BMW expects its new 2 Series Active Tourer hatch, the first in a coming range of front-wheel-drive models, to be a big jumping-on point for new customers.
Speaking with industry paper Automotive News this week, BMW product executive Frank Niederlaender said the new minivan-like model will prove popular with buyers that have never owned a BMW before.
"We are expecting the Active Tourer will have a conquest rate of around 75 percent,” Niederlaender said, referring to buyers that would have otherwise - or may have already - bought a Mercedes B-Class or VW Touran.
In Australia, the Active Tourer and B-Class will be lone rivals in the barely-there premium compact people-moving hatch ‘segment’.
Local sales of the B-Class have tapered off this year, with year-to-date figures (end of June) showing 1103 sales against 1950 for the same period last year.
The arrival of the 2 Series Active Tourer, due later this year, could stimulate interest in the segment as buyers cross-shop the two models for the best package and price.
The Active Tourer and B-Class are important models for the two brands, with both capable of luring young families that will eventually move to larger - and more expensive - models as their families grow.
For BMW, the Active Tourer represents not only its first front-wheel-drive model, but also its first three-cylinder model and its first MPV.
Much of the new model’s architecture and technology is shared with the all-new MINI Cooper, and both ride on the group’s new UKL platform.
Standing behind its ‘ultimate driving machine’ slogan, BMW says the 2 Series Active Tourer has demonstrated lateral acceleration and drive-through times in lane-change tests comparable to its rear-wheel-drive models.
The company also claims the new hatch has lapped the Nurburgring in less than nine minutes.
The new 2 Series Active Tourer will hit Australia in November.