By Otsile Kadiege
Some of us already knew that BMW M is working on a more powerful X1 after seeing numerous spy images of prototypes testing with four pipes. The wait is finally over and the veil has been lifted off the most potent X1 money can buy – the all-new X1 M35i xDrive.
On the outside, the new X1 M35i xDrive sets it’s self apart from the rest of the X1 range with M-specific design cues like an M kidney grille with vertical bars and an M logo, a front apron with particularly large air intakes and an M-specific front splitter.
In profile, the X1 M35i xDrive’s roof rails are painted in gloss black, it gets more prominent side skirt, newly designed and model-specific style 872M 20-inch M light alloy wheels (19-inch alloy wheels are standard) and exterior mirrors with M-specific geometry. The rear-end sports quad exhaust outlets which have been integrated into the model-specific rear apron.
Premium and sporty interior
Inside, the new X1 M35i differentiates itself with an leather wrapped M steering wheel with M colour stitching within the rim, a 12 o’clock marking, M-specific gear shift paddles, and optional M Sport seats with back-lit M logos.
More interior highlights include the BMW Curved Display with BMW iDrive Quick Select and BMW’s new operating system 9 which has an extended range of digital services with the optional BMW Digital Premium subscription. On the practically side of things, the X1 M35i has 40:20:40 split rear seats and a luggage capacity of 540 litres which can be increased to 1 600 litres when the rear seats are folded down.
Powering the new X1 M35i is a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine making 221kW in Europe and 233kW in US and other selected markets. It has a torque output of 400Nm and the longitudinally aligned engine is paired to a 7-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch and M Sport Boost. BMW claims the X1 M35i sprints from 0-100 km/h in just 5.4 seconds thanks to its xDrive AWD system and has a top speed of 250 km/h.
More mechanical highlights include a mechanical limited-slip differential at the front axle, a near-actuator wheel slip limitation for sharper agility as well as the standard Adaptive M suspension and sport steering.
The new BMW X1 M35i xDrive is the first performance model from BMW M GmbH to be offered with the option of M Compound brakes, comprising four-piston, fixed-calliper brakes with 385-millimetre drilled discs at the front wheels and single-piston, floating-calliper units with integrated parking brake and 330-millimetre discs at the rear. The inner-vented brake discs are composed of a grey cast iron ring and an aluminium chamber. In addition to this, weight has been minimised and unsprung masses are substantially lower compared with conventional braking systems. The brake callipers are painted grey and bear the M logo.
BMW South Africa is yet to confirm local availability. Local pricing and specification should be announced closer to SA market launch. The flagship model will be built at BMW Group Plant Regensburg, together with all other variants of the new BMW X1, including the all-electric BMW iX1.
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