BMW has announced that its small X1 SUV range will soon be topped by a performance-enhanced ‘M35i’ model, which comes with a re-tuned engine, suspension and exhaust upgrades, and a few cosmetic alterations.
Starting with the model’s exterior looks, the X1 M35i features a new-look front grille with vertical double bars instead of the standard model’s single bars design, as well as a slightly altered rear diffuser and roof spoiler.
Inside, the infotainment console on the dashboard displays M-specific graphics, and an ‘M’-branded leather steering wheel and foot pedals also feature.
Now onto the technical differences – the M35i is powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the front-wheel drive entry-level model, but this all-wheel drive range-topper has been re-tuned to provide 300hp. This engine is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. BMW says that the model can complete a 0-62mph sprint in 5.4 seconds.
The manufacturer has also given the M35i a limited slip differential, to give the car more traction at high speed on low grip surfaces like wet roads, and has installed paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
To improve the SUV’s handling, BMW has also given the X1 M35i a sports suspension upgrade and lowered the car’s stance by over a centimetre. ‘M’ sport compound brakes sit behind 19-inch alloy wheels – 20-inch alloy wheels are also available for an extra fee.
Finally, this top-spec X1 comes with a sports exhaust package that gives the car four large tailpipes. Prices for the new model will start at just under £46k – around £12k more than the lead-in X1 variant. BMW says UK deliveries of the X1 M35i are scheduled to start in November.
The third-generation BMW X1 has received a warm welcome from the British motoring media – praised for its spacious and well-equipped cabin, as well as its attractive exterior looks. Reviewers do note however that the SUV’s petrol engines could be more refined, and that its rivals are cheaper to buy. It currently holds an Expert Rating of 70%.