A camouflaged prototype of the second generation BMW X1 has been spied undergoing testing on the Nürburgring.

The test driver was pushing the X1 to its limits ahead of a forthcoming official launch when the company's smallest X model will be out with a front-wheel drive layout as standard. It will be slightly shorter than the current generation and will ride on the UKL platform borrowed from the 2-Series Active Tourer / Gran Tourer from where it will get the engines, including the three-cylinder units. Even though FWD will be standard, select engines will be optionally paired to an xDrive system available at an additional cost.

BMW is also planning a version with a stretched wheelbase to make room for two additional rear seats which will likely be suitable only for kids. This seven-seat version will probably be available from day one and will obviously cost a little bit more than the regular five-seater which despite being shorter will provide a more spacious cabin than the current model after receiving a transverse engine layout.

An "early version" of the second-gen X1 will be unveiled sometime this summer, according to BMW's design boss. Chances are the production version will be introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show scheduled for September, with sales to commence by the end of the year or early 2016.