Currently reading: New 2023 BMW X1 M35i brings 296bhp for £45,995
Sporting variant of premium crossover receives power boost and chassis overhaul for increased agility

The M performance variant of the new BMW X1 has arrived, bringing a range of chassis and engine tweaks aimed at usurping the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35.

Called the X1 M35i, it’s powered by an upgraded version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine featured in the BMW 2 Series Coupé, Morgan Plus Four and Toyota GR Supra, among others. In the M35i, its power and torque outputs peak at 296bhp and 295lb ft, allowing the crossover to complete the 0-62mph sprint in 5.4sec – 0.2sec behind the GLA 35.

Power is delivered to all four wheels through a seven-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox, with a mechanical limited-slip differential improving traction at the front end.

As for chassis tweaks, adaptive suspension is fitted as standard to the M35i, which sits 15mm lower than conventional variants of the X1. The stability control and traction control systems have also been revised to reduce the length of their physical connections, allowing them to provide corrective inputs up to 10 times faster than before.

New 19in alloy wheels are fitted as standard, reducing unsprung weight and providing enough room for optional M Compound brakes. These discs – 385mm drilled units up front and regular 335mm items at the rear – are made from cast iron and aluminium and are claimed by BMW to improve stopping power while further reducing unsprung weight.

BMW X1 M35i 2023 interior

To further distinguish the M35i from regular X1s visually, it receives a more aggressive bodykit with larger air dams at the front. At the rear is a more prominent spoiler and quad-exhaust-pipe arrangement.

Inside, the M35i gains a pair of more aggressively bolstered sports seats, but buyers can also specify the optional M Sport buckets pictured here. An M Sport leather stitched steering wheel is standard, but the rest of the interior largely mirrors the regular X1.

Prices start from £45,995 in the UK – £7125 less than the GLA 35 but nearly £6000 more than the outgoing Mini Countryman JCW. European deliveries begin in November.


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Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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martin_66 29 June 2023

46 grand for an X1! Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha................

xxxx 29 June 2023

Bargain, for a real laugh go for a 63 grand DS7 1.6, yes really 63k

scrap 28 June 2023

It's not usurping anything. If you're the kind of twerp who wants a hard-riding, more aggressive looking SUV to drive around the suburbs then you now have another option. But please don't be a twerp.

BenzinBob 29 June 2023

I hope the irony of your plea isn't lost on you.

tuga 27 June 2023
Geez, what a dumb little car...
Boris9119 28 June 2023

Agreed, and the same vehicle is approx 6k less here in the USA per Car & Driver.