Compared to its predecessor, which was built on the same RWD-based architecture as the 3 Series, the current X1 uses a MINI-derived platform that is FWD-based, and so will its replacement.
Having started public testing back in 2020, the third-generation BMW X1 crossover is now at a stage of development that allows it to lose some camouflage from its pre-production prototypes, meaning its getting closer to its official reveal date.
Based on the so-called FAAR (Frontantriebsarchitektur) platform, which is derived from the UKL2 architecture of its predecessor, the new X1 is expected to also spawn an all-electric iX1 version that will also be an unofficial replacement for the i3 in the BMW lineup.
Also using transverse engines, the 2022 BMW X1’s powertrain lineup will include mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of three- and four-cylinder engines in both gasoline and diesel guises.
Even though their displacements only range from 1.5 to 2.0-liters, the power output will start at around 136 horsepower and end all the way up to 306 horsepower in the 2023 BMW X1 M35i.
Lower-powered engine versions will feature front-wheel-drive as standard and xDrive AWD as an option, while mid-range and top models will come with all-paw traction as standard.
With the camouflage on prototypes starting to drop, we can now have a better look at the production headlights and taillights, while the massively enlarged kidney grille seems a tad less controversial than what we were originally expecting.
What are somewhat controversial and definitely weird on the latest spy photos of the model are the wheels, which seem severely under-sized for what is arguably a larger car than its predecessor.
Not only do they sport an odd five-spoke design not found on other BMWs, but they seem a tad small for the massive wheel arches, with the height of the tire sidewalls making them look even smaller.
If we were to guess, this prototype could be a base, FWD version of the third-generation X1, which is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder, even though the front disc brakes seem potent enough for a more powerful model.