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The BMW iX1 is another piece of electric forbidden fruit

The third-generation BMW X1 lineup has officially debuted and as expected, there’s a range of electrified models. Plug-in hybrids will be offered but BMW didn’t provide any details on those powertrains. We suspect it’s the same one found in the 2 Series Active Tourer, which makes up to 326 hp. However, details were provided on the all-electric BMW iX1, the new entry-level battery-electric vehicle for the brand’s European lineup.

Powered by the fifth-generation eDrive system, the BMW iX1 will be available initially in the dual-motor xDrive30e configuration. This version makes 313 hp and 364 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to do the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in 5.7 seconds. On a single charge, it can travel between 257 to 272 miles on the more lenient WLTP cycle. Like most BEVs, the battery is mounted flat under the floor but BMW didn’t disclose its total and usable capacities.

Unlike the flagship 7 Series and its all-electric i7 variant, BMW didn’t go too crazy with the exterior styling of the third-generation X1 family. The front fascia is an evolution of the current car but with a revised twin-kidney grille with five chrome bars each and thankfully, it didn’t grow in size. Its headlights are thinner and the daytime running lights are now similar to the refreshed 3 Series sedan. You’ll be able to differentiate the iX1 from the rest of the lineup with its generous helping of blue accents on the side skirts, lower front fascia, and the rear diffuser. In the rear, you get a similar design as the predecessor but the taillights are thinner than before.

The interior is just like what you’d find in every modern BMW, featuring a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.7-inch main touch screen housed under a single curved glass panel. You’ll notice that the latter is angled towards the driver and that the center console has more room for small items and mobile devices. Design cues taken from the all-electric iX can also be found including the gear selector switch and a scroller for the volume knob. BMW’s iDrive 8.0 infotainment system is standard on all versions and it’s also available with an augmented reality view.

As before, you’ll be able to choose between the rugged xLine and sporty M Sport trim. There’s a choice of 17- to 20-inch alloy wheel options. Models with the adaptive M Suspension get adjustable dampers and a 15-mm drop in ride height. Available features include leather upholstery, a surround-view camera, and a full suite of driver assistance features. Cloud-based navigation, a digital key function, massaging front seats, and adaptive matrix LED headlights are also offered. BMW is making its Frozen matte exterior color for the first time on the X1 family.

If you’re in North America and you’re hoping for a plug-in hybrid X1 or the iX1 to come to this side of the pond, you might want to start looking elsewhere. BMW isn’t planning to bring these two over despite its key competitors, the Audi Q4 e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQB, and Volvo XC40 Recharge, all being sold here. The closest thing to an electrified X1 we’ll be getting is the next-generation Mini Countryman, which will also get plug-in hybrid and all-electric variants.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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