Exciting new model with sport sedan driving dynamics and SAV utility
When we sat down with Juergen Urban we could immediately tell just how excited he was about the new BMW X1 and how it fits into the X line up. He explained to us that the X1 is in a new segment that gives a driver the sporty handing of a sports sedan but also gives you the utility that comes with a Sports Activity Vehicle. You can tell this from the marketing that BMW has done including highlighting action sports in video segments.
The X1 is set to take on competitors including the Volkswagen Tiguan that provide that smaller SUV in their model line up but lack the sporty handling characteristics that are typically found in a BMW. BMW is setting up to attract new customers to the X1 and it would not surprise them if there was a greater population of female drivers getting behind the wheel.
Can we get a diesel motor? How about a 6-Speed manual option?
If you are one of those people hoping that the answer to either question was going to be a yes, then you are going to be disappointed at the launch. The good news is that we got the distinct impression that there is a good chance that there could be an announcement off into the future relating to an additional engine option for the X1. The 6-speed manual transmission seems like more of a long shot unless we can start making some noise. Juergen did make it clear that the 6-speed manual could be an option but they need to start hearing more feedback from customers about the need for this option. There you have – go make some noise.
Speaking of 6-Speeds, did you know the xDrive35i has a 6-Speed Auto?
That's right, the US exclusive X1 xDrive35i uses a 6-Speed automatic transmission rather than the new 8-Speed that has been put into the new 3 Series. There are a couple reasons including the fact that the X1 development was originally done back in 2009 when the 8-Speed did not exist. Couple that with the fact that the BMW engineers liked the coupling of the 6-Speed auto with the model and you have your answer.
This decision is also the reason behind the fact that they Auto Start/Stop feature is not available on the X1 xDrive35i. For those of you who may not be a fan of the Start/Stop feature, this is your way to get around it in this generation of the BMW X1.
Wondering why there is sDrive available on the X1? Customer demand.
Yes, yes, BMW is aware that the X1 is the only X model that comes with sDrive as an option and no we do not know if it is coming to any other X models in the future. The interesting nugget of information that we got during our time with Juergen was that it was customer demand that drove the development of the sDrive for the X1. The feedback they received was that people who lived in warmer climates were craving an SAV option without xDrive so they made it happen. This is proof that making noise can bring about change -- that means go make noise for a diesel engine and/or a 6-Speed manual option!
European Delivery is open for business in September ... but is there any chance of a future X1 made in Spartanburg?
If you are on Bimmerfest and considering buying an X1 then chances are your are looking at European Delivery. The good news is that there do not appear to be any delays in picking up your X1 in Munich and heading off to the mountains for some fun. Talk to your dealer and starting planning a trip that starts after September 1, 2012.
We did bring up the idea of maybe production being moved to or split with Spartanburg at some point in the future but that does not seem to be in the cards. The recent $900 million expansion that is being done that the plant is for other products in the pipeline that they were not going to go on record talking about. Though, we already have a clue about an X4 in the future. That doesn't mean they didn't leave the door open for that possibility -- so if you are wanting to do European Delivery on your X1, I wouldn't wait too long just in case they change their mind.
So, are you ready to order?
The new X1 is an exciting addition to the BMW line up and one that should do very well in the United Sates. The new premium compact SUV segment is great place for BMW to slot into as a leader and they should be able to hold the crown as long as they follow through with bringing sport sedan driving dynamics to a vehicle that can carry your most extreme outdoor gear.
Ordering starts soon with production beginning July 2012 and deliveries starting in September. Who is going to be the first member with an order in?
Pricing breaks down as follows:
2013 BMW X1 Base MSRP Pricing