BMW is planning a range of 30 rear-drive and 15 front-drive cars, according to company development boss Herbert Diess.

Talking to industry journal Automotive News Europe, Diess said the upcoming 2-series Active Tourer was the only BMW-badged front-drive model so far committed to production. However, the plan for 15 front-drive cars suggests that, as well as several Mini variants, at least five will be BMW-badged.

The 2-series Active Tourer is likely to go on sale over the summer in five-seat guise, with a seven-seat version also arriving before the end of the year. A reveal at the Geneva motor show next month is expected.

BMW sources have told Autocar the shift to using a front-wheel-drive architecture in the Active Tourer hasn't meant compromises, saying "it has been designed with dynamism and athleticism in mind. It is still a BMW".

BMW is likely to use a three-cylinder turbocharged engine to power the bulk of the range. A more potent four-cylinder 235i model is also tipped to be offered, complete with around 231bhp on tap and a top speed of 146mph.

While Europe is expected to take the bulk of orders for the 2-series Active Tourer, interest in the model is also reportedly strong in Asia and the US.

Diess also revealed that BMW was shifting to a twin-architecture future, in which the company will use single, very flexible rear-drive components set alongside the UKL1 front-drive platform. The majority of the future engine line-up is also based on the same layout of 500cc per cylinder.

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