BMW X1 M35i revealed with beefed up looks, hot-hatch performance

Published Jun 28, 2023


By: Mpho Mahlangu

Pretoria – BMW has pulled the covers off its latest M-Performance model, the X1 M35i. Sadly, however South Africans shouldn’t expect to see it on local soil, as confirmed to us by BMW South Africa, at least not for the foreseeable future.

The compact Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) employs a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, which when coupled with M TwinPower technology, churns out 221kW (European-spec models) whilst the USA and other select markets will receive units producing 233kW. Torque output is rated at 400Nm for all markets.

This allows the BMW X1 M35i to accelerate from standstill to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds and continue accelerating to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.

Power will be sent to all four wheels via an xDrive system which will work alongside the seven-speed dual-clutch Steptronic transmission with M Sport Boost. The xDrive system is also assisted by a mechanical limited-slip-differential which is built into the transmission.

Standard fitment in the X1 M35i includes adaptive M suspension which results in agility and improved comfort over long distance driving thanks to mechanically controlled adjustable and frequency-selective dampers. The M-specific chassis also lowers the ride height of the SAV by 15mm and adds Sport steering.

Stopping power may be taken care of by the optional fitment of M Compound brakes which are comprised of four-piston, fixed-calliper brakes with 385mm drilled discs up front and single-piston, floating-calliper units with integrated parking brake and 330mm discs at the rear. The M Compound brakes reduce weight and unsprung mass and are easily recognisable by their grey brake callipers with an M logo.

Adding on to the handling capabilities of the BMW X1 M35i is the fitment of near-actuator wheel slip limitation technology. Integrated into the engine management is the traction control function and this eliminates the long signal path to the DSC control unit, essentially speeding up the application of corrective inputs by up to ten times.

From the exterior, the X1 M35i is distinguishable thanks to a front apron with large air intakes, BMW M kidney grille with horizontal double bars and M logo, black M exterior mirror caps with twin-stalk design, wide skirt extensions, model-specific roof spoiler and a rear apron with a diffuser and four exhaust tailpipes each measuring 80mm in diameter.

The vehicle rides on 19-inch M light-alloy wheels with a twin-spoke design. Optionally available are larger 20-inch M-light alloy wheels with an exclusive twin-spoke design, shod in sport tyres.

Inside, the SAV gains an M-specific cockpit thanks to highlights like the Alcantara covered instrument panel, Aluminium Hexacube Dark interior trim elements, an anthracite-coloured headliner, M door sill trim, M pedals, M-specific graphics of the BMW Curved Display and an M leather-wrapped steering wheel with gearshift paddles.

Black Sensatec/ Alcantara Sport seats with blue contrast stitching are fitted as standard but may be optionally ordered trimmed in Vernasca leather with special diamond quilting. M Sport seats are also available as an optional extra.

Customers can opt for the optional model-specific M Sport package Pro which adds M high gloss Shadowline exterior trim with extended elements, M lights shadowline, M Sport braking system with red brake callipers and M Sport seats with M seat belts.

Infotainment and entertainment are taken care of by the familiar BMW Curved Display which is now underpinned by an updated BMW iDrive with QuickSelect and BMW Operating System 9. The digital screens which make up the Curved Display measure at 10.25-inches for the information display and 10.7-inches for the control display.

The BMW X1 M35i comes with a wide array of standard amenities which include two-zone climate control, BMW Live Cockpit Plus including BMW Maps navigation system, M roof rails in Black high gloss, automatic tailgate operation, a rain sensor with automatic headlight activation, four USB-C ports and two 12V power outlets.

Front-collision warning system, Cruise Control with brake function Parking Assistant with Reversing Assist Camera and Reversing Assistant are also fitted as standard. Optional extras include an interior and exterior mirror package, ambient lighting, panoramic glass roof, Harmon Kardon sound system, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Active Navigation, Remote 3D view, BMW Drive Recorder and Remote Theft Recorder functions.

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