2008 Paris Auto Show: BMW X1 Concept

  • Looks like: A smaller, sleeker X3
  • Defining characteristics: The taller grille and headlights BMW has begun to adopt in its lineup, 19-inch wheels, silver lower bumpers
  • Ridiculous features: Not much – this is close to the real thing
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Count on it; BMW says a production model “will see the light of day within just one year”

Aside from the lack of an interior, the X1 concept looks about ready for prime time. It has a taller grille and larger headlights than the X3, and those elements recall those on the redesigned 7 Series that debuted a few months back. The rear tones down some of the X6’s sharply angled contours. The concept’s 19-inch wheels and silver lower bumpers look sensible enough that they could make it to production.

Where would an X1 fit in BMW’s lineup? Not too long ago we wondered the same thing about the 1 Series, but it’s been selling at BMW’s expected — albeit slow — pace thus far. BMW says the X1 continues the logical evolution to the compact crossover category. A production X1 will likely come as a 2010 or 2011 model, but spokesman Dave Buchko told us there is “no specific plan or time frame” for it to come stateside.

The X1 would compete in the latest segment du jour — compact luxury crossovers, like the Acura RDX, Infiniti EX35, Land Rover LR2 and Volvo XC60 — in a way the $39,400 X3 has become too pricey to really do. However, none of these vehicles is selling well right now. Buchko said there are no plans to cut that larger X. The concept measures 4.3 inches shorter than the X3 and rides a 5.7-inch shorter wheelbase. If it does arrive here — with BMW’s twin-turbo six-cylinder — it could be an interesting new choice for entry-luxury SUV shoppers.

More photos below.


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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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