The day has come where we report BMW ’s move into building front-wheel-drive cars. It may sound like an April-fools joke, but alas, the 2 Series Active Tourer will be a reality rolling down the street in 2015. The overriding issue, at least in the eyes of BMW purists, is the threat to BMW’s brand identity and exclusivity as the Bavarian company moves towards higher-volume, lower-cost city cars.
Rather than sticking our heads in the sand, let’s take a look at what BMW is set to debut at the Geneva Auto Show on March 4th.
The 2 Series Active Tourer departs from the standard BMW mold with an upright, high-roofed design with passenger comfort, easy of ingress/egress, and cargo capacity as key features. The modular seating for five makes for a handy city runabout with 40/20/40 folding rear seats and a generous rear cargo area. Even the front passenger seat folds flat for hauling long objects. Outward visibility should be quite excellent, making it a competent navigator of congested city streets.
Power comes from three engine options — at least at launch and in Euro-spec form — including a 1.5-liter three-cylinder, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and a 2.0-liter diesel; all of which are turbocharged. Power is sent through either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. An xDrive model will come to market during the first year, but after the initial launch.
Exterior design detailing and interior appointments stay true to BMW form with highly recognizable features only found on BMWs. While it may be styled like a BMW, its profile is a huge departure; though the most important factor will remain unanswered until we’re behind the wheel: does it drive like a BMW?
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer