striking and powerful lines creating a sleek and stylish connection between the various body elements.

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Measuring 4.45 metres or 175.2” in length, this unique five-door stands out clearly from every angle as a fully-fledged BMW X model, despite its body dimensions smaler than on the BMW X6, the BMW X5, and the BMW X3. Square-contoured wheel arches, greater ground clearance, the slender protection cover on the lower part and the upright BMW kidney grille clearly symbolise the robust qualities of the new model, while long wheelbase of 2.76 metres/108.7” and the low-slung rear window create sleek and stretched proportions testifying to the sporting character of the BMW X1. This sporting character is also borne out by the excellent aerodynamic qualities of the new model resulting, not least, in a drag coefficient of 0.32 on the BMW X1 sDrive20d, the BMW X1 xDrive18d, and the BMW X1 sDrive18d.

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Through its strong and muscular bumper and the BMW kidney grille merging smoothly with all surrounding elements, the front end spells out powerful presence right from the start. The widely flared wheel arches and the strongly contoured engine lid with its contour lines stretching towards the kidney grille give the BMW X1 a particularly powerful and muscular appearance.

Cut off sharply at the top, the dual round headlights again so typical of BMW, together with the lights band emphasising the sheer width of the vehicle, create a particularly powerful and focused look. A three-dimensional surround serves to additionally emphasise the contours of the headlights.

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The foglamps positioned high up and far to the outside are embedded deep within the bumper. Beneath the large air intake, finally, a silver-coloured underfloor protection cover again confirms that this is a genuine BMW X model in every respect. The side view of the BMW X1 is characterised by three striking lines.

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The contour line on the level of the door openers rising sharply towards the rear end interacts with the sill-line moving up only slightly to create a dynamic wedge shape. In between, a highly expressive character line adds a special touch through its progressive flow, first moving down, then moving up slightly and finally rising dynamically up front of the rear wheel arch. This character line continues in the graphic surround of the “Hofmeister kick” so typical of BMW on the base of the C-pillar, the character line and window graphics thus forming one optical unit to give the BMW X1 a particularly agile and compact look.

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Powerful wheel arches and horizontal lines emphasise the width of the elaborately chiselled rear end. The individual surfaces and body sections are characterised by smooth rounded edges, while the rear light clusters in typical L-shape are re-interpreted by sharp, almost jagged lines. Like the headlights at the front and the rear section of the side window graphics, the rear light clusters boast a special surround at the outside adding further flair to their contours. And finally, a silver-coloured underfloor protection plate bears testimony to the robust character so typical of a BMW X model also at the rear.

The optional X Line available for the BMW X1 offers a particular touch of style and class, featuring inserts in the front and rear bumpers finished in body colour, similar inlays in the side-sills and a painted trim bar separating the lower air intake in a horizontal line. Likewise available as an option, the roof railing comes in this case in a special silver colour.

Interior design

Graphic elements full of powerful expression, generous trim surfaces and dynamic lines give the interior of the BMW X1 a truly sporting and youthful appearance. The instrument panel is subdivided by horizontal lines creating a special structure continuing into the door panels which, by accentuating the sheer width of the vehicle, heightens the generous feeling of space. The Control Display on the optional iDrive control system is also finished in innovative style, blending smoothly and harmoniously into the dashboard.

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The elevated seating position so typical of the BMW X models ensures comfortable and convenient access at all times. Optimised all-round visibility of traffic conditions around the car, in turn, gives the driver an even greater and more convincing feeling of supremacy. This feeling is further enhanced by his eyes looking down from above at the dashboard curved slightly to the front. The special design of the centre console and the dashboard area around the cockpit offers an appropriate reinterpretation of the driver orientation so typical of a BMW. The first point is that through its special look and configuration, the centre console clearly separates the driver’s and front passenger’s areas.

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The controls for air conditioning and the audio system are inclined slightly towards the driver, while a trim bar in contrasting colour flowing out of the lower section of the dashboard surrounds the instrument cluster including the binnacle at the top to form one complete unit, safely and reliably guiding the driver’s eyes to the road ahead. The BMW X1 comes with a choice of seven body colours. The interior, in turn, is finished in both powerful and natural colours, the wide range of colours available giving the customer free rein in customising the car to his own individual style.

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As an alternative to the seat upholstery finished as standard in Elektra cloth, there is also Median cloth in sporting striped design as well as Nevada leather. Then the customer also has the choice of no less than seven trim colours and five variants of trim bars giving the car either a particularly sporting, modern, extroverted or elegant touch. Yet a further special feature is the Cool Elegance Design Package available on the BMW X1, incorporating highlights such as sports seats in Oyster-coloured leather upholstery and black/yellow piping on the backrest as well as trim bars in Bright Wave wood. In this case the lower section of the instrument panel and the centre console likewise come in Oyster.

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A wide range of open storage boxes, trays and cupholders on the centre console as well as large open door compartments with integrated holders for bottles underline the functional character of the BMW X1. Through its generous dimensions, the rear-seat bench offers comfortable space for up to three passengers. As a further advantage the interior of the BMW X1 may be re-configured easily and quickly whenever required to meet all kinds of transport requirements. Loading is easy and convenient through the large tailgate, the wide opening for the luggage compartment and the low loading sill, even when taking along bulky objects.

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The backrest angle at the rear may be adjusted in numerous stages by up to 31o – and when the backrests are set to a vertical angle (Cargo Position), luggage compartment capacity increases from 420 to 490 litres (14.7 to 17.2 cu ft). Split at a ratio of 40/20/40, the rear backrest also offers many other options and variable loading configurations: Folding down only the centre section, for example, the driver and his passengers enjoy the benefits of a large through-loading able to accommodate two 46-inch golf bags, four pairs of skis or two snowboards. Folding down the rear-seat backrest completely, on the other hand, luggage capacity increases to an enormous 1,350 litres or 47.3 cubic feet. A further amenity is the separate storage compartment beneath the floor of the luggage compartment as such. Folding down the centre rear-seat backrest alone provides a generous through-loading facility interacting perfectly with the transport bag available as an option. And last but certainly not least, a rear luggage rack preparation kit is also available in addition to the roof railing.

The engines

BMW X models offer a particular highlight in Sheer Driving Pleasure so typical of the brand. The BMW X1, in turn, combines this experience with a level of efficiency quite unparalleled in its segment. The BMW X1 sDrive20d and the BMW sDrive18d, for example, are the first vehicles of their kind to emit less than 140 grams of CO2 per kilometre in the EU test cycle, and the other model variants also stand out through an unusually good balance of driving pleasure and fuel economy ensured by engines featuring the most efficient technology and, of course, by the wide range of BMW EfficientDynamics using breakthroughs in technology combined appropriately with one another on each model. Examples in this context are Brake Energy Regeneration, optimised aerodynamics, tyres with low roll resistance, intelligent lightweight engineering, the final drive with optimised warm-up behaviour as well as ancillary units operating and controlled on demand such as the electrical fuel pump and the detachable a/c compressor.

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The manual models come with Auto Start Stop and a gearshift point indicator. The BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system features a new power divider with optimised efficiency, and the engine of the BMW X1 xDrive28i also boasts a map-controlled oil pump. Last but definitely not least, all variants of the BMW X1 fulfil the EU5 emission standard. The top performer in its segment is of course the BMW X1 xDrive28i with its straight-six gasoline engine delivering maximum output of 190 kW/258 hp at 6,600 rpm. Peak torque from this 3.0-litre, in turn, is 310 Newton-metres or 228 lb-ft maintained consistently between 2,600 and 3,000 rpm. Featuring a composite magnesium/aluminium crankcase, fully variable VALVETRONIC valve control and infinite dual-VANOS camshaft adjustment, this power unit stands out through its low weight, the running smoothness and fast-revving performance characteristic of a BMW six-cylinder, as well as optimised performance at low engine speeds.

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The BMW X1 xDrive28i accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 205 km/h or 127 mph (230 km/h or 143 mph with optional high-speed set-up). The efficiency of the six-cylinder, together with a wide range of technologies reducing both fuel consumption and emissions, provides average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of just 9.4 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 30.0 mpg imp) and a CO2 rating of 219 grams per kilometre.

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The four-cylinder diesel with BMW TwinPower Turbo and fourth-generation common-rail direct fuel injection in the BMW X1 xDrive23d combines truly impressive torque and pulling force with superior efficiency. Displacing 2.0 litres, this all-aluminium power unit develops maximum output of 150 kW/204 hp at an engine speed of 4,400 rpm and offers maximum torque of 400 Newton-metres/295 lb-ft between 2,000 and 2,250 rpm. Variable Twin Turbo technology activating a small turbocharger right from the start when just slightly “stroking” the gas pedal and a second, larger turbocharger cutting in under higher load, ensures truly fascinating response and a smooth surge of power whenever required. Piezo-injectors operating at a pressure of up to 2,000 bar make the injection of fuel particularly precise.

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The BMW X1 xDrive23d accelerates to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 205 km/h or 127 mph (223 km/h or 138 mph with its optional high-speed set-up). This sporting performance comes together perfectly with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of only 6.3 litres/ 100 kilometres (equal to 44.8 mpg imp) and a CO2 emission rating of 167 grams per kilometre.

A turbocharger with variable intake geometry and common-rail fuel injection with piezo-injectors generating maximum pressure of 1,800 bar give the second four-cylinder diesel engine featured in the BMW X1 maximum output of 130 kW/177 hp at an engine speed of 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 350 Newton-metres/258 lb-ft maintained consistently between 1,750 and 3,000 rpm. Likewise displacing 2.0 litres, the all-aluminium diesel engine in the BMW X1 xDrive20d ensures acceleration to 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds, with the BMW X1 sDrive20d reaching the same mark in an even faster 8.1 seconds. Top speed in each case is 205 km/h or 127 mph. On models featuring the optional high-speed set-up, top speed increases to 213 km/h or 132 mph on the BMW X1 xDrive20d and, respectively, 218 km/h or 135 mph on the BMW X1 sDrive20d.

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Fuel economy and emission management are truly outstanding on both models: Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 5.8 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 51.4 mpg imp) with the BMW X1 xDrive20d and an even more remarkable 5.3 litres/100 km (53.3 mpg imp) on the BMW X1 sDrive20d. The corresponding CO2 ratings are 153 and, respectively, 139 grams per kilometre.

The 105 kW/143 hp version of the four-cylinder diesel in the BMW X1 xDrive18d and the BMW X1 sDrive18d offers an even more economical entry into the fascinating world of the BMW X models. Again, this power unit also comes with common-rail direct fuel injection and a turbocharger with variable intake geometry delivering peak torque of 320 Newton-metres or 236 lb-ft all the way from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm and reaching its maximum output at an engine speed of 4,000 rpm. The BMW X1 xDrive18d accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 10.1 seconds, the BMW X1 sDrive18d completes the same exercise in 9.6 seconds. Top speed, in turn, is 195 and, respectively, 200 km/h (121 and, respectively, 124 mph).

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The BMW X1 xDrive18d averages fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 5.7 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 49.6 mpg imp) and has a CO2 emission rating of 150 grams per kilometre. The BMW X1 sDrive18d, finally, marks the record in terms of emission management, with average fuel consumption of 5.2 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 54.3 mpg imp) and a CO2 emission rating of just 136 grams per kilometre.

Both the BMW X1 xDrive28i and the BMW X1 xDrive23d come as standard with six-speed automatic transmission. This automatic power transmission also available as an option on the BMW X1 xDrive20d instead of the six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard not only promotes driving comfort, but also enhances the agile driving behaviour of the most compact X model.

The sporting characteristics of the transmission are attributable in particular to the direct connection with the engine closing the clutch immediately after setting off. The transmission therefore follows even the slightest movement of the gas pedal, with short reaction and gearshift times. Shifting back more than one gear, in turn, does not take any longer than a direct gearshift to the next gear, thanks to the transmission directly moving into the right gear path. And last but certainly not least, the Steptronic function of the automatic transmission enables the driver to shift gears manually whenever he wishes.

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BMW xDrive

Offering variable distribution of drive power between the front and rear wheels, BMW xDrive permanent all-wheel drive improves both the car’s agility and superior traction on rough surfaces. Thanks to the supreme qualities of this system, BMW is indeed the world’s most successful manufacturer of all-wheel-drive vehicles in the premium segment. And now this intelligent all-wheel drive is available for the first time in a compact vehicle.

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Working through a power divider with an electronically controlled multiple- plate clutch, xDrive distributes drive forces appropriately and in exactly the right dose to the axle offering the best wheel grip on the road below.

All-wheel drive is naturally connected to DSC Dynamic Stability Control and the engine management also on the BMW X1, with sensors on the wheels immediately detecting even the slightest tendency to spin. Within fractions of a second, therefore, the system is able to vary the ratio of power distribution even before a wheel starts to spin, thus effectively countering even the slightest tendency to over- or understeer in good time.

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In bends more drive power is fed to the rear axle in order to make the vehicle even more agile and again to avoid understeer. Then, when leaving the bend, BMW xDrive immediately returns to the basic setting in the interest of optimum torque and drive power.

Even under the most demanding conditions, the distribution of drive power through xDrive always ensures optimum driving stability. Only when the appropriate change in drive force distribution is no longer sufficient will DSC Dynamic Stability Control cut in to regain driving stability by intervening on the individual wheel brakes and reducing engine power appropriately.

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DSC Dynamic Stability Control in the BMW X1 comprises not only the ABS anti-lock brake function, Dynamic Brake Control and CBC Cornering Brake Control, but also DTC Dynamic Traction Control. This latter function raises the stability control thresholds to a higher level, making it easier for the driver to set off on snow and sand with the wheels allowed to spin slightly.

On the BMW X1 xDrive28i DSC comes additionally with Dry Braking in the wet, Fading Compensation and a Start-Off Assistant.

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Available as an option in conjunction with the sports set-up likewise coming as an optional extra, Performance Control on the all-wheel-drive versions of the BMW X1 allows even more precise dosage of the brakes and maintains a superior balance of torque effectively countering even the slightest tendency to understeer right from the start on slippery surfaces and in particularly dynamic bends. As soon as the front wheels start to “push” out of a bend excessively, the inner rear wheel is slowed down as required by DSC control, any loss of drive power suffered in the process being set off by an increase in the flow of power going to the wheels.

Supreme agility and all-round safety ensured by modern suspension technology and the strong body structure

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Characterised by superior agility, precision and supremacy, the driving behaviour and performance of the BMW X1 results directly from its high standard of suspension technology as well as the particularly strong and stable body structure. At the front the all-wheel-drive models come with a double-joint thrust bar axle, the BMW X1 sDrive20d and the BMW X1 sDrive18d featuring an aluminium double-joint tiebar axle. In conjunction with the five-arm rear axle featured on all models, this ensures an optimum balance of sporting performance and driving comfort at all times.

The hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering comes complete with ultra-precise power assistance. Speed-related Servotronic available as an option on all the all-wheel-drive models, in turn, allows an even higher standard of smooth and effortless handling.

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The extra-powerful brakes on the BMW X1 ensure outstanding brake power and stopping forces under all conditions. Depending on the engine, the disc brakes on all four wheels come in various dimensions and, in accordance with the individual models, in swing-calliper or frame-calliper configuration at the front.

All versions of the BMW X1 come as standard on 17-inch wheels in either steel or aluminium. Another standard feature is the Tyre Defect Indicator, while runflat tyres enabling the driver to continue to the nearest workshop even after a complete loss of pressure come as an option.

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The extremely stiff and torsionally rigid bodyshell of the BMW X1 is based on BMW’s intelligent lightweight technology using, together with other materials, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel wherever appropriate. Both the choice of materials and the arrangement and geometry of the various support bars, load-bearing elements and reinforcements serve from the start to ensure maximum safety in a collision together with minimum weight and the highest possible standard of agility on the road. Forces acting on the bodyshell in the event of an accident are diverted through the engine supports and the suspension along several load paths in order to avoid extreme loads acting on individual structural elements and a possible impairment of the stable passenger cell.

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Within the BMW X1 not only frontal and side airbags, but also curtain head airbags at the side offer superior safety on both the front and rear seats. At the same time the BMW X1 comes with three-point inertia-reel seat belts all round, featuring belt force limiters and belt latch tensioners at the front. ISOFIX child seat fastenings on the rear seats come as standard. All restraint systems are masterminded by a central electronic safety unit.

Daytime driving lights featured as standard, bi-xenon headlights coming as an option

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Featured as standard on the BMW X1, the dual round headlights also come with a daytime lights function. Bi-xenon headlights including positioning and daytime driving lights featuring the corona rings so typical of BMW are available as an option combined with LED light conductors on the rear lights providing a particularly powerful impression of the L-design rear light clusters.

Apart from a High-Beam Assistant and a rain sensor, the BMW X1 is also available as an option with Adaptive Headlights illuminating the road ahead in the appropriate angle, following the steering and the position of the front wheels. Adaptive Brake Lights, in turn, give motorists following from behind a particularly clear warning when applying the brakes in an emergency.

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Optional extras: functional, innovative, sophisticated

The everyday driving qualities, driving pleasure and travel comfort offered by the BMW X1 may be further enhanced by sophisticated optional extras of the highest standard. The roof railing, a special storage package and a towing unit with a removable ball head offer additional transport capacities. Maximum trailer load of the BMW X1 is 2,000 kg or 4,410 lb (BMW X1 sDrive20d, BMW X1 xDrive 18d, and BMW X1 sDrive18d: 1,800 kg/3,969 lb).

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Features such as sports seats, seat heating, automatic air conditioning, a lights package and the large Panorama glass roof offer optimum qualities for customising the interior and creating a unique, highly individual ambience. The audio system featured as standard, in turn, comes not only with six loudspeakers and a CD player, but also with an AUX-In port for connecting external sources of music, with the option to integrate an MP3 player and other data media through a USB interface into the car’s entertainment system. Supreme sound quality, finally, is provided by the professional Pro Logic 7 HiFi system.

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In conjunction with the Business and, respectively, Professional navigation system, the BMW X1 comes with the latest generation of BMW iDrive including a Controller and direct selection buttons on the centre console, favourite buttons beneath the radio control unit, and a Control Display measuring either 6.5 or 8.8 inches. This Display also presents images from the back-up camera available as an option and serving, in addition to the likewise optional Park Distance Control with its precise sensors, to facilitate parking and similar manoeuvres in the BMW X1.

Drivers of a BMW X1 equipped with a navigation system also have the option to use voice entry and a Bluetooth interface for mobile phones or for the enhanced connection of Smartphones with their music and communication functions. Yet another option is to use the wide range of BMW ConnectedDrive services comprising features such as BMW Assist, BMW Online, and unrestricted use of the internet in the car.

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Unique driving experience, unparalleled efficiency

The BMW X1 is the first premium vehicle of its kind in the compact segment. In a unique manner, the concept of the BMW X1 combines the many requirements made of a modern compact car in terms of superior function with the benefits of outstanding quality and the pleasure of an emotional driving experience.

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Once again, therefore, BMW, through strong innovative power and a good feeling for all kinds of customer wishes, is taking on a leading role in the market. “Like every BMW X model, the BMW X1 again marks the breakthrough into a new, clearly defined market segment”, states Dr. Klaus Draeger, Board Member Development of BMW AG. “Throughout the entire development process, our ultimate objective with the BMW X1 was to offer a unique driving experience in the compact class and unparalleled efficiency throughout the entire segment of BMW X models.”

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The BMW X1 is built at BMW Plant Leipzig where the new X model is produced on the same line as the three-door Sedan, the Coupé and the Convertible versions of the BMW 1 Series. This ultra-modern plant which also builds the BMW 3 Series Sedan stands out in particular through superior flexibility, innovative methods of quality assurance and environmentally friendly production technologies.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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