Baby Bayern: Speculating on the BMW X1

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

C'mon now, enough is enough with this small SUV thing, no? According to Germany's AutoBild, BMW's working on an even smaller ute, the X1, which would be the baby brother of the X3 and X5. The Bild says BMW's alleged move is based on numbers: The small ute segment is set to grow by 50 percent by the middle of next decade, and new competitors from Volkswagen (Tiguan) and Acura (RDX) — and more reportedly in the works from Audi (Q3), Mercedes (GLK) — are prepared to carve up the market, with or without a response from the Bayern boys. Is the auto industry turning into a game of mass follow-the-leader, and has it already become that?

Das Baby-SUV aus Bayern [AutoBild]

Eine Kleine Roadstermusik: 2009 BMW Z2, Z4, Z6, Z8? [internal]

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On the bright side, these are the least awkward post-Bangle BMW headlights I've seen yet. And the grille doesn't have the variable-width trim or bizarre contour bulges of a lot of their recent models. Think the pendulum is swinging back towards moderation?