New 2023 BMW X1 M35i brings 296bhp for £45,995

10 months, 3 weeks ago - 28. June 2023, autocar
New 2023 BMW X1 M35i brings 296bhp for £45,995
Sporting variant of premium crossover receives power boost and chassis overhaul for increased agility

The M performance variant of the new BMW X1 has arrived, bringing a range of chassis and engine tweaks aimed at usurping the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35.

Called the X1 M35i, it’s powered by an upgraded version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine featured in the BMW 2 Series Coupé, Morgan Plus Four and Toyota GR Supra, among others. In the M35i, its power and torque outputs peak at 296bhp and 295lb ft, allowing the crossover to complete the 0-62mph sprint in 5.4sec – 0.2sec behind the GLA 35.

Power is delivered to all four wheels through a seven-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox, with a mechanical limited-slip differential improving traction at the front end.

As for chassis tweaks, adaptive suspension is fitted as standard to the M35i, which sits 15mm lower than conventional variants of the X1. The stability control and traction control systems have also been revised to reduce the length of their physical connections, allowing them to provide corrective inputs up to 10 times faster than before.

New 19in alloy wheels are fitted as standard, reducing unsprung weight and providing enough room for optional M Compound brakes. These discs – 385mm drilled units up front and regular 335mm items at the rear – are made from cast iron and aluminium and are claimed by BMW to improve stopping power while further reducing unsprung weight.

To further distinguish the M35i from regular X1s visually, it receives a more aggressive bodykit with larger air dams at the front. At the rear is a more prominent spoiler and quad-exhaust-pipe arrangement.

Inside, the M35i gains a pair of more aggressively bolstered sports seats, but buyers can also specify the optional M Sport buckets pictured here. An M Sport leather stitched steering wheel is standard, but the rest of the interior largely mirrors the regular X1.

Prices start from £45,995 in the UK – £7125 less than the GLA 35 but nearly £6000 more than the outgoing Mini Countryman JCW. European deliveries begin in November.

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