BMW’s U.S. operations have now confirmed that the small BMW X1 “crossover” SUV will come to the United States sometime during the 2011 calendar year.
The move likely anticipates further downsizing of product offerings, which will be needed as fuel economy regulations start to increase for the first time in decades, leading up to a 35.5 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy in 2016.
In the past BMW chose to violate CAFE standards and simply pay fines, a ploy that is increasingly unsuitable in the current environment, both politically and ecologically.
“The X1 has been conceived with the flexibility to offer traditional rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations, as well as a wide variety of gasoline and diesel powertrain choices. In light of rapidly evolving US market demands, fuel prices, and regulatory standards, elements of the X1′s US launch plan, including engine and drivetrain configurations, will be forthcoming closer to the time of launch,” BMW said in its brief statement.
While BMW hasn’t said which of the European powertrains will be carried over to the North American version X1, the European lineup offers some clues.