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BMW X1 given M Performance boost

Smallest BMW SUV goes from mild to wild with 233kW/400Nm X1 M35i here in Q4 2023

28 Jun 2023

FOR the first time, an M-badged BMW X1 will be available taking the fight to other performance-oriented small SUVs like the Mercedes-AMG GLA35, as well as sub-premium contenders such as the Cupra Formentor VZ, and Volkswagen Tiguan R.


While not a full-fat M car, like the X3 M or X5 M, the X1 M35i has been fitted with the most powerful four-cylinder turbo-petrol from BMW’s latest generation of powerplants, featuring variable camshaft timing, fully variable valve timing and dual injection. 


The X1 M35i xDrive will be launched later this year, with Australia receiving a higher-power 233kW/400Nm variant that is claimed to hit triple digits in just 5.4 seconds.


In this guise, the BMW outpunches its main GLA35 rival by 8kW while matching on torque output but is three-tenths slower to 100km/h. BMW is expected to price the X1 M35i below $100,000 in Australia to directly rival the AMG that goes for $97,800 before on-road costs.


M treatment for the X1 consists of more than just a bump in power, with major suspension, braking and chassis upgrades as well as more aggressive styling hinting at its performance DNA.


A seven-speed automatic transmission is equipped with an ‘M Sport Boost’ function for “exceptionally rapid bursts of speed”, switching all chassis and powertrain systems to the sportiest setting when the left paddle-shifter is held for at least one second. 


BMW has also fitted a mechanical limited-slip differential within the transmission, with a locking factor of up to 26 per cent for the front wheels, adding to the model’s dynamic prowess.


The X1 M35i sits around 15mm lower than regular petrol-powered variants, rolling on 19-inch M light-alloy wheels and wider tyres, while also wearing more aggressive side skirts, a redesigned front grille and quad exhaust outlets. 


A “very direct rack ratio” will offer sharp steering, which is paired with speed-sensitive power assistance and upgraded adaptive M suspension that can be mechanically adjusted.


The option of M Compound brakes will also be offered, comprising four-piston, fixed-calliper stoppers acting on bigger 385mm drilled rotors up front and 330mm rotors at the rear. 


Inside, M-specific content is featured on the 10.7-inch Alcantara-covered  infotainment display and Sensatic/Alcantara sports seats come as standard, with M Sport seats also offered as an optional extra.


BMW’s updated version of the iDrive 9 operating system, with QuickSelect, is optioned on the X1 M35i which offers more intuitive functionality and broader digital offering. 


Official pricing is yet to be released, but BMW Australia has confirmed we can expect to see the performance SUV Down Under in Q4 this year. 

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