The first front wheel drive BMW is finally here. Why should you, the MINI enthusiast care? Because this BMW, under all the metal, glass and composites lies the same chassis and drivetrain as the new MINI. In other words this is the BMW version of the F56 MINI. Or more specifically this is BMW’s version of the new F55 Four door and F54 Clubman in terms of a size comparison respectively.
Designed to answer to the needs of the urban dweller looking to size down but not reduce the technology or luxuries they’ve become accustom to, the 2 Series Active Tourer takes the brand down a new and contenious path for enthusiasts. For MINI fans it could also represent another alternative.
How will it drive? While we’ve driven it’s stablemate in the F56, we’ve been assured that the 2 Series Active Tourer will be more BMW like in it’s responses and overall performance. What that means exactly we won’t know until we drive it. But we can attest to the platform and the engines being very impressive in MINI form.
Look for the 2 Series AT to make it’s debut on the internet shortly with a public debut scheduled for Geneva in early March. Sales should start this summer in European markets with the US getting the car in time for the 2015 model year.
What will the US consumer make of it and how (if at all) will it affect brand perception? More importantly what do you think of it? Does it even matter to you, the MINI owner (or soon to be owner)? Sound off below.
(US Market information to follow)
Official European Release: The arrival of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (fuel consumption combined: 6.0–4.1 litres per 100 km [47–68.9 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions: 139–109 g/km)* sees BMW expand its portfolio into another new model segment. The newcomer in the premium compact class skilfully blends comfort and functionality of space with the trademark BMW strengths of dynamism, style and elegance. Following on from the Coupe as the second member of the new BMW 2 Series range, the harmoniously proportioned Active Tourer oozes sportiness from every angle. Measuring just 4,342 millimetres long, 1,800 millimetres wide and 1,555 millimetres in height, it combines compact dimensions on the outside with a strikingly spacious feel on the inside, making it perfectly suited to cope with the growing challenges of urban mobility.
New turbocharged engines with three and four cylinders, a comprehensive package of BMW EfficientDynamics measures and the extensive connectivity provided by BMW ConnectedDrive are all formative elements in a driving experience that centres on sporty performance and exemplary efficiency.
Dynamism und functionality of space brought together in classic BMW fashion.
In order to achieve a particularly high level of versatility and functionality in the premium compact class, special design concepts are needed. BMW has therefore opted for a sophisticated front-wheel-drive system for the 2 Series Active Tourer that is able to deliver the degree of driver engagement expected of the brand’s models. Together with the long wheelbase of 2,670 millimetres and raised roofline, this configuration enables the room inside to be maximised, resulting in an unprecedented feeling of spaciousness. Driver and front passenger enjoy a far higher seating position than in a sedan, which affords a commanding all-round view at the same time as making it easier to get in and out. The wealth of storage facilities and the option of a fold-flat passenger seat backrest are just two examples of the interior’s impressive flexibility and cleverly devised layout. The cabin has a light and spacious feel to it, with all surfaces horizontally structured in a layered look. There is also the option of a large panoramic roof that lets light flood into the interior. The brand identity with its overriding sense of dynamism is clearly present in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer too. It shines through in trademark features such as the slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille at the front end flanked by the distinctive twin circular headlights. The short front overhang in particular is highly unusual for a front-wheel-drive car, and is just as much a classic BMW styling cue as the short overhang at the rear, the long wheelbase, the Hofmeister kink in the rear side windows and the L-shaped rear lights. Crisp contours and an eye-catching swage line at the sides give added impact to the wheel arches and inject the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with forward thrust even when stationary. Moving inside, the controls for the radio, air conditioning and air vents are angled towards the driver in another unmistakable BMW design trait.
Maximum versatility and functionality.
The versatile luggage compartment, whose capacity can be enlarged from 468 to 1,510 litres, and the 40:20:40 split-folding rear backrest fitted as standard exemplify this model’s excellent everyday practicality. Flexibility is further enhanced by a sliding rear seat, allowing either kneeroom or luggage space to be increased as required. One particularly smart touch is the foldable boot floor that conceals a storage compartment with a handy multifunction tray. The rear backrest can be adjusted to offer either added comfort for the three rear seats or extra luggage space. Access to the luggage compartment couldn’t be easier thanks to the large, broad, wide-opening tailgate, which can furthermore be optionally specified with pushbutton automatic opening and closing or the Smart Opener function for supreme ease of operation with a quick flick of the foot.
Latest-generation engines running on three or four cylinders.
The new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is being launched with a choice of three powerful, light and fuel-efficient three and four-cylinder drive units that form part of a new generation of engines. They are installed transversely and boast a compact design along with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, at the same time as complying with the EU6 emissions standard.
The new three-cylinder petrol unit stands out for its exceptional efficiency and great performance abilities. This cutting-edge powerplant is receiving its premiere in a model from the BMW core brand in the guise of the BMW 218i Active Tourer (fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 6.1/4.2/4.9 l/100 km [46.3/67.2/57.6 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 115 g/km)* with a six-speed manual gearbox. The engine has a displacement of 1.5 litres, generates 100 kW/136 hp and excels with its spontaneous throttle response, hearty appetite for revs and high pulling power. The design of three-cylinder engines means they are not subject to first and second-order inertia forces, while the balancer shaft included on the BMW unit ensures that it operates even more smoothly over the entire rev range. Topping the bill at market launch is the BMW 225i Active Tourer (fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 7.6/5.0/6.0 l/100 km [37.1/56.5/47 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 139 g/km). With an output of 170 kW/231 hp, a time of 6.8 seconds for the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) dash and a top speed of 235 km/h* (146 mph), the model’s four-cylinder engine raises the bar for dynamic performance in its class.
Hard at work under the bonnet of the BMW 218d Active Tourer (fuel consumption urban/extra-urban/combined: 5.0/3.6/4.1 l/100 km [56.5/78.4/68.9 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 109 g/km)* is a four-cylinder diesel engine. A member of the same new engine family as its two petrol counterparts, it delivers 110 kW/150 hp while mustering up a peak torque of 330 Nm (243 lb-ft). This powerpack serves to reaffirm the exceptionally dynamic performance qualities of diesel engines from BMW, propelling the BMW 218d Active Tourer from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.9 seconds* and on to a top speed of 205 km/h (127 mph)*.
The BMW among front-wheel-drive cars.
Like all BMW models, the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer makes its mark with great driving dynamics and the sort of driving experience the brand is renowned for. The newly developed chassis, comprising a single-joint spring strut axle at the front and a multi-link rear axle, combines agility and directional precision with excellent handling stability and suspension comfort. The front drive axle in the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has undergone extensive fine-tuning, ensuring that it endows the car with optimum driving dynamics and wonderfully precise steering feedback. The electromechanical steering and the system’s functional arrangement combine to produce a driving sensation that is devoid of interfering torque steer.
The intelligent use of high-tensile and ultra-high-tensile multi-phase steels makes a decisive contribution to safety standards in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, while also helping to keep the vehicle’s weight down. Apart from being a crucial factor in the model’s exceptional driving dynamics, this lightweight engineering is just one among many BMW EfficientDynamics technology elements. These also include the Auto Start Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, Optimum Gearshift Indicator, on-demand operation of ancillary units and the integral Air Curtain, which uses two vertical air inlets in the front bumper to direct the airstream along the front wheels.
M Sport package for maximum presence.
Besides the standard trim, two further equipment lines both allow owners to put an individual slant on the interior and exterior. The Sport Line places the emphasis on the dynamic side, while the Luxury Line is all about elegance and exclusiveness. The M Sport package that will be available from November opens up even greater scope for customisation. An M Aerodynamics package, M Sport suspension and 17 or 18-inch M light-alloy wheels on the outside are complemented by an M leather steering wheel and specially upholstered sports seats in the interior to maximise the on-road presence of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. The range will be extended from late autumn to include variants equipped with the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system.
High degree of connectivity for enhanced safety and comfort.
Standards of safety and comfort aboard the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer are boosted by the assistance systems and various infotainment features that are collectively known as BMW ConnectedDrive. Take, for instance, the Traffic Jam Assistant or the camera-based cruise control system with Stop & Go function, which both work using a mono camera. They assist with accelerating and braking (longitudinal guidance) as well as steering (lateral guidance with the Traffic Jam Assistant), at the same time as relieving the driver of monotonous tasks, such as when driving in a queue of traffic on the motorway or in heavy city-centre traffic. BMW ConnectedDrive Services & Apps bring smartphone applications into the vehicle and allow innovative features like the Concierge Service or Real Time Traffic Information to be added. These can also be booked at a later date and, in many cases, for flexible periods of time. In this way, the functionality of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer can be vastly enhanced and updated by the owner at any time.
The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is the first model in the premium compact class to be made available with a Head-Up Display, which projects all relevant driving information into the driver’s field of vision in full colour. Instead of being displayed on the windscreen itself, the information is shown on a screen that extends out between the steering wheel and windscreen. This enables drivers to view all key information without having to divert their attention from the road.