Sockets at the ready: 2016 BMW X1 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid spotted

Published: 04 April 2016

► New BMW X1 plug-in hybrid spotted
► 1.5-litre petrol, electrified back axle
► Predicted EV range of around 30 miles

There’s a new version of the BMW X1 in the works – and it’s a plug-in hybrid. How can we tell? Well, er, it says ‘Hybrid Test Vehicle’ on the side. There’s also a conspicuous additional flap, presumably covering the charging port, on the nearside (at least it would be in our market) front wing.

It’s no surprise that there’s another plug-in BMW coming down the line. After all, the company recently launched the plug-in 2-series Active Tourer 225xe, which sits alongside the X5 xDrive40e, i8, 330e and 740e. Given that the company’s striving to cut emissions and boost economy figures across its range, you’ll likely see many more plug-in hybrids in the future.

So what exactly is this, then?

This latest addition to the line-up is expected to be badged the X1 xDrive30e. It’s mooted to use the same powertrain as the 225xe, so you can expect it to offer up much the same in terms of performance and economy.

Under the bonnet you’ll likely find find a 1.5-litre turbocharged triple that produces 134bhp and 163lb ft, which is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox. The back wheels, however, will be driven solely by a rear-mounted electric motor that produces 87bhp and 122lb ft.

All in, given the way the power sources will work together, expect the X1 to output a total of 221bhp and 285lb ft. You’ll have all-wheel drive on hand when you need it, too, thanks to that electrically driven back axle.

Several driving modes will be available and, provided you’re diligent, the X1 should travel up to 30 miles on electric power alone. A 0-62mph time of 7.0sec is predicted, while the top speed is expected to be in the region of 124mph. That’s slightly less than the Active Tourer hybrid, because it’s predicted that the X1 will weigh fractionally more.

Is it claimed to be ridiculously efficient? 

There’s no formal word on efficiency yet, but the 225xe is reputed to average 141.2mpg and emit 46g/km of CO2 – and the X1 should be in a similar ballpark. Unless you’re driving it entirely in EV mode then it’s unlikely that you’ll ever see such figures, but in any instance it should prove more than efficient enough for most.

Expect to see the official reveal of the plug-in BMW X1 towards the end of this year.

Read CAR magazine’s BMW X1 review here

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car