We're not even into the facelift of the current BMW X1, and the good folks over at BMWBLOG are already talking about the next generation model. More specifically, sources within BMW have told them that the next model is going to adopt a 48V electrical system, much like other high end vehicles on the market. While there isn't word on when the systems will come to the broader BMW range, the 48V system will allow for mild-hybrid or full hybrid variants of the X1.
How a company goes about using a 48V system in practice is fairly varied. As mentioned earlier, it could be as simple as something used to start off at low speeds in order to greatly improve fuel consumption (a lot of it is used during stop and start operation). It could also be as complex as a full-on hybrid vehicle that can switch between electric mode and hybrid mode on the fly up to a particular speed.
Whatever the case, it's also confirmed that the next X1 will remain primarily front-wheel drive as it will sit on the UKL platform, with all-wheel drive options offered in the more expensive variants. There could also be room for a hybrid all-wheel drive in the form of the rear wheels being driven by the electric motors, as is the case with some hybrid all-wheel drive models on the market. The BMW X1 facelift, or LCI, has been spotted testing and will likely come to market next year.