A plug-in hybrid BMW X1 prototype has been spied for the very first time ahead of a possible 2016 launch.

A plug-in hybrid BMW X1 prototype has been spied for the very first time ahead of a possible 2016 launch.

It seems the rumor was spot on as BMW is indeed working on a plug-in hybrid version of the second generation X1 which can be seen in the attached spy shots depicting an early prototype that doesn't have the production-spec lighting clusters. The "hybrid test vehicle" lettering on the front right door is a giveaway of the vehicle's propulsion and although not visible in these images, we know for sure there's a second fuel cap on the front left fender for recharging the batteries.

Likely to be called X1 xDrive30e, the hybridized SAV will probably use a three-cylinder 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine teamed up with an electric motor as seen in the 2-Series Active Tourer hybrid prototype where the conventional engine has 136 PS and 220 Nm whereas the electric motor is good enough for an extra 88 PS and 165 Nm.

The larger and heavier X5 xDrive40e has an average fuel consumption of 3.4 - 3.3 liters / 100 km (83.1 - 85.6 mpg UK or 69.1 - 71.2 mpg US), with corresponding CO2 emissions of 78 - 77 g/km and does up to 19 miles (31 km) on electric power and most likely its smaller brother will be even more efficient.

BMW will probably decide to introduce the hybrid X1 in the second half of next year and it will likely be the most expensive version of the range, thus surpassing the X1 xDrive25i & xDrive25d which both cost €42,760 in Germany when equipped with the optional Steptronic transmission.

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BMW X1 plug-in hybrid spied for the first time