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BMWBMWGermany, 1918 > present is planning to use its upcoming front-wheel drive UKL platform for entry level vehicles on the next generation X1BMW X1Germany, 2009 > present. The platform will be used first on the 1-seriesBMW 1 Series Gen.2 [F20] Germany, 2011 > present GT that will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show. Later, it will also be used on the next generation Mini CountrymanMINI (BMW) Countryman Gen.1 [R60]Germany, 2010 > present and X1.
The decision to move the X1 and so many other BMW models to front-wheel drive is motivated my lowering costs improving packaging. On compact vehicles, front-wheel drive makes more sense because it allows for more interior room. It is also cheaper to produce.
This change will make the X1 and the Countryman platform mates. While the two cars will have different styling, they will likely share engines at least in certain trim levels.
The UKL platform cars, including the X1, will stick with transversely mounted, four-cylinder engines at least for the near future. BMW has said that it has not plans to modify its six-cylinder engines to work transversely.