BMW X1 M35i sporty SUV revealed: here’s everything you need to know

June 28, 2023 by

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The sportiest version of BMW’s smallest SUV has been revealed. It starts from just under £46,000 and comes with features found on recent larger M models. Read on to find out more.

  • M version of X1 compact SUV
  • Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine
  • 300hp and 400Nm in Europe
  • Sportier design inside and out
  • Prices start from £45,995
  • Deliveries from November

BMW has unveiled the sportiest version of its new X1 SUV. Called the M35i, this is the first M-labelled X1 and is the first 35i-badged version since the first generation model from 2015.

Annoyingly for us in Europe though, the American version of the new X1 M35i gets 17hp more from the turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine.

New BMW X1 M35i design

The design of the X1 is already quite sharp from a lot of angles, but being an M version, the M35i looks more aggressive and has some M tweaks.

The M Sport version of the X1 gets large front air inlets, and the M35i builds on that with even bigger intakes. There’s also a new blacked-out grille with an M logo, while there are also black M door mirrors and modified side skirts.

You get 19-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels as standard, but you can choose to fit 20-inch units and sportier tyres from the options list.

At the back, there’s a more enhanced roof spoiler and rear faux-diffuser for more aggressive touches, while this is the first car modified by the M division to get two sets of twin openings for the M-specific exhaust system.

New BMW X1 M35i interior

With the simplified cabin of the X1 to build on, with less buttons than previous cars, the M35i gets some sporty touches. Those include the optional M sport seats with an illuminated logo on the backrest, integrated headrests, electrical adjustment and a fetching red and black finish.

You get lots of Alcantara suede-like surfaces, aluminium trim pieces and a grey headliner, as well as M-themed features, like the door sills, pedals and specific graphics for the curved driver’s display. UK models get the comfort seats with Veganza vegan leather as standard.

With the sporty theme continuing into the rear seats, it thankfully doesn’t hurt the practicality of the X1 – with the boot space and sliding rear bench remaining from the standard model.

You can optionally add an M leather steering wheel, a head-up display that also gets M-specific displays, a panoramic sunroof, a Harman Kardon sound system and ambient lighting.

See what Mat thinks of the latest generation X1.

New BMW X1 M35i engine

Under the bonnet of the M35i is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that’s been given the M treatment. It gets a more robust crankshaft, an optimised oil supply for the pistons, and main bearing shells and caps from BMW’s larger six-cylinder engines.

The turbocharger has also been upgraded to improve its efficiency and performance, while you get a seven-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive, as already seen in other more sober X1s.

All that leads to the X1 M35i developing 300hp and 400Nm of torque for European models.

It accelerates from 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds, while the top speed is limited to 155mph.

Strangely though, all of these upgrades don’t make it the most powerful X1 available. That title belongs to the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid that has 326hp and 477Nm of torque. The 0-60mph time and top speed aren’t quite as good on the PHEV though, as it’s heavier and not tuned primarily for sporting prowess.

New BMW X1 M35i chassis

With the M treatment, the M35i also gets a mechanical limited-slip differential on the front axle that helps to give improved traction when cornering.

To help live up to that legendary M badging, BMW also fits adaptive M suspension and sports steering as standard – both should help to make the X1 more involving and easier to drive quickly on a twisty road. By fitting the sportier suspension, the ride height drops by 15mm.

The M35i gets another first from BMW M – the option of the M Compound braking system. Instead of the regular brakes on the car – already tweaked for the M35i anyway – this optional system gets an inner ring made from cast iron with an aluminium chamber.

Those drilled brake discs measure 385mm at the front with four-piston brake callipers, while the rear gets 340mm discs with a single-piston calliper.

How much does the new BMW X1 M35i cost?

Being the M version, the M35i does command a higher price than most of the X1 line-up. Starting price is £45,995 – which is actually less than the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid version.

Deliveries for the M35i in Europe will begin in November, while the US gets slightly earlier access from October.

Want to get the best price on a BMW X1? Get the best new deals here, while carwow also offers BMW used deals.