Over the last month we have received a lot of inquiries into the X1, specifically in regards to the US market. While details remain scarce we have some new information that may answer some of your questions.
The X1 is BMW ‘s latest foray into the small crossover market, something that was made possible by increasing the size of the X5 and X3 when compared to the first generation vehicles. The X1 shares much of its structure and technology with the beloved E91 3 Series Wagon. In other words, the X1 does not have much of anything new for us stateside that we have not already seen as far as packaging for the price.
We like to think of the X1 as basically a wagon on steroids- which is a bit smaller than the older X3. With love it or hate it styling and enough space for two children in boosters to sit comfortably in the back it will be BMWs entry level 4 door model (since we do not see the 1 Series 5-door hatch)
There have been rumors since the initial EU launch that it would hit the US sometime after the F25 X3 launch. We are hearing from sources, much like the 1M/// Coupe, that the X1 will be destined for dealers showrooms in May of 2011 as a 2012 model. At that time our sources indicate it will be powered by the naturally aspirated N52 inline six in 28i form and only be offered in xDrive (though a rear wheel drive version is still on the table). We expect the choices of powertrain to be along the same lines as what we have seen with the latest 3 Series wagon as the markets are not all that different.
We would not be surprised to see only a single engine choice from the onset, with a four cylinder turbo and possibility of a diesel offering at a later date. Details surrounding the 4 cylinder turbos and future diesels remains limited though if the original rumors were correct, the fall of 2011 will see the launch for a 4 cylinder turbos model (perhaps with 23i or 25i nomenclature). As with all other BMW models, BMW can easily make model specific changes in March and September.
Pricing will be highly competitive and be right around the $30,000 mark with limited options. The X1 will sell well but it has been positioned in both space and pricing to not steal sales of the more prestigious (and more profitable) X3. The X1 will unlike the other X models be built by BMW in Germany.