• Oct 2, 2008
Click above for a high-res gallery of the BMW X1 concept

We're trying to find some redeeming qualities in the BMW X1 concept, but after staring at it on the show stand and navigating our way through BMW's lengthy press release (after the jump), we're at a loss.

Built atop the 3-series platform and likely motivated by a handful of gasoline and diesel powerplants when it hits the road next year, the X1 has all the charm of the X3 (as in very little), will feature similar interior dimensions to its lower-riding cousin, the 1-series five-door, and has to make due with the new 7-series' upright schnoz. The X1 isn't quite ready to board the failboat, but it's on its way to the docks.




PRESS RELEASE

The BMW Concept X1


• World debut of a concept BMW X model in the premium compact segment.

• BMW, the founder of the Sports Activity Vehicle segment, is consistently expanding the range of BMW X models.

• Authentic transition of the features and design language typical of a BMW X model into a new class of vehicles. A concept study offering a clear expression of modern style, agility, versatility and premium quality through its design alone.

• As an innovative vehicle concept in the premium compact segment, the BMW Concept X1 sets the standard for cool elegance, modern style, and variable function.

• The BMW Concept X1 offers ample room for spontaneous mobility in many different ways, clearly refl ecting the lifestyle of a modern and active target group. Numerous details on the Concept Car provide a clear hint as to the actual production of an appropriate series model within one year.

Exterior design:

• Typical features of a BMW X model combined with elegant, sleek proportions. This alone gives the BMW Concept X1 unique character within the range of BMW X models as a whole.

• The striking frontal view clearly expresses the robust and powerful character of the car by emphasising its sheer width. A fl oor protection element fi nished in a different colour gives additional emphasis to the wide track.

• The BMW Concept X1 comes with dual round headlights cut off at the top in the typical style of the BMW brand, complete with a white-coloured horizontal cover at the top edge. The position of the headlights and foglamps brings back the three-eye face of other BMW X models.

• Six contour lines and the three-dimensional shape defi ne the surface design of the engine compartment lid emanating a strong feeling of dynamic performance. The inner lines taper out sharply to the front towards the BMW kidney grille, the outer lines continue into the shoulder contours at the side.

• Through its centre of gravity visibly positioned right in the middle, the small distance between the front axle and the steering wheel, and the almost square contours of the wheel cutouts, the side view of the BMW Concept X1 draws a clear parallel to other BMW X models. Black body surrounds made of a special, robust synthetic material highlight the clear orientation towards the wheels. The sturdy, silver-coloured roof railing extends far to the rear, determining the course of the roofl ine together with the spoiler
at the back.

• Characteristic rear end with L-shaped rear light clusters ensuring a homogeneous light effect thanks to LED light tubes. Raked to a low angle, the rear window gives the BMW Concept X1 a truly sporting touch, the horizontal lines emphasising the sheer width of the vehicle.

• As a special design feature specifi c to this model, three-dimensional surrounds encompass the headlights and rear light clusters and help to create the special graphics of the side windows.

Once again the successful history of BMW X models is opening up the door for further inspiration in the development of innovative vehicle concepts:

The BMW Concept X1 offers all the thrill of agile and versatile mobility also beyond the beaten track in a new segment of vehicles.
Proudly presenting this new Concept Car, BMW is offering an outlook at the world's fi rst Sports Activity Vehicle in the premium compact segment. Through its design alone, this new concept model clearly expresses all the strengths and qualities of such a vehicle, the BMW Concept X1 exuding a strong touch of agility and versatility both in its driving qualities and practical use. And at the same time the Concept Car clearly reveals the stylish elegance of this fi ve-door as well as its modern function.

Creating this unique Concept Car, BMW is catering for the demands of a modern target group in search of an up-to-date automobile meeting both the challenges of everyday traffi c and the personal needs of many purchasers for an active lifestyle and a versatile driving experience. The BMW Concept X1 expresses that very special sheer driving pleasure so typical in this unique form of a BMW X model combined with a high standard of all-round functionality. So now these qualities are for the fi rst time being carried over to a vehicle in the premium compact segment.

Ongoing innovation in the Sports Activity segment established by BMW.

As the founder of the Sports Activity Vehicle segment, BMW has already proven its outstanding competence in developing innovative vehicle concepts. Indeed, the German premium car maker fi rst established its position as the leader in innovation in this segment – a position BMW still holds today – in 1999 through the presentation of the fi rst-generation BMW X5.

In a market segment previously dominated by conventional offroaders, the BMW X5, through its outstanding dynamic driving qualities alone, set new standards right from the beginning.

Now in its second generation, the BMW X5, through its superior driving qualities and wide range of practical use as well as its luxurious interior ambience, still sets the standard for vehicles in its category to this very day.

The First Sports Activity Vehicle
in the Premium Compact Segment:
The BMW Concept X1.

The exceptional potential offered by this new segment of vehicles also enabled BMW at a very early point to carry over the attractive features of this Sports Activity Vehicle to other market segments. In the guise of the BMW X3, for example, outstanding agility on all kinds of terrain also proved to be a huge success in the segment below the BMW X5. Indeed, the BMW X3 was the fi rst and for many years the only vehicle in this segment to come from a premium manufacturer, with worldwide sales of the BMW X3 now amounting to more than 500,000 units.

The ongoing expansion of the BMW X model range is likewise the result of the unique, innovative power offered by the world's most successful manufacturer of premium cars. The BMW X6 launched this year, for example, is the world's fi rst Sports Activity Coupé to successfully enter the market. This unique model combining the dynamic lines of a Coupé with the superior power and cultivated robustness of a BMW X model, continues the emphasis on dynamic driving qualities originally initiated with the BMW X5, maintaining BMW's philosophy most clearly and convincingly. Indeed, BMW has once again, through the BMW X6, set the foundation for a brand-new type of vehicle reaching additional target groups now once again thrilled by the BMW X model concept accounting in the meantime for sales of more than 1.2 million units the world over.

BMW X models:

unique concept, superior technology, outstanding quality.

The global success and great appeal of BMW's X models results not only from the precise and target group-oriented development of this vehicle concept, but also from the implementation of typical BMW features in this category. Hence, the particular thrill and unique style of every BMW X model forms a perfect match with uncompromising premium quality.

The unique driving characteristics of a BMW X model result not just from the concept, but also from BMW's worldwide leadership in the area of drive systems. And last but certainly not least in this context, the huge innovative power of the BMW Group comes out clearly also in the equipment and features of BMW's X models featuring superior suspension technology and driver assistance systems as well as a supreme standard of safety and comfort.

Yet another essential factor is that every BMW X model combines this exclusive range of qualities with a level of effi ciency quite unparalleled in the respective segment: In their balance of performance and fuel consumption, BMW's X models achieve a standard generally far superior to comparable models built by the competition.

Again last but defi nitely not least, the modern and up-to-date character of BMW's X models comes out clearly through their stable value, non-partisan market studies regularly confi rming the lasting value of the BMW X5 and the BMW X3 as pre-owned cars. All this sets the foundation for BMW's entry into another market segment where the BMW Concept X1 already reveals the perspectives involved.

The Compact Car clearly shows which features are to be expected of a BMW X model in the segment of premium compact vehicles. Through its de - sign alone, the new model clearly belongs to the range of BMW X vehicles – while at the same time it offers all these features in truly individual style representing the design language so typical of BMW.

The Concept Car clearly confi rms BMW's claim to offer maximum driving pleasure and effi ciency, versatility and functionality, as well as safety, comfort and quality also in the premium compact segment. And with all these factors already being largely considered and taken into account in the BMW Concept X1, it is fair to say that an appropriate production model will see the light of day within just one year.

The BMW X1: authentic transition of the BMW X model concept into a new vehicle segment.

In its design and driving characteristics, every BMW X model bears out the unmistakable DNA of this kind of vehicle, at the same time showing an individual rendition of the brand and the features typical of the concept. This clearly ensures the authentic transition of the brand values and characteristic features of a BMW X model into each market segment.

The BMW Concept X1 naturally lives up to this demanding standard and claim, the Concept Car clearly standing out as a BMW X model from every angle, despite its body dimensions smaller than a BMW X6, a BMW X5, and a BMW X3. At the same time the design of the new car establishes typical BMW features again refl ecting the specifi c characteristics of the premium compact segment and generating new momentum in the appreciation and perception of vehicles in this class.

Introducing the BMW Concept X1, BMW is taking on the leading role also in the premium compact class. For the fi rst time the characteristics of a Sports Activity Vehicle are being carried over authentically into this market segment, creating the concept of a vehicle which, in an urban environment, ensures the highest conceivable level of freedom and spontaneous activity.

Indeed, the BMW Concept X1 presents mobility options never seen before in this segment. The new model offers versatility and agility in a compact rendition, thus providing a very appropriate interpretation of the sheer driving pleasure so typical of a BMW X model in our current day and age.

Measuring 4,457 millimetres or 175.5" in length, the BMW Concept X1 is 108 millimetres or almost 4.3" shorter than the BMW X3. The wheelbase of the BMW Concept X1, in turn, measures 2,760 mm or 104.4". Through its proportions and four doors together with a large tailgate, the Concept Car hints towards a very generous feeling and experience of space.

In addition, the clear design and shape of the vehicle bears testimony to a high level of function meeting all the driver's and passengers' requirements in everyday traffi c. And last but not least, the BMW Concept X1 combines all these features with the self-confi dent elegance so typical of a premium vehicle. Through these qualities alone, therefore, the BMW Concept X1 is destined to become the trendsetter for a modern style of urban mobility clearly pointing into the future.

Front-end design: dynamic lines, characteristic emphasis on width. The sculptural lines of the new model make the BMW Concept X1 a truly exceptional highlight in the premium compact segment with all the features and qualities of a BMW X model. The front end, the side and rear merge smoothly into one another, their various surfaces forming one whole and striking lines creating a smooth and fl owing link between the individual elements of the body.

Design features typical of the brand additionally emphasise the unmistakable look and impact of the vehicle, the upright BMW kidney grille, dual round headlights cut off at the top, the large, almost square wheel cutouts, the black band stretching around the lower section of the vehicle, the distinctive contour line along the side and the horizontal lines at the rear again clearly confirming that this concept car is a genuine X model from BMW.

The powerful stature of a BMW X model comes out clearly in new design at the front end of the BMW Concept X1. The DNA typical of BMW X is also to be found in the strikingly contoured engine compartment lid and the structure of the upright BMW kidney grille with its extra-wide bars positioned far apart from one another at the outside on the BMW Concept X1, thus symbolising the robust nature of the vehicle.

Through their sharply cut "eyelids", the dual round headlights so typical of BMW offer a clear view and focus, white-coloured horizontal covers at the top enhancing this effect to an even higher standard.

Innovative surface design highlighting the vehicle's striking features. Yet another innovative design feature is the three-dimensional surrounds on the headlights. This particular design element to be admired on the BMW Concept X1 and refl ected by the surrounds on the headlights and the side window graphics highlights the superior technical character of the headlight units with their clear glass look in a very convincing manner. Again reflecting the typical style of a BMW X model, the foglamps are positioned far to the outside, just above the air intake scoop.

The robust character of the BMW Concept X1 is further emphasised by the car's underfl oor protection. This protection unit bearing clear reference to the use of the vehicle off the beaten track, takes on a particularly sophisticated and elegant style through its silver paintwork – and at the same time the front frame around this protection element forms the lower surround on the air intake.

Together with another silver crossbar extending across the entire width of the air intake, this forms two contrasting horizontal lines giving the vehicle an even more powerful and wider look.

The surface design of the powerfully contoured engine lid is characterised by six striking contour lines moving towards one another in a V-shape at the front of the vehicle. The two inner lines lead to the BMW kidney grille where they almost meet one another, while the two outer contour lines extend in the opposite direction from the front end of the engine compartment lid all the way to the side section of the vehicle where they continue into the shoulder lines extending all the way to the back. Again, this particular fl ow of lines emphasises the sculptural design of the BMW Concept X1 connecting all body elements with one another.

Side view: an especially sleek look combined with the features typical of a BMW X model.

Both the unmistakable proportions of the BMW Concept X1 and the newly interpreted features of a BMW X model come out clearly at the side of the car. The silhouette of this compact fi ve-door is particularly sleek and stretched- out, giving the entire vehicle a very sporting and agile look. And at the same time the raked tailgate adds a coupé-like appearance. With its short front body overhang, the waistline slightly lower around the A-pillars, the large wheel arches with their almost square contours and the black plastic protection panels on the lower level of the body, the BMW Concept X1 comes with all the typical features of a BMW X model
also from the side.

Another characteristic highlight is the visibly low centre of gravity bearing clear reference on the BMW X models to the harmonious interaction of the front and rear wheels in conveying the power of the engine to the road. On the BMW Concept X1 this connection is further highlighted by a crease line on the lower edge of the plastic frame running along the entire length of the side-sills finished in silver. The dynamic, powerful surface modelling of this element provides an attractive interplay of light and shade, again accentuating – like the strong, sturdy and sophisticated underfl oor protection front and rear – the refi ned but robust nature of this new Concept Car.

The surrounds on the side windows come in a particularly elegant three-dimensional look taking up the design language already to be admired on the headlights and rear lights. Again, this expresses the dynamic contours of the window graphics including the contour-swing at the bottom of the D-pillars well known as the "Hofmeister kick".

Striking fl ow of lines with that characteristic sweep. The BMW Concept X1 offers a highly attractive interplay of concave and convex surfaces between the characteristic lines to be admired at the side. The interaction of light and shade created in this way gives the entire vehicle a powerful and agile look, the shoulder line extending out of the engine compartment lid and fl owing along the side of the car emphasising its dynamic character.

The lower character line, as it is called, running parallel to the side-sills, creates a unique, exceptional touch in the side view of the BMW Concept X1. This character line starts around the direction indicator at the side, initially moving down slightly and then striving upwards fi rst quite moderately and then with increasing dynamism before tapering out in the rear door. In its

sweeping fl ow of power, the character line ends exactly at the window surround on the window graphics with its "Hofmeister kick", thus creating the impression of one complete contour extending over the entire side view of the vehicle.

The fl ow of this character line fi rst rising up moderately and then in an increasingly dynamic process offers a particular highlight in design also refl ected on the engine compartment lid, on the contours around the rear lights and the lines on the side mirrors, and thus adding yet another striking touch to the BMW Concept X1. Both the robust character and the variable functionality of the BMW Concept X1 are highlighted by the strong and sturdy roof railing extending far back to the rear and ending in the air flow spoiler. Finished in Liquid Silver, the roof railing is indeed yet another feature emphasising the refi ned look and premium character of the entire vehicle. The BMW Concept X1 comes on 19-inch light-alloy rims in high-quality innovative ten-spoke design again characteristic of BMW's X models. The newly designed, twin-colour wheels add a special touch of urban sportiness and agility in particularly elegant style. The narrow spokes on the rims, in turn, are twisted slightly to the outside, while the rim bars are cut off at the front, proudly presenting the bright silver colour of polished aluminium. The side fl anks and the rim hump, fi nally, are fi nished in Dark Grey to provide a particularly sporting contrast.

Striking rear view with innovative lights technology.

Like the front view, the rear view of the BMW Concept X1 is again characterised by the underfl oor protection fi nished in silver. The rear frame of the broad protection element creates a contrasting colour highlight also at this point, again emphasising the impressive width of the vehicle. In their design, the rear lights combine those unique shapes so typical of BMW and truly innovative technology. The light clusters come with BMW's characteristic L-contours proudly boasting their typical shape also at night.

This unique night design is further highlighted by BMW's innovative technology, with consistently fl uorescent, red-glowing rows of lights fed by LED light units serving as the light source. The result is a genuinely homogeneous fl ow of light with a powerful signalling effect on energy consumption signifi cantly lower than with conventional lights.

Here again, the rear frame of the extra-wide protective element adds an attractive position of the rear light clusters moved far to the outside into the rear side panels. The rows of lights formed by fl uorescent tubes continues all round into the side of the vehicle where the lights move up slightly, thus emphasising the L-shaped contours of the light clusters even more distinctly.

Again, this three-dimensional look contributes to the characteristic night design of the BMW Concept X1.

Last but certainly not least, the paintwork on the BMW Concept X1 emphasises the innovative, modern and sophisticated character of the vehicle, the new Meridian Gold Metallic paintwork colour accentuating the youthful and dynamic look of the Concept Car. Indeed, this strong golden-yellow fi nish is truly fascinating both in the glow of headlights from other vehicles and in the bright sunshine, creating a highly effective play of light and adding additional momentum to the artistically chiselled surfaces of the BMW Concept X1.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow! Pre-empted the awkward Chinese knockoff X3 before the chinese could do it themselves. Makes me want to beat up on any BMW just for being a BMW.
      Turnip Magee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny. Three-plus years after all of these unanimously negative posts, we still can't get it here in the US because the factory can't keep up with the orders from just Europe alone - and this with a global fiscal crisis :) Still waiting.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why is this still here?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Overall, I like the lines, although that schnoz.... if you look at the concept drawings, there was a much more attractive kidney grille in them. I mean, seriously, it's BMW's TRADEMARK. How is it possible that they care messing up the GRILLE? It looks great on the 7 series, but not here.
      Personally, I'm waiting for a 1 series sedan. A pint size 4 door would be a fantastic addition to the lineup.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why not rebadge it as a Hyundai?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Let's not insult Hyundai.

        They brought the Genesis. BMW... well this.
        • 6 Years Ago
        hyundai's aren't that bad
      • 6 Years Ago
      from the same company as the e30 M3????
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is more ugly than the X3 & X6. The 7-series front isn't a success to me either. Looks like BMW has pushed the train of the track, with those big, ugly front-airintakes. Horrible.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The front of the X1 concept is at least 12 inches too long to be in proportion with the rest of the vehicle.

      I'm also not a fan of the new kidney grille, at least as seen in the photos, used on this concept and the new 7 series.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly! The space between the front door and the front wheel well needs to go, and the front needs to NOT look like it's melting, maybe.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, complain much? See, I know some of you guys are just anti-BMW because you list the whole lineup in your post.

      I agree about the wheel arches, but it's far from a deal breaker. My wife has an 07 X3, and there is a good chance this will be her next car if they offer a good engine option, perhaps the 2.0d engine.

      Surely someone here has to have some sense? I understand that it looks X6ish, and I am not knocking some of you for not liking it, that is EVERY car, but I refuse to believe this is hated by 100% of the people, it's really not that bad.

      • 6 Years Ago
      "has to make due with the new 7-series' upright schnoz".

      It's "make do". It's also pug ugly.

      Interestingly, Honda gets it completely *right* with its smaller SUVs, but fails completely with the larger ones. Maybe the two should get together and talk? (They could reminisce about Rover while they're at it.)
        • 6 Years Ago
        I would hardly say Honda got it "right" with its small SUVs. The CR-V has not one, but two hideous grilles, and almost looks expensive and classy but doesn't quite make it. I realize it's the best-selling SUV in the country, but that doesn't say anything about its style. The Saturn Vue is everything the CR-V should have been in terms of styling. Looks classy and expensive...never thought I'd say that after the trainwreck that was the first-gen Vue.

        And let's not even talk about the Element. Honda's reputation got it a pass for creating an Asian Aztek that missed its target audience by about two generations.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, you're wrong. And you missed the HR-V, (which is everything the Vue wants to be).
      • 6 Years Ago
      the evolution of the Montana!

      • 6 Years Ago
      Just aweful
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