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BMW X1 - Paris motor show news - 2008

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.

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,

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

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.

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