It's been confirmed that the BMW X1 mini-SUV is planned to debut in the United States in calendar year 2011. Although bearing many similarities to the existing BMW X3, the X1 has been conceived with the flexibility to offer both traditional rear- and xDrive all-wheel drive configurations, as well as a variety of gasoline and diesel powertrains.
According to BMW's statement: "In light of rapidly evolving US market demands, fuel prices and regulatory standards, elements of the X1's US launch, including powertrain configurations, will be forthcoming closer to the time of launch." This means they'll be deciding which engines we'll get and how much to charge from it at a later date.
The BMW X1 will debut in Europe this fall with a choice of four engines - one gasoline 3.0 liter badged as a 28i, and three diesels including a 18d and 23d. All these models will be available in rear- and xDrive versions.
The X1 is intended set new benchmarks in the premium compact segment for efficiency, comfort, utility and driving dynamics. However, it's unclear how this will impact X3 sales and what affect the proposed SUV from Mini will have.
Achieving up to 45.2mpg US on the European test cycle, the diesel-powered X1 sDrive18d will provide remarkable fuel efficiency, while still achieving a top speed of 124mph. Whether the US market is ready for this type of four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine is one of the decisions BMW North America must now make.
Each drivetrain choice for the X1 will showcase the latest results of BMW's EfficientDynamics, which is focused to reduce emissions and consumption while enhancing the performance expected of any BMW. However, many of these engineering solutions have yet to arrive on US cars. Yet BMW NA is committed to introducing the new equipment, and is expected to use new model launches for the introduction. So perhaps the X1 will blaze a trail in this area.