X-treme off-roading moment becomes fun with BMW

X-treme off-roading moment becomes fun with BMW

X-treme off-roading moment becomes fun with BMW
BMW’s X-drive event which was held in Bengaluru recently showcased the advanced technology of the German luxury carmaker’s big machines, which makes the buyer feel his money’s worth.

BMW X-drive is an all-wheel (4-wheel) drive system that constantly monitors the driving situation and distributes the power between the axles. A very common feature that we see in every four-wheel-drive vehicle on the road, has been named as X-drive.

The event had various versions of BMW’s Sports Activity Vehicle (SAVs) such as the X1, the X3, the X5 and the X6. Under the proper guidance of internationally-certified off-road drivers, participants tested the cars’ control, manoeuvrability and the grit of signature xDrive technology. We got a chance to drive the BMW X1 on the track, which was comparatively a smaller vehicle compared with its other siblings.


With the intent of making their cars fit for the sports utility rush, the carmakers first introduced their SAVs with the launch of the BMW X5 in 1999. After the launch of several other X-series cars, the SAV segment was further redefined with the launch of the X1. It was the world’s first compact sports activity vehicle with a young and modern character. With its agility and versatility, the X1 guaranteed a new driving experience in the premium compact space.

Compared with other cars, we were a little conscious in driving the compact SAV BMW X1 on the track. Though the car was technically fit to clear several tricky obstacles, the ground clearance of the car was obstructing our adventurous drive all the way.

Eight-speed sensation

The car has the automatic 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, which was adapted to suit individual driving styles. It ranges from comfortable cruising to dynamic handling. In sport mode, the gear shifts are configured for maximum performance. Gears can be changed manually also by using the gear lever or the gearshift paddles. These specifications are more than enough for any amateur driver to make his off-roading debut.

On unsurfaced tracks, the car provides maximum traction as well as safe and quick acceleration. Individual wheel spin is suppressed with fast and variable alteration of the power distribution between front and rear-axle. As the power is distributed wherever it is required, even a single wheel of its 17-inch alloys and 225/55 radius on the ground can just push the car vigorously out of any deep ditch. With the flexibility, the car not only enhances traction in difficult road conditions, but also improves driving dynamics on the road.

Bearing 165 mm of ground clearance, the BMW X1 was coming in touch with the ground on tough roads. Hitting sharp stones and rocks on the side was common all through the drive. There were also few other instances where the X1 had a separately designed track for few challenges. For example, testing of the hill descent mode downhill.

If other BMW cars were rolled down a steeper hill, this car was instructed to take the other track, which was beefed up by mud that helped us crawl down the hill safely. We didn’t get an opportunity to enjoy the drift stunt, as the BMW X1 was not meant for it.

Though the machine is technically fit to take any challenges head on, the BMW X1’s body design will not let you go ahead for deadly off-road tracks. The buyer will surely think twice before going for a compact SAV for his adventurous trip. Whereas other BMW X-series cars were tough and daring enough to clear any tricky and deadly obstacles on the off-road track. With decent ground clearance of 212 mm and 209 mm for BMW X3 and BMW X5, respectively, both cars were just rushing into all the obstacles without any hesitation. Getting into the slush or a ditch, the drivers were instructed to control the car cautiously. Despite having the hill descent mode on, the car was manually controlled in scrolling downhill.

However, the hill descent technology will only helps the car safely roll down, but it cannot avoid the car coming in touch with the ground. The front and the rear bumper are more likely to come in touch when the car is at certain positions. So here is where the makers need to concentrate on making BMW’s machines fit for hardcore off-roading.