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New BMW X1 – all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive



The styling of the new BMW X1 is more in keeping with its larger X3 and X5 brothers, yet it is now based on a front-wheel drive rather than a rear-wheel drive platform.

The new X1 also features an all-new range of engines and gearboxes and the latest, ultra-efficient version of the xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

At market launch, one petrol engine and three diesel options are offered. The sDrive18d returns 65.7mpg with emissions of 114g/km CO2.

The xDrive20d achieves 57.6mpg along with 128g/km CO2 emissions, and the 231hp four-cylinder xDrive25d is not far behind with 56.5mpg and 132g/km CO2 emissions.

The new BMW X1 uses completely new powertrain and chassis technology: front/transverse-mounted four-cylinder engines from the BMW Group’s latest generation, and a newly developed BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system or an advanced front-wheel-drive configuration, depending on the model variant.

There’s a new chassis, a low centre of gravity, 50:50 weight distribution, a wide track and short overhangs. The xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system is also available in updated form for the second generation of the BMW X1. The compact, low-weight and efficient all-wheel-drive system distributes the engine’s power between the front and rear axle exactly as the situation requires – at all times.

Linking up with DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) allows the system to act pre-emptively to counteract any imminent oversteer or understeer by diverting power to the wheel or wheels where it can be transferred to the road to maximum effect.

M Sport suspension is also available as an option, featuring firmer spring and damper settings and a 10mm lower ride height, and the BMW X1 will be offered for the first time with the option of BMW’s Dynamic Damper Control system.

The innovations developed under the BMW EfficientDynamics banner deliver up to 17 per cent lower fuel consumption and emissions, depending on the model, plus lower weight yet extra rigidity for the body and chassis.

Systematic improvements have also been made to the aerodynamics of the new BMW X1. Air flaps in the BMW kidney grille and the front apron’s lower intake can be actively shut off when the cooling requirement is low, reducing drag at the front of the car. The Air Curtains integrated into the outer air intakes channel air precisely behind the front side panels, causing it to hang over the wheels like a curtain and thus reduce turbulence.

The new BMW X1 also has smooth under-body panelling, air deflectors on the front wheel arches and vertical aeroblades, which form a unit with the roof spoiler to channel the airflow around the rear of the car to best effect, resulting in a drag coefficient (Cd) of the X1 now as low as 0.29, depending on the model variant.

The latest version of the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system is considerably lighter than before and the powertrain’s torque losses in normal driving situations are reduced by around 30 per cent thanks to the new hang-on multi-plate clutch.

The BMW EfficientDynamics technology employed in the new BMW X1 includes intelligent energy management. Brake Energy Regeneration enables extremely efficient power generation for the on-board power supply. The Electric Power Steering and on-demand fuel and coolant pumps work with maximum efficiency, while shorter glow phases reduce the amount of energy required when starting the diesel engines.

The Optimum Shift Indicator and Auto Start Stop function are also part of the standard specification. ECO PRO mode – activated via the Driving Experience Control switch – also allows drivers of new BMW X1 models with eight-speed Steptronic transmission to make use of the coasting function. At speeds between 31–99mph the powertrain is disengaged as soon as the driver takes his or her foot off the accelerator.

Further efficiency gains have been achieved with items including reduced-friction wheel bearings and tyres with lower rolling resistance.