BMW unveils the most powerful version of its entry-level SUV – the 2024 X1 M35i xDrive debuts with a powerful 2.0-litre engine, an aggressive look to match it, and hardware upgrades for better performance on the road. It will also become the first BMW product to receive the latest iDrive 9 infotainment system when it goes on sale in Germany in November this year.

It turns out the reports from last summer were true as the new X1 M35i xDrive comes with a more powerful iteration of the automaker’s 2.0-litre mill. Thanks to upgrades such as a stronger crankshaft, an optimised oil supply system, and main bearing shells and caps carried over from BMW’s six-cylinder engines, the four-pot now produces 296 bhp (221 kW) between 5,750 and 6,500 rpm, and a peak torque of 295 pound-feet (400 Nm) from 2,000 to 4,500 rpm. This represents a significant jump over the base model’s 241 bhp.

Gallery: BMW X1 M35i xDrive

Channelling the power to all four wheels is BMW’s xDrive system, which is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with a mechanical limited-slip differential built into it. The LSD limits the difference in rotational speed between the front wheels, which should improve the crossover’s handling dynamics around corners. The result of this setup is a sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 5.2 seconds and an electronically governed top speed of 155 mph.

Stopping power comes from a new integrated brake system. The X1 M35i is now the first M Performance model to come with an optional M Compound system, using a four-piston caliper with 15.2-inch drilled discs at the front wheels and single-piston units with 13.0-inch discs at the back. Those big boys are finished in gloss grey and hide behind standard 19-inch or optional 20-inch wheels. Last but not least, BMW’s adjustable M Suspension is also standard alongside sport steering.

Matching the power and performance of the range-topping X1 is an aggressive exterior with larger air intakes in the front fascia, prominent side skirt extensions, a model-specific roof spoiler, and a rear apron with a new diffuser, incorporating quad exhaust pipes.

The highlight of the cabin – in addition to the optional M sport seats, an Alcantara-trimmed instrument panel, and an anthracite-coloured roof liner – is the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. The X1 M35i xDrive is the first model from the Bavarian brand to receive the new iDrive 9 tech, which features a newly designed home screen and an improved menu structure inspired by consumer electronic devices.

As mentioned above, BMW will have the 2024 X1 M35i xDrive at its German dealers in November 2023. Prices start at €62,000 (approx. £51,550 at the current exchange rate). The range-topping X1 will be produced at the BMW Group Plant Regensburg in the USA.