While Audi is tidying up the last details of the Q3 and Mercedes is delighted to finally have a competitor for the X3 on display in their showrooms, the Munich-based BMW brigade are already presenting their latest coup in Paris.
This is in the shape of the pre-series version of the forthcoming X1, which promises a few surprises.
So let's first put aside any discussion about the sense and justification for a compact premium compact SUV.
As you could expect from a compact SUV (as is indeed the case with the VW Tiguan), with the X1 you can't see a trace of the well-known lack of proportion between passenger compartment and the rest of the vehicle; a statement for which VW fans will hopefully excuse me.
The X1 concept comes over as dynamically as a raised 3 Series Touring.
On the sides, behind the front wheel arch, we can see a descending contour line which runs along the sill (as on the new Seven Series) and which then climbs up again before the rear wheel arch, creating unity with the contour of the descending window line. Possibly a new BMW styling element? Either way, it looks completely new, yet still typically BMW.
The competition can but hope that this one can react quickly to the X1, otherwise it will take the lead from the rest, just as the X3 did. I'm looking forward to the X2, because then it will be fun again to philosophise about its right to exist.