BMW X1 002

The BMW X1 is going into its fifth year, and so a replacement is well on the cards. Our European spy photographers have again snapped photos of the next-gen X1, this time undergoing winter trials – the second iteration of the type could well make its first outing later this year in Frankfurt, ahead of a market debut in 2015.

The E84 replacement looks rather taut – the clad silhouette offers a somewhat more rakish-looking profile than the current car, with a flatter nose and rear end, especially from a sideways view.

Despite a shape and lines that polarised views on it (flowy or ungainly, take your pick), the E84 has been quite successful commercially, going up against the likes of the Audi Q3 and VW Tiguan – around 500,000 units have been sold since its market debut in 2009, with a midlife facelift coming about in 2012. The current X1 has been given a minor refresh for 2014, happening from this month on.

Of more interest is whether the new X1 will be a front-wheel drive offering. Previous speculation offered the layout choice and the idea that it’ll share the same platform as the F45 2 Series Active Tourer, which will make its debut in Geneva.