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While the worldwide economic slowdown has brought many carmakers to their knees, that’s certainly not the case with BMW– at least not in India. The German company's Indian arm, which has lined up multiple rollouts for the next few months, has confirmed to the media that it will be introducing its crossover compact SUV created SUV X1 by 2011, as well as a refreshed version of X3 SUV in the next few years. It is widely believed that the BMW X1, expected to be priced above Rs. 25 lakh , will be offered with a choice of diesel and petrol engines, rear- and four-wheel-drive, six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes and even stop-start technology for improved fuel efficiency. The details of the refreshed X3 could, however, not be ascertained.

According to BMW, “The design of the new X1 is stylish and sporting, yet practical. Short overhangs front and rear, typical of every BMW; ensure the best basis for optimum handling. The profile of the car belies an interior space that sees five adults seated comfortably along with their luggage.”

As with all BMW vehicles, the X1 will be offered with a wide range of optional add-ons; bits like satellite navigation systems, sports seats in Oyster Nevada leather, anthracite headlining and high-spec wood trim. The X1 will go on sale in Europe by October this year and we expect the car to come to India by early-2010.

The key differentiator in this launch is that the BMW X1 is being offered as a new offering in the compact premium Sport Activity Vehicle. Not only will it be the first of a kind in its segment, it appears to be readying for reaching out to the younger crowd. Keeping this in mind, BMW has been actively using the social media sites to reach the younger segment.

For the uninitiated, the new BMW X1 takes its key styling cues and practicality from the X5 but shrinks it into a more compact and affordable package. The vehicle’s elegant lines and command driving position echo its larger stablemate, while the five-seat configuration and 1,350-litre boot space provides outstanding load-lugging capability. Power comes from a choice of three diesel engines and, for the first time on a BMW X product, the option to have rear-wheel drive (sDrive) or four-wheel drive (xDrive). Its 1,995cc engine produces 143hp while peak torque is 320Nm from 1,750rpm through to 2,500rpm.

This equates to a zero to 62mph time of 9.6 seconds and a top speed of 124mph for the rear-wheel drive X1 sDrive18d SE. The X1 xDrive18d SE posts figures of 10.1 seconds and a 121mph top speed. Both models are exceptionally fuel efficient, capable of 54.3mpg and 49.6mpg on the combined cycle respectively. The engine is EU5 rated and records 136g/km and 150g/km CO2 emissions.

However, buyers of the xDrive23d have a six-speed Sport automatic gearbox with gear change paddles located a finger tip away from the steering wheel for sporty changes. Efficient Dynamics plays a part in the BMW X1 story with the introduction of Auto Start-Stop technology on an X product for the first time. Available on all manual transmission cars the system improves fuel consumption figures. The BMW X1 also has the full suite of Efficient Dynmamics technologies including Brake Energy Regeneration, optimised aerodynamics, and optimum shift indicator and on-demand use of ancillary units to name a few.

Inside, and all the main controls and dashboard displays are angled towards the driver. A range of storage compartments, trays and large door pockets provide a variety of places to keep personal effects. An owner that specifies satellite navigation systems featuring the latest iDrive display, controller and Favourite Buttons gains a slightly revised interior layout to accommodate the system.

source: wheelsunplugged

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