BMW purists must be in the midst of a nightmare. As if the turbocharging craze wasn’t bad enough, there have been rumours of an AWD M car, and now, the final nail in the coffin, a front-wheel drive BMW. Not only that, but it’s a 2 Series and it isn’t a coupe or a convertible, it’s a mommy-van.
The 2 Series Active Tourer is intended to take the fight to the Mercedes-Benz B Class, and has been destined for production for some time. It shares the same modular platform as the new Mini products, and is going to share engines too. The new MPV will feature 3 engine derivatives. A 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo-petrol unit developing 100kW, will be touted as the 218i Active Tourer, while the 2nd available petrol mill will be a 176kW 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-pot labelled as the 225i Active Tourer. This model features the same engine as the upcoming Mini Cooper S. On the diesel front, one model will be available in the guise of the 218d Active Tourer, with a 110kW 4-cylinder engine.
The 2 Series Active Tourer will be available in 4 trim lines, standard, Luxury line, Sport line and M Sport. The M Sport will only be available from November globally, and features M Sport suspension, 17- or 18-inch M Sport alloys, as well as an M steering wheel and specially bolstered sport seats. At a later date, xDrive enabled models will be made available with all-wheel drive – the same type of platform likely to underpin future BMW performance 1-series variants.
Inside, the 2 Series Active Tourer is going to feature the usual BMW bits, like ConnectedDrive services and apps, and will also have available features such as the Head-Up Display that shows driving details ahead of the driver. Instead of being displayed on the windscreen, this information will show on a screen that extends between the steering wheel and windscreen.
So, the 2 Series Active Tourer is a flexible 5-seater measuring 4.342 metres, with all the usual BMW bits inside, but mommy-van looks on the outside. What may haunt the Active Tourer most perhaps is the front-wheel drive layout. Sure, it’s efficient, and cheaper to produce, and yes, it’ll be the same platform as the Mini and the future 1-Series (Yes, also FWD), but it’s just not BMW. BMW themselves once published an advert series on why they don’t build front-wheel drive cars, I bet they’ve conveniently forgotten about that now though.