BAD news if you’re waiting for a pumped-up, 230kW, M version of the new BMW X1 to take on the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 and Audi RS Q3 – BMW says it’s not happening.
BMW boffins vehemently denied speculation a hotter, harder X1 – dubbed X1M – is being developed by the brand’s iconic M Division, but did hint another performance-focused baby SUV is on the way.
Company insiders revealed that it’s the upcoming, though yet to be confirmed, X2 that will be tweaked by the performance junkies at M.
“A more powerful engine for the X1 isn’t really being discussed,” a BMW source told Wheels. “There is no M version on the table; no, definitely not. The 25i is the top model at the moment and we won’t make an X1M at this stage.
“What we have discussed is the X2; this is the car where we could make an M performance car.”
This X2 would not be a full-blown M car, but rather an M Performance variant, similar to how the M235i sits in the current 2 Series range.
“It won’t be an M car, but one that sits in the middle. Perhaps this is possible,” our source said.
Power would likely come from a heavily tuned version of the new 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol that powers the second-generation X1 25i, where it produces 140kW/350Nm.
In comparison, AMG’s GLA45 produces 256kW/450Nm, while the Audi RS Q3 has 228kW/420Nm.
Hopes of a more powerful, six-cylinder engine for the X2, such as the 240kW/450Nm that powers the updated 340i, are fantasy, given it won’t fit in the X1/X2’s new transverse-engined UKL platform.
“It will be in the X2 because it’s more sporty, the same as an X4 is sportier than the X3,” added our source. “If you need a sporty car in this category, you should want a coupe body style.”
The source added the X2 range will be powered by the same family of engines as the new X1, but is likely to start with a higher-output entry-level option given its sportier emphasis, meaning no 16d.
Although the source was quick to add: “Making this X2 isn’t confirmed, but it’s in discussion; we are talking about it.”
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.
Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!