BMW 2 SERIES ACTIVE TOURER REVEALED
“This is a completely new concept to BMW. For the first time, we have a car which offers mainly space, it’s the first BMW with front-wheel-drive, and we offer new kinds of engine.”
So begins the lengthy dissertation of BMW product manager, Frank Niederländer, in announcing the company’s latest little five-door. (See that video below.)
Previewed all the way back in 2012 as the Concept Active Tourer, BMW’s tall new hatch surfaced again in spy photos last year with ‘225i’ badging. Suddenly, the game was afoot.
Like the B-Class, the 2 Series Active Tourer (let’s call it the 2 AT) rolls primarily in a front-wheel-drive configuration.
But, unlike Mercedes, power to the front wheels alone is a new thing for the BMW badge.
It’s been coming for a while, though, with the company revealing in 2010 that a customer survey had shown that nearly 80 percent of 1 Series owners already thought the car was driven at the front wheels.
All-wheel ‘xDrive’ models are also expected - in 225i and 220d guise - although it’s unclear if we can expect those in Australia.
Launching internationally in 2014, the 2 AT will share its platform with MINI’s new Cooper range, although BMW’s take on the design brings a number of tweaks.
Firstly, there’s a considerably longer wheelbase under the Active Tourer, measuring 2670mm to the Cooper’s 2495mm. (Expect the new five-door Cooper to go closer to that.)
To match, the 2 AT’s tracks have also been stretched, coming in at 60mm wider up front and 61mm wider at the rear (1561 and 1562mm). It’s tall, too, at 1555mm.
As a point of comparison, the B-Class is rides on a longer 2700mm wheelbase, while measuring 1557mm tall.
The 2 AT will weigh in at 1320kg for the entry 218i, or about the same as the Mercedes B 180 hatch.
And while the regular 2 AT models will seat five, BMW plans to reveal an even longer seven-seat version later in 2014.
Storage capacity in the Active Tourer is listed at 468 litres with the rear seats up, but dropping them boosts capacity to 1510 litres.
The B-Class has the new Bimmer beat on that front, offering 485 and 1545 litres respectively.
International engine options will open with a three-cylinder petrol engine and a four-cylinder diesel - units offered already in the upcoming Cooper range.
The 218i will get the 100kW/220Nm petrol engine, while the 218d will be driven by the 110kW/330Nm turbodiesel.
BMW claims fuel figures of 4.9 l/100km and a 9.2 second 0-100km/h time for the petrol mill, while the diesel lists 4.1 l/100km and 8.9 seconds.
There’s also a turbo 2.0 four-cylinder petrol engine driving the 225i and sending a considerable 170kW and 350Nm to a dual-clutch auto.
For this model, BMW promises combined fuel figures of 6.0 l/100km and a 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds.
Later on, we’ll see 220i, 220d and 216d models join the range.
The 2 AT’s suspension package includes MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear, along with dampers that feature a new three-way mounting system.
BMW’s familiar M Sport pack will also make its way to the Active Tourer line, adding a 10mm lower setup and firmer springs and dampers.
Steering is through an electro-mechanical system, including the optional speed-sensitive Servotronic tech.
Speaking with TMR today, BMW Australia's Scott Croaker confirmed that a local debut will occur late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2014.