German SUV crossover-Babylon careers onward with the Paris show launch of the BMW X1.
Currently labelled a concept, it's absolutely the real thing, and you'll be able to buy it late next year.
So BMW will have these things in three sizes: X5, X3 and X1. Oh and then the X6 coupe-thing.
You've gotta say that the X1 does make the X3 look messy and old-hat though. There's some nice chamfering around the lights and the corners
of the body, and the upturned banana-crease in the lower doors continues up into a swish behind the rear side windows. Interesting.
The other feature to BMW is the wheel-arch shape. They're squared off, but not quite horizontally if you see what we mean. Like a Tiguan or Benz GLK actually. The mark of a German compact SUV, evidently.
Oddly, the X1 is just a handspan shorter than the X3. The wheelbase is a scant one inch less.
BMW chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk told us it's so much bigger than a 1-Series hatch, and so close to the X3, because it has to fit five adults. A tacit admission that the 1-series is limited to five Russian dolls. And he says the next X3 will be bigger. Making it the same size as the first-gen X5 was. Oh dear, the obesity crisis.
Is there really a market for all these BMW crossovers? Well, the X3 is generally agreed to have a terrible ride and the worst cabin of any
BMW. It's also bruisingly expensive and it's been given a right pounding with the ugly stick. Yet more than half a million have been sold. Ah, so that's why BMW is milking it so.