While looking at the back of this thing, we noticed the camouflage has "Hybrid Test Vehicle" written on it, which means testing has finally begun on the X1 PHEV.
We have reasons to believe that this will be the first car in a new wave of electrically driven BMWs. If our insiders are to be believed, the X1 xDrive23e will hit showrooms in 2013.
The engine chosen is most likely going to be the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbo used by many BMW models and the MINI Cooper. An electric motor will likely be installed on the rear axle, thus getting rid of the prop shaft and saving weight.
The small SUV should be allowed to play with somewhere around 200-220 horsepower, about the same as you get from a twin-turbo 2-liter diesel. Expect 0 to 100 km/h sprints in around 7 seconds and a claimed fuel consumption below 2 l/100km (above 118 US mpg).
What about the rest of the car?Behind the rugged looks of the new X1 is the same UKL platform used by the MINI and 2 Series Active Tourer. That means the engine is mounted transversally, and it allows the cabin to be enlarged. The front pillars sit 15 centimeters forward, and there are 8 centimeters of extra legroom in the back.
BMW wanted to create a more pure SUV. So unlike the older model that looked like a raised hatchback, this one is a proper baby X5.
In Germany, the cheapest model you can buy is the €32,900 X1 sDrive18d that sends its 150 PS of diesel grunt to the front wheels using a manual. Competing for the title of most expensive X1 are the xDrive25i and xDrive25d. Both cost €42,500 and use 2-liter engines, but use different fuels.