F48-BMW-X1-02

The next-generation BMW X1, codenamed F48, will be a smaller and lighter machine than the model it replaces, according to a report by Australian site Drive. Soon after its global debut towards the end of 2015, the compact SUV will also spawn a sportier X2 model, much like the X5-based X6 and the upcoming X4.

Even bigger news is that the F48 will supposedly ditch the original E84’s traditional longitudinal engine layout for a transverse one used in the new 2 Series Active Tourer. This means that, like the 2 AT, future two-wheel drive or sDrive versions of the F48 BMW X1 will be a front-wheel driver. All-wheel drive variants will still be available, of course.

The move to a transverse platform also rules out the use of larger six-cylinder engines. As such, both the new X1 and X2 will only get access to BMW’s range of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines. Transmission options are expected to mirror those on the Active Tourer – six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.

A high-output four-cylinder engine is also rumoured, and could form range-topping M Performance versions of the X1 and X2. If proved true, these could rival the 360 hp Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG and the 310 PS Audi RS Q3.