It’s all change in BMW world on various levels. The 2-series Active Tourer is the first front-wheel drive BMW. The brand’s first MPV, too. And in 2015, it’ll join the ranks of BMW’s burgeoning plug-in hybrid set.
The technology will be shared with the next X1 – and what’s unusual about Munich’s solution is that it powers the rear wheels. Yes, that’s right: the 2015 BMW 2-series Active Tourer eDrive will be four-wheel drive.
While almost all rival hybrids drive the front wheels, BMW’s eDrive concept connects to the rear wheels via a 102bhp/184lb ft electric motor. According to sources from within Munich’s corridors of R&D, this application offers distinct traction and weight distribution benefits, along with four-wheel torque vectoring.
Decoded: the new BMW people carrier will be quicker and sharper driving, as well as cleaner. And four-wheel drive may well tempt away buyers of regular SUVs to try this taller-riding BMW. BMW initially showed the Active Tourer as a concept car powered by a plug-in hybrid unit (third picture in our gallery). BMW quoted 113mpg and 60g/km CO2 emissions, although these numbers will be diluted for production, we expect.
A lithium ion battery packs offers a zero-emissions EV range of up to 20 miles, while the 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine takes over when the battery is depleted.