2016 BMW F48 X1 Long Wheelbase Spied in China

2016 BMW F48 X1 3 photos
2016 BMW F48 X1 LWB in China2016 BMW F48 X1 LWB in China
We’re not that far off from seeing the new BMW X1 in the metal, camo free. We’ve been expecting this model for quite some time as it will have some pretty big shoes to fill, and we’re not absolutely sure it will have the needed fortes to do so.
To sum it up, the current X1 is regarded as one of the last truly enjoyable BMWs in the line-up, one that still uses the old-school hydraulic steering and offers a comprehensive package for a small price. Its layout and the feedback it offers the driver are nearly unmatchable today.
On the other hand, the new F48 model will be built atop the UKL platform, and that means it will be mainly front-wheel drive with xDrive all-wheel-drive available as an optional feature. However, don’t expect the AWD models to be just as enjoyable as the ones we have today.
That’s because the new system will still be based on an FWD platform, and that means it won’t be RWD-biased anymore. Sure, it will still get you out of sticky situations and heavy snow but it will surely won’t be as fun to drive.
Of course, migrating to this setup will bring forward a couple of improvements as well. First of all, manufacturing costs will go down and sharing engines within the BMW and MINI line-up will also help but the biggest advantage will be felt inside the cabin, where there should be plenty of extra space, especially for the passengers in the back.
As for the Chinese market, where this car was spotted, chances are we’re going to see a specific model being unveiled, the X1 with a longer wheelbase than usual. That’s because the customers in China prefer cars with more space for their passengers, an issue of respect in Asia.
The photos posted below seem to portray this exact model out testing in China, basically confirming our suspicion. As a matter of fact, all manufacturers around the world are going about this issue identically, launching unique models for the world’s biggest car market that offer more space inside. BMW, for example, is selling the 3 Series and 5 Series models in long wheelbase guises in China only, the rest of the world being deprived of access to them.
It will be the case with the new X1 as well, and chances are the engine line-up will be restricted as well. Rumors claim that alongside the new 2-liter 4-cylinder diesel and petrol engines, the X1 will also be available in plug-in hybrid guise and with 1.5-liter 3-cylinder plants that will make up the entry-level choices.
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