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BMW confirms X1 M package for SA

2011-01-24 08:07

SUV ‘SLEEPER’: BMW’s new xDrive28i trimmed with the M sports package (this shade of blue is part of the new ‘M’ palette too).

BMW’s new four-cylinder turbo engines should headline the local X1 range by early 2012.

Announced last week, the N52 engine will offer buyers a real entry-level alternative to BMW’s traditional in-line six forced induction engines – which have conventionally headlined the company’s 1- and 3 Series ranges.

BETTER NUMBERS ALL ROUND

Powering up to 180kW and 350Nm, the single-turbo, two--litre N52 engine is powerful enough to guarantee a hot-hatch humbling 0-100km/h benchmark acceleration time of only 6.1 seconds; rather rapid for an all-wheel drive SUV tipping the scales at 1 580kg…

With the N52 engine featuring twin-scroll exhaust scavenging, Valvetronic valve-lift control and dual-VANOS camshaft adjustability (all fuelled by direct injection), BMW's new blow four is hugely efficient.

BMW claims in both six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmission form the xDrive28i should return 7.9 litres/100km. This equates to an improvement of 16% on the company’s non-turbo two-litre four-cylinder engine, with the new turbocharged two-litre engine adding a notable increase in performance across the entire engine speed range.

One of the new xDrive28i's most endearing features is that alongside ZF's outstanding eight-speed automatic transmission, BMW will continue to offer a six-speed manual to appease keen drivers who demand full dynamic control.

GLOSSY TRIM

Beyond the introduction of BMW's first direct-injection forced-induction four-cylinder engine locally, fans of the Bavarian brand can also look forward to an accompanying X1 M sports package towards the end of 2011.

Comprising a range of tailored 17 and 18" wheels, revised (low-drag) bumpers and side skirts, some glossy trim for the window surrounds and obligatory M-stamped treadplates the X1 M sports package models will be prominently distinguished from their more subtle X1 siblings.

True to its comprehensive nature the full suite of X1 M sports goodies also trim the cabin, adding Alantara upholstered bucket seats and a new M-themed steering wheel and transmission shifter combination. 

Considering the xDrive28i's rampant performance potential, not optioning the M sports package trinkets should leave one with a pretty decent performance ‘sleeper’ of an SUV. Hot hatch owners, you have been warned…
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