The 2023 BMW X1 debuted less than two months ago. The third-generation crossover received a major restyling inside and out, but BMW didn’t detail all the variants. A hotter X1 M35i in development, and a fresh batch of spy shots captures the performance model testing at the Nurburgring race track.

The prototype continues to hide its more aggressive design under a camouflage wrap, but this one has less cladding than earlier examples. It’s much easier to see the crossover’s chiselled face. The brand’s iconic kidney grille is clearly visible at the front, sitting above a wide lower bumper grille and triangular intakes pushed to the edges.

Gallery: New BMW X1 M35i Spy Shots

The rear bumper has a unique design underneath the camouflage. The new back houses the M35i’s quad exhaust tips, which are usually reserved for full-fat M models. However, rumours suggest that BMW will give quad-exhaust setups to more M Performance models. The crossover also rides closer to the ground, which no amount of camo can ever hide, and it also has a roof spoiler.

We expect the hotter X1 to get the same powertrain that propels other M35i trims, which means we’ll likely see BMW’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder under the bonnet. The engine should produce the same 302 bhp (225 kilowatts) and 332 pound-feet (450 Newton-metres) of torque. BMW could tweak the powertrain to make a bit more in the X1 crossover.

The BMW X1 M35i will have the same interior as the rest of the X1 lineup. That includes the dual-screen setup and BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment software. The interior should feature M Performance touches, including sportier seats and unique graphics.

The 2023 BMW X1 went on sale in the UK in May. Pricing for the X1 starts at £35,130 for the sDrive18d variant. BMW hasn’t announced when it’ll reveal the M35i, but it should happen before the end of the year, likely going on sale after the xDrive28i variant.

Gallery: 2022 BMW X1