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BMW X1 To Go FWD, Launch Next June: Report Photo:
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Tony O'Kane | Jul, 31 2014 | 1 Comment

BMW will debut its all-new X1 range in mid 2015 with a transverse engine and FWD or AWD drivertains, according to new reports out of Europe.

If true, the move will make the new X1 the first BMW model to switch from a longitudinal engine to an east-west configuration.

The chassis will be based on BMW's modular UKL1 platform, which currently underpins the new MINI Cooper and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, and will be also used in the next-gen MINI Countryman and MINI Paceman.

And the range of powertrains is also expected to mirror that of its MINI-badged cousins, with a 1.5 litre turbo petrol three-cylinder, a 2.0 litre turbo petrol four-cylinder and a range of three and four-cylinder turbo diesels.

The X1 sDrive models will change from being RWD to FWD, while AWD xDrive variants will likely be offered for all powertrains bar the entry-level petrol.

An M-badged performance model to rival the Audi RS Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG has also been rumoured, though likely won't launch until 2016 at the earliest. A plug-in hybrid is also reportedly on the cards.

Why the move to a transverse engine? BMW insiders told UK mag Autocar that it frees up more room for the cabin, while the high degree of commonality with the MINI product range and 2 Series Active Tourer will help lower production costs and maximise profitability.

The X1 is also expected to spawn a three-door X2 variant, which will follow the lead of the larger X4 and X6 and be pitched as a sportier (albeit much less practical) alternative to the X1.

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