X1's console hogs the limelight

By Alastair Sloane

BMW's X1. Photo / Supplied
BMW's X1. Photo / Supplied

The BMW X1 will come with a redesigned centre console when the facelifted model breaks cover in New Zealand later this year, probably early in October.

The carmaker says only that the revision makes the X1 more "driver oriented", but it is among a number of significant tweaks BMW has made to the junior all-wheel-drive model for its entry into the North American market this year.

The facelifted X1 was unveiled at the New York motor show last week, two-and-a-half years after the X1 first appeared in production guise in Germany.

The changes give the car a more up-market look overall. The exterior tweaks include a more heavily contoured front bumper, a slightly redesigned grille, and a visually stronger lower surround with a silver highlight.

The headlamps are the same shape but pick up new internal graphics, including LED main beam lights as part of an optional xenon package.

The side mirrors have been reshaped, the door sills refined, and the car's rear receives a restyled bumper with, like the front bumper, more body coloured surfaces and an alloy scrub plate.

Inside, BMW says the X1 has a better quality fit and finish. Two new "BMW Lines" have been added to the X1 range, although it is not yet known if the additions will be available in New Zealand.

All all-wheel-drive "xLine" models come with extended bumpers and sideskirts, a silver painted grille and air intakes, plus 18-inch alloys.

Inside, the xLine examples have a sports leather steering wheel matched to unique colour choices, and 'X' embossed seats.

The second new line is "Sport". This also gets larger bumpers and side skirts, plus a gloss-black grille and black chrome exhaust tips. Sport models also have exclusive alloy wheel designs, while sports seats trimmed in anthracite fabric with red accents are added inside. The red detailing extends to the leather gearshift and sports steering wheel, with black gloss trim or an exclusive optional aluminium instead.

BMW will go into North America with two models: a rear-wheel drive X1 xDrive28i running a 182kW turbocharged 2-litre in-line four-cylinder engine and a four-wheel drive X1 xDrive35i with a 228kW turbocharged 3-litre in-line six-cylinder powerplant. The X1 has been in the New Zealand market for two years, with sales exceeding 400 units. The sDrive (rear-drive) and xDrive (all-wheel-drive) variants start in price at $59,700 and run a choice of twin-turbocharged petrol and diesel engines mated to eight-speed gearboxes.

Mild hybrid technology under BMW's EfficientDynamics banner includes start-stop, brake energy regeneration, and an economy mode.

- NZ Herald

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