By Andrew Ganz
Thursday, Nov 25th, 2010 @ 1:00 pm
 
Competing in varied niches has become routine at BMW, so a new urban lifestyle-style crossover smaller than the X1 almost seems like a natural fit for the German automaker. Likely to debut in concept car form within the next year, the as-of-yet unnamed small crossover illustrated here will slot in below the soon-to-be released X1.

It might seem like BMW is stretching its lineup thin with so many active lifestyle-oriented vehicles, ranging from five-door versions of its 3 and 5-Series models to more traditional crossovers, but the automaker thinks it might be onto something with a new entry-level offering.

Fitting in
Potentially, the new small crossover will get the X0 label, which would fit in reasonably well with BMW's current X1-X3-X5 lineup. Look for power to come from both three and four-cylinder turbocharged units displacing less than 1.5 liters but still producing around 100 hp/liter each. A lightweight dual clutch transmission would save fuel and keep weight low, while a simple all-wheel-drive system will undoubtedly show up on the options list.

The X0 should share much of the Mini Countryman's mildly off road-oriented front-wheel-drive focused platform, a move that would both save BMW development costs and increase fuel consumption. However, the X0 will bridge the (admittedly small) gap between Countryman and X1 by offering a little more than the former and a little less than the latter. Look for a starting price just north of 20,000 euros in Europe.

Unlike the X1, the X0 probably won't be earmarked for North America, although future iterations might help the automaker meet increasingly stringent fuel economy standards. In Europe, however, a small crossover would provide BMW access to what it hopes will become a burgeoning segment.

Look for more information to leak out of Munich in the coming months as BMW continues to develop this unique and dramatically-styled new vehicle.

Illustration by Larson/AutoBild Allrad.