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New York show: Facelifted BMW X1 breaks cover

Show face: Leaked photo shows the new face of the BMW X1, which will be officially revealed in New York early tomorrow.

Mild X1 revision revealed in the US as BMW drops six-cylinder model in Australia

BMW logo4 Apr 2012

By DAVID HASSALL

PHOTOS of a mildly facelifted BMW X1 have been leaked in the United States ahead of its official reveal at the New York auto show tomorrow morning Australian time, which will mark the compact SUV’s debut in the US.

The midlife facelift – or LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) in BMW terminology – is largely cosmetic and will not come to Australia until October this year.

In the meantime, BMW Australia has revised its existing X1 line-up, dropping the previous range-topping xDrive25i – which was powered by a 160kW 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine – due to slow sales.

It will effectively be replaced by the new xDrive28i model that will be presented at the New York show – if the local product planners get approval for it to come here with the rest of the facelifted range in October.

The xDrive28i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that in the current 328i sedan produces 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

It will come only with four-wheel drive whereas in the US it will be offered only with rear-wheel drive (which would be called sDrive28i in Australia).

14 center imageBMW will launch the X1 at the New York show in two versions only for the US market – the xDrive28i and the turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder xDrive35i that features in a number of Australian models with 225kW and 400Nm.

However, BMW Australia head of corporate communications Piers Scott told GoAuto that the US range-topper will not come to Australia because of limited market potential and the fact that its price would push it well into X3 territory.

Mr Scott said the xDrive35i would likely be a US-only model.

Although much has been made of the ‘new’ X1 to be shown in New York because it marks the debut of the model in the US market more than two years after going on sale in other markets, the changes are relatively minor.

The most obvious changes in the leaked photos are a sleeker new front bumper section that houses a grille with sports silver slats like the upper-end models in Australia, not the base model’s black slats.

Although the headlights are the same shape as the current model, the internals have been changed and the optional Xenon package will include LED corona-ring main beams.

The side sills have also been restyled slightly to match the front treatment and the external mirrors will carry indicator lights.

At the rear, the bumper is believed to have been revised in line with the front to look lighter, with more body-coloured surfaces and matt silver highlights.

Inside, the centre console is slightly more integrated and the steering wheel is restyled with more matt silver to match the exterior look.

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