Secrets Of New BMW Compact SUV Revealed

Tegan Lawson recently sat down with the Sydney-sider who won a competition to design the newest X1, which was four years in the making. He revealed what inspired him and his team in the process and what his favourite details are on the car to take on BMW’s German rivals.

To hear what he has to say, just hit play.

Secrets Of New BMW Compact SUV Revealed

Not in a position to watch the video? Not a worry – we’ve transcribed it for you. Here’s what Calvin revealed when he chatted to our Motoring Correspondent, Tegan Lawson.

Tegan: BMW have just launched the all new X1, and after spending the day driving around the beautiful Coffs Coast I’ve taken the opportunity to sit down with Sydney born and bred designer Calvin Luk, who’s been over in Munich with BMW for seven years and won the competition to design the X1.
So Calvin tell me about how long did it take for starters. How long ago did it start?

Calvin: We started the sketch phase around 2011, and we submitted the proposals from the entire design team and what we believe the X1 should be – so 2011 to now – 3 or 4 years.

Tegan: So has there been a big change from that initial concept to what it’s ended up like in the end?

Calvin: Not quite. The initial character and the initial impulse and feeling has remained very true to the initial key sketches.

Tegan: What would be three words that would capture the emotive essence and the feeling that you are trying to capture with the car?

Calvin:  So it’s sporty and it’s powerful and it has a lot of presence. Those are the three key elements for this vehicle.

Tegan: So where does your inspiration come from?

Secrets Of New BMW Compact SUV Revealed

Calvin:  I think the inspiration came from many things but when I was thinking of the car I wanted to capture something with extremely ‘big’ attitude on a compact car. In this case I had these small figurines; they’re sort of artist and designer figurines but characters which are decorated by these artists, but they’re quite small but they have an extremely recognisable silhouette and statement and charisma to them, and that sort of small object/high impact atmosphere is very important for this vehicle.

Tegan:  So when you are working four years out do you consider things like fashion and nature and technology advances when you are designing the car?

Calvin: Absolutely, absolutely, we are considering the whole context of the world, what it might be in four years time, and also we are always thinking ahead.

Tegan: So why the X1 for you, because you have the opportunity to submit designs for different cars?

Calvin:  At BMW we have a carefully planned out time schedule for our vehicles. This just came along at the right time, right place right time and we wanted to jump on it.

Tegan: The X1 is a really good looking car. What feature are you most proud of?

Calvin:  I’m really proud of the kidney grill. BMW’s eye kind of really expresses what the car is all about – lots of power, lots of strength – but especially the way it connects the hood volume and this emphasises that. And the nice little chamfer towards the side where it’s got a nice little corner and slightly brings the connection to the lights.


Tegan: Oh, the lights are one of my favourite features actually, I think they look fantastic. Thank you so much for your time. It’s been really interesting getting to know what makes you tick and congratulations on winning the competition – and Secrets Of New BMW Compact SUV Revealedon a great looking car.

Calvin:  Thank you very much.

Tegan Lawson is the Lifestyle Editor for

Written by Tegan Lawson

Tegan Lawson is the Lifestyle writer and Motoring Expert for The Carousel. Tegan produces in-depth interviews and reviews and helps readers make the best choice for their next car purchase.

Tegan got her first taste of motorsports journalism working for a regional newspaper. She was still a student at the University of Southern Queensland but was moonlighting patrolling the pits at the Leyburn sprints and heading to the drags, as well as working trackside at the Queensland Raceway V8 supercar rounds in the early 2000s. With petrol firmly in her blood, these early days spawned her love of all things automotive.

Her driving career as a 17 year-old began with the unique experience of a Suzuki Carry Van that was quickly upgraded to a more image-appropriate Holden Barina.


Surviving A Party With Your Weight Intact

How Kasia Gospos Inspires Women To Lead

How Kasia Gospos Inspires Women To Lead