2023 BMW X1 M35i spied dancing on ice near Arctic Circle

BMW will refrain from giving front-wheel-drive cars the full M treatment, but more M Performance models are on the way. For example, the M135i, M235i Gran Coupe and X2 M35i will soon be joined by this one – the X1 M35i. It will be the first time that Bavaria’s smallest crossover will receive M upgrades, but the straight-six engine is not returning.

The bigger engine is dead with the X1 E84 in the mighty xDrive35i specification, although there is a silver lining. The next M35i version of the revamped compact crossover is expected to pack around the same output, around 300 horsepower. Not only that, it’s going to have more torque since these FWD-based M Performance cars have 450 Nm (332 lb-ft). The old six-cylinder X1 had to make do with 407 Nm (300 lb-ft).

Ahead of its debut later this year, the 2023 BMW X1 M35i was filmed undergoing testing near the Arctic Circle. The prototype test rider can be seen having a little fun sliding on the ice. To address the elephant in the room, the prototype had quad exhaust tips. Yes, future M Performance vehicles will have a more aggressive setup. If AMG and Audi Sport can do it with their four-cylinder cars, why not BMW?

2022 bmw x1 01 830x830
Photo by @buschixd and @wilcoblok

Bigger = better?

The three-minute video shot by CarSpyMedia reinforces our belief that the U11 generation X1 will be significantly larger than its predecessor. German reports say it will stretch to 4.6 meters (181.1 inches), which would make it about 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) longer than the outgoing model. Therefore, this also means that the next MINI Countryman will grow since the two will be mechanically paired. Additionally, the Leipzig plant will build both, the first time a BMW Group plant has assembled both a BMW and a MINI.

Performance should mirror the X2 M35i, which accelerates to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.9 seconds. However, the new X1 will be bigger than the coupe-style crossover and therefore could end up being heavier.

All will be revealed later this year when BMW unveils the third-generation X1. Another first brought by the U11 model will be an all-electric variant, dubbed the iX1.

[Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube]