BMW is looking for more market segments to fill as it doubles down on its efforts to expand its range of crossovers and SUVs. The Munich-based firm is allegedly close to signing off on an entry-level model positioned below the X1 in terms of size, price, and image.
While development work is ongoing, BMW's marketing department has to find a creative way out of the naming pickle it trapped itself into. As it stands, all of the company's crossovers and SUVs wear a name consisting of the letter X and a number that indicates their positioning in the line-up. The portfolio starts at X1, but the entry-level model can't go by the name X0. Decimals were seemingly ruled out, too, so the model will allegedly break cover as the Urban X (pronounced urban cross).
British magazine Auto Express learned the 163-inch long Urban X will tick all of the expected boxes when it comes to design. Viewed from the front, it will be instantly recognizable as a member of the BMW family thanks to double kidney grilles, and thin LED headlights positioned high on the fascia. The sheet metal will hide parts sourced from the company's vast parts bin. The Urban X will ride on BMW's front-wheel drive UKL2 platform, though xDrive all-wheel drive will likely be available at an extra cost, and power will come from existing gasoline- and diesel-burning engines.
BMW predicts the internal combustion engine will stick around for at least another 20 years, but the Urban X will bolster the company's electrification offensive with mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric powertrain options. Don't expect to see a full-blown, M-tuned model positioned at the top of the range; besides, Citroen already used the XM nameplate on a flagship sedan in the 1990s.
The report isn't official, and BMW hasn't publicly announced plans for an entry-level model positioned below the X1. If it's accurate, the Urban X could break cover as a thinly-veiled concept car in 2020, and make its debut as a production model shortly after. Whether it will be sold in the United States is up in the air, but it's worth noting that rival Audi decided to keep the similarly-sized Q2 out of American showrooms.