BMW’s first MPV – a production version of the Concept Active Tourer – has just been caught lurking outside BMW’s test centre at the Nurburgring undergoing what's understood to be suspension and damping testing.
This is the first MPV platform built by BMW, and is likely to feature a 1.5-litre three-cylinder plug-in hybrid drivetrain among the powertrain choices. The B-class rivaling five-seater is one of BMW’s 20 announced front wheel drive platforms to be featured in the new Mini and BMW range. The concept MPV Active Tourer was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in 2012, with the intention of capturing the urban and city environment alongside the i3 and upcoming Mini range.
Sources indicate that the Active Tourer will not be sold under the 1-series badge, but rather as a 2-series GT. The 2-series GT is expected to launch late 2014, with production starting early 2015. The 2-series GT would ideally be priced alongside the Merc B-class and Audi A3 variants.
What’s the BMW 2-series GT all about?
Think back to the Concept Active Tourer: the concept car is 4350mm long, 1834mm wide and 1560mm tall, falling into a similar suit as the Mercedes B-class. The dynamic duo of petrol and electric power is set to produce 190bhp, with good old fossil fuel powering the front wheels, and the electric motor spinning the rears. The expected consumption from the 1.5-litre three-pot engine is set at an Audi and Mercedes-shaking 113mpg. If your destination is less than 20 miles away, you can get there without burning a drop of petrol, keeping your wallet and local Greenpeace happy.
BMW is expected to homologate the 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine to a number of its upcoming Mini and Beemer models – including the new Cooper – meaning the first drive by CAR will give an indication of what’s to expect for several future models.
>> Click here for CAR's tech round-up on the all-new 2013 Mini
A front-wheel drive BMW? Surely not...
Better get used to it. BMW has adopted a cost optimising strategy of a multi-functional platform called UKL1. The FWD platform acts as the foundation for up to 20 new BMW and Mini models, similar to VW Group’s ‘MQB’ platform. Though Mini will have the first car featuring the new UKL1 platform in the soon to be launched third-gen Cooper, the 2-series GT will be one of the first BMWs to roll off the lot using the new skeleton.
>>What are your views on BMW’s decision to go with a FWD platform?