New BMW X1 To Bring Sportier Styling, Proper ?X-Car? Proportions Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Mar, 12 2015 | 4 Comments

BMW’s new second-generation X1 will boast sportier looks and proper SUV proportions, design boss Karim Habib told press this week.

The smallest of BMW’s X cars has been spied testing over the past year and, while camouflage continues to obscure the finer details, its shape is clear for all to see.

Looking more like a smaller version of the latest X3, the new X1 will do away with the awkward ‘tall hatchback’ styling of the current model, while introducing a more tapered roofline and and a slimmer rear-end design.

And although the front-end styling remains heavily disguised in these photos, it is clear that we can expect an evolution of the ‘connected’ grille and headlight design that features across the wider X SUV range.

Speaking with the UK’s Auto Express, BMW design chief Karim Habib described a more grown-up design for the new X1 that will win new buyers to the model.

“I really do think it’s going to be a very mature product; a bit more rounded,” he said.

He added that swapping out the current model’s rear-wheel-drive design for the company’s front- and all-wheel-drive ‘UKL’ platform - which also features under the 2 Series Active Tourer and the new MINI range - has benefited the styling of the new X1.

“We’ve realised that platform allows us proportions that can give you more ‘X-like’ proportions than the current X1. And in that sense I think it looks sportier because it looks more like an X car.”

Small petrol and diesel engines will continue to power the range, including three- and four-cylinder options, while the current model’s six-cylinder ‘35i’ model is unlikely to return.

The absence of a big six is unlikely to mean no high-powered option, though, and tuning arm BMW M is already believed to be preparing a top-shelf hero to rival the Audi RSQ3 and the AMG GLA 45.

Watch for the new X1 to appear later this year, possibly at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.

MORE: BMW X1 news and reviews

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