BMW’s quirky i3 is making way for a new, more conventional entry-level electric vehicle.

    The Bavarian brand has confirmed it’ll launch an electric version of its next-generation X1 small SUV by the end of 2022, and it’ll be called the iX1.

    This electric vehicle (EV) is said to “follow shortly after the market launch of the all-new [internal-combustion engine] BMW X1”.

    The German automaker will also launch a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the X1 around a similar time as the iX1.

    As part of its 2022 annual conference, BMW revealed a single teaser sketch of the iX1’s front end.

    Official details are still scarce for now, but BMW has confirmed the iX1 will have 5G connectivity as standard.

    BMW will roll this out to all future models as well, including the updated 3 Series and X7 which have both been previously spied.

    A model landing page for the iX1 is now live on the BMW Australia website as well. In the model tab it shows greyed-out entries for the iX1 and the upcoming all-electric i7.

    There are no further details on the model page beyond the German automaker explaining the small electric SUV will have an “exciting sporty exterior”, “state-of-the-art digital technology in the interior”, as well as “dynamic performance values and a high range”.

    BMW Australia hasn’t provided any official details about the upcoming all-electric iX1, or the next-generation internal-combustion engine X1 it’s based on as of yet.

    In saying this, the German automaker currently ships all of its all-electric offerings to Australia, including the BMW iX3, i4, and iX, so it’s safe to say the all-electric iX1 is on its way.

    BMW Blog previously reported the all-electric iX1 will be offered with a 135kW single-motor variant, and a more powerful dual-motor all-wheel drive setup with a total system output of around 185kW.

    The iX1 is expected to slot into the space the quirky BMW i3 hatchback left as an entry-level EV offering.

    It’ll compete against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQA and Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric.

    We’ve previously spied a prototype of the upcoming iX1 camouflaged inside and out but featuring production-spec headlights and tail lights.

    It also featured lift-up door handles like those of the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

    It’s expected the iX1 will have an interior very similar to that of the new-generation 2 Series Active Tourer which was revealed in October 2021, which is in turn inspired by the interior of the iX.

    Ahead of the driver in the 2 Series Active Tourer is a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 10.7-inch central touchscreen running the latest iDrive 8.0 infotainment system.

    With the addition of an all-electric variant, the next-generation X1 will be available globally with diesel, 48V mild-hybrid petrol and PHEV powertrains.

    The next-generation X1 will still be based on the front- and all-wheel drive FAAR platform used in the 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupe, X2, as well as the Mini Hatch, Countryman and Clubman.

    In 2021, BMW sold a total of 2986 X1 models in Australia, making it the third best-selling small luxury SUV.

    It was outsold by the Audi Q3 (5707 sales) and the Volvo XC40 (3687 sales), but beat the Mercedes-Benz GLA (2624 sales).

    MORE: Everything BMW X1

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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