In our First Drive of the new, third-generation BMW X1, we held out hope for a more powerful, sportier variant. The base xDrive28i model is the driver’s choice in the entire segment, making a bit more oomph and more focused handling an enticing carrot. Here’s what we asked for, the 2024 BMW X1 M35i xDrive, an M Performance version of the entry model. The turbocharged two-liter four-cylinder has been amped up from 241 horsepower to 312 horsepower, torque holds steady at 295 pound-feet. The same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sends power to all four wheels, here given the secondary control mechanism of paddle shifters, and it includes a mechanical limited-slip differential to improve footing on the steering axle. BMW cites a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds, a full second quicker than the xDrive28i.
A few firsts come with the new sport activity vehicle. There’s never been an M Performance model adorned with the quad pipes famous from full-fat M cars until now. This is also the first M Performance vehicle to give buyers the option of M Compound brakes with four-piston front calipers on a 15.2-inch vented rotor and a single-piston floating caliper on a 13-inch rotor in back. Additional visual giveaways include an M kidney grille and more air intakes in the front fascia, black mirror caps, punched-up rockers, a new hatch spoiler and those four 3.1-inch pipes set into a cosmetic diffuser inlay.
Handling upgrades come courtesy of the standard sport steering and Adaptive M Suspension. The M Sport Boost Function, enabled by pulling the left paddle shifter for at least one second, puts all of the adaptive chassis tech into their sportiest modes. A relocated wheel slip sensor cuts reaction time for the dynamic stability control system, enhancing the SUV’s reflexes. The car rides on standard 19-inch M alloys, three 20-inch designs fill the options menu.
Inside, occupants sit under and anthracite-colored headliner, the instrument panel wears Alcantara trim, there’s dark aluminum “hexacube” trim throughout, the driver works an M leather steering wheel and set of M pedals. Standard Sensatec seating is trimmed with Alcantara. The BMW Curved Display and its head-up display work iDrive 9 and display M-specific graphics. Tech like navigation, Harmon Kardon premium audio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and wireless charging come standard.
Pricing starts at $49,900 plus a $995 destination fee, making for a total of $50,895 before options — a $10,800 step above the X1 xDrive28i. The U.S. launch is expected to begin this October.