BMW is entering the MPV market for the first time with the 2 Series Active Tourer.
Set to make its debut at next month’s Geneva motor show, the new model is a radical departure for the Bavarian brand in more ways than one. Not only is it the first people carrier to wear the propeller roundel, it is also the first BMW to use a front-wheel drive layout.
Until now BMW-built front-wheel-drive cars have exclusively been sold under the Mini brand, but the 2 Series Active Tourer will usher in a new range of front-driven models, designed to broaden the marque’s appeal.
The design of the new car is also different to BMW’s traditional rear-driven selection, with a heavily angled bonnet, large expanses of glazing and a relatively boxy silouhette not seen on its current offerings.
The Active Tourer will be the first BMW model to use the company’s new 134bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which recently made its debut in the new Mini hatchback. The two cars will also share the same modular platform, which will also later make an appearance in the forthcoming replacement for the X1 crossover.
A 2.0-litre 148bhp four-cylinder diesel engine will also be available from launch, with further engine options arriving from 2015. A six-speed manual gearbox is offered as standard, with an eight-speed automatic an optional extra.
BMW is using the change in engine and drivetrain configuration to improve practicality and interior space. Boot space is a generous 468 litres, rising to 1510 litres with the rear seats folded down.
The new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is expected to reach UK showrooms in September, sporting a price tag of under £23,000.
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