The German car manufacturer, BMW, have revealed their 2 series Active Tourer model ahead of it's planned debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The company have tested the faith of hardcore fans as the new model is an unexpected front wheel drive people carrier. This is BMW's first front wheel drive model.
The new model is a continuation of the practicality changes that began with the GT hatchback and despite its name, the model is not related to the 2 Series Coupe as it uses the same platform as the new Mini.
Engines are borrowed from the latest Mini, kicking off with a 134 brake horse power 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbo in the 218i. It is capable of reaching 62mph from a standstill in 9.3 seconds, returning up to 57.6mpg. The 218d gets a 148 brake horse power 2.0 litre diesel engine that returns 68.9mpg. There is also the 225i xDrive version which will be powered by a 168 brake horse power 2.0 litre petrol engine. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, though there are six-speed and eight-speed automatics available too.
At the moment the model is a five seater though a seven seater should become available later this year. At 4.4m long and 1.6m tall, the model almost perfectly mirrors the direct premium small MPV sector rival, the Mercedes B-class. With drive switched to the front wheels, the company claims the interior space has been maximised with and “unprecedented feeling of spaciousness” and a 468 litre boot, which in regards of interior space alone sits around the same amount of a Ford Focus.
The new Active Tourer model comes with sliding rear seats to boost boot room, cup-holders able to swallow 1.5 litre bottles, a flat-folding passenger seat to expand load space and reclining rear seats that split into three.
Options include a full colour head-up display and guided cruise control via the Connected Drive package which includes steering assistance to add an element of semi-autonomous driving in traffic jams.
A few months after it's launch, BMW is planning to release 220i, 220d and 216d models and four wheel drive Active Tourers into the line up with an M Sport variant to be introduced in November. For now, buyers can buy a basic 2 Active Tourer or opt for the Luxury or Sport Line models that each boast a bespoke look, that all combined could potentially rival more high spec models from the likes of Lexus.
The BMW 2-series Active Tourer is to make it's debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 4th and order books are open now with first deliveries due in the UK in September, with prices starting at around £23,000.