Why should the BMW X2 have all the fun?

    The third-generation BMW X1 crossover has been spied testing in what appears to be hot M35i guise, and it’s set to be the most powerful petrol-powered X1 since the first-generation model.

    While the hottest early X1s packed an inline six-cylinder engine, with up to 224kW of power in xDrive35i guise, the X1 M35i is expected to share its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with the X2 M35i.

    In the current X2 generation, this produces 225kW of power and 450Nm of torque, lining up nicely with the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 and its 225kW/400Nm turbo 2.0-litre four.

    It’s also a considerable bump over the current X1 petrol range-topper, the turbocharged 2.0-litre mild-hybrid xDrive23i that hasn’t been confirmed for Australia. That model produces 160kW and 360Nm, up 10kW and 60Nm on the xDrive20i arriving here before year’s end.

    While it’s not a full-fledged M car but, rather, a warmer M Performance model, the X1 M35i features sporty quad exhaust outlets. These were also spied on a next-generation X2 M35i prototype.

    Additional changes from the regular X1 include a sportier front bumper with larger air intakes and a rear spoiler, while the M35i is also expected to get larger brakes, retuned suspension, and grippier front seats.

    The new X1 is offered with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and, in iX1 guise, electric powertrains. Only petrol and electric models have been confirmed for Australia thus far.

    BMW says the X1 uses the same design principle as its predecessor for its front and rear axles, though the suspension and damping systems have been extensively upgraded with the aim of improving long-distance comfort.

    It has grown in every dimension compared with its predecessor, measuring 53mm longer at 4500mm, 24mm wider at 1845mm, and 44mm taller at 1642mm.

    It also rides a 2692mm wheelbase, up 22mm on the old car, while track width front and rear is up by 31mm.

    The X1 and iX1 are the latest BMWs to receive the brand’s new BMW Operating System 8 and the Curved Display, which features a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.7-inch touchscreen infotainment system in one display.

    They also debut BMW’s new Features on Demand, where features like heated seats are available on a subscription via the BMW ConnectedDrive store.

    MORE: Everything BMW X1

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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