The new 2022 BMW X1 and all-electric iX1 are heading to SA soon

01 June 2022 - 15:19
By Thomas Falkiner
The new BMW X1 has a much more purposeful look.
Image: Supplied The new BMW X1 has a much more purposeful look.

BMW this week unveiled its new third-generation X1 as well as the electric iX1. 

Built to tackle the likes of the Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q3, the new BMW X1 is a far chunkier and meaner looking machine than the outgoing model, with a bold, upright snout that packs an enlarged kidney grille with sizeable vertical slats. This is flanked by a pair of slim LED headlamps incorporating a new daytime running light design. Finished off with chrome strips in the lower air intake and what the BMW design team refers to as X-shaped lines radiating out to the sides of the front apron, the new X1 is quite a looker. 

Viewed in profile, this newcomer further distinguishes itself from its predecessor with a stretched silhouette and almost squared-off wheel arches that are filled as standard with 18-inch alloy wheels (19- and 20-inch wheels are optional). Meanwhile the back of the X1 is characterised by a much slimmer tailgate window and new three-dimensional LED light clusters. As with the front bumper, the rear is equipped with a matte chrome skid-plate.

The third-generation X1 is longer, wider and taller than the model it replaces.
Image: Supplied The third-generation X1 is longer, wider and taller than the model it replaces.

While certainly different from an aesthetics standpoint, the third generation X1 has also grown in stature. Get out your measuring tape and you will find it's longer (+53mm), wider (+24mm) and taller (+44mm) than its long-serving predecessor. While a wider track (+31mm) helps to improve this SUV's road handling prowess, a more generous wheelbase (+22mm) pays dividends when it comes to passenger legroom and luggage capacity. Boot space now comes in at 540l. Fold the rear seats flat and this increases to 1,600l. 

Delve inside the cabin of the new X1 and you'll discover a modern, minimalist interior that features the cutting-edge BMW Curved Display. In case you have been living under some kind of technological rock, this set-up marries a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster to a 10.7-inch touchscreen. Linked to BMW iDrive and Operating System 8, this system doesn't only look great, but also cuts down on the number of physical buttons on the dashboard with most of the car's functionality built into the software.

The BMW Curved Display is fitted as standard.
Image: Supplied The BMW Curved Display is fitted as standard.

Other standout features take the shape of a “floating” armrest with integral control panel, a dedicated smartphone tray with inductive charging, as well as a stylish M Sport leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel that gives easy access to the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. BMW has also included intelligent two-zone automatic climate control, automatic wipers and lights, four USB-C ports and two 12v accessory power sockets. 

Some of the numerous options available to X1 customers from launch include newly developed sport seats with a massage function, a mirror package, customisable ambient lighting, a large panoramic glass sunroof and a powerful Harman Kardon sound system. 

The all-electric iX1 can zip from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds.
Image: Supplied The all-electric iX1 can zip from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds.

In SA the new BMW X1 will be available in two model derivatives. The BMW X1 sDrive18i packs a 1.5l three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine making 100kW and 230Nm. Expect a claimed 0-100km/h time of 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 208km/h. Next up is the BMW X1 sDrive18d that gets a 2.0l four-cylinder turbodiesel engine producing 110kW and 360Nm. Bank on 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds and a VO2 max of 210km/h. Both models are paired to a seven-speed Steptronic transmission than sends drive to the front wheels. 

Early in 2023 the local X1 range will be bolstered by the iX1 xDrive30 — an all-electric model that uses the firm's latest BMW eDrive technology. Here a 67.4kWh battery pack powers two highly integrated drive units at the front and rear axles to deliver a maximum combined output of 230kW and 494Nm. This ensures a snappy 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.7 seconds and a governed maximum speed of 180km/h. In terms of driving range, BMW claims that the iX1 xDrive30 can deliver between 413 and 438km on a single charge. 

BMW says the the iX1 has a maximum range of 438km.
Image: Supplied BMW says the the iX1 has a maximum range of 438km.

Fitted with a Combined Charging Unit, the iX1 xDrive30 enables single and three-phase AC charging at a rate of up to 11kW, which can be optionally increased to up to 22kW (three-phase AC). This allows the high-voltage battery to be fully recharged from empty in 6.5 hours as standard and in three hours and 45 minutes as an option. DC power can be taken on board at a rate of up to 130kW, making it possible to boost the fifth-generation lithium-ion battery’s energy reserves from 10 to 80% of total capacity in 29 minutes.

Expect the new BMW X1 sDrive18i and sDrive18d models to arrive in SA during the fourth quarter of 2022. Final pricing and specification will be communicated closer to the time.


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