The 2-series Active Tourer is the first front-wheel-drive model in BMW's history
Just two models of the 2-series Active Tourer, the 218i and 218d, will be available at launch
The BMW 2-series Active Tourer will go on sale following its debut at the Geneva motor show
BMW has confirmed prices for the Active Tourer will start below £23,000
The entry-level 218i will come with a three-cylinder engine – another first for BMW
The 2-series Active Tourer was displayed alongside the new BMW 435i Gran Coupé
The dimensions of the Active Tourer differ greatly from traditional rear-wheel-drive BMWs
A 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, badged the 218d, will be offered
The 218d is claimed to average 68.9mpg
The lightest of the models is the 218i, which weighs 1320kg
Four-wheel-drive variants of the Active Tourer will be offered in due course
Buyers will be able to opt for four-wheel-drive variants of the 225i and 220d
BMW says it has made the 2-series Active Tourer's interior more flexible than in other models
The new BMW MPV will seat five comfortably
The front seats in the new raised hatchback are taller than those in the X1
Most controls in the 2-series Active Tourer are clustered around the centre console
The BMW 2-series Active Tourer features a part-digital instrument cluster
The new BMW is longer, wider and taller than the 1-series hatchback
A new high-strength steel platform underpins the Active Tourer
The new BMW offers 468 litres of space with its rear seats up
BMW will offer the new raised hatchback with both front-drive and four-wheel drive
BMW plans to offer an M-sport package, with firmer suspension
The tall, cab-forward appearance of the new car is unusual for BMW
The 2-series Active Tourer is just as tall as the Mercedes B-class, an MPV with which it will compete once on sale
The 225i model gets a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 227bhp
The new BMW 2-series Active Tourer is a versatile five-seat MPV which will usher in a new era of front-drive models following its debut at the Geneva motor show this week. The new BMW is due to go on sale in the UK in September at a starting price confirmed to be below £23,000.
The 2-series Active Tourer adopts a transversely mounted engine and standard front-wheel drive. This layout has never been used by a fully fledged BMW series-production model before but it is set to underpin an impressive assembly of new BMW models.
It will also be the first BMW to be offered with three-cylinder power by way of a compact new turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine, as featured in the new Mini hatchback.
The proportions of the 2-series Active Tourer differ greatly from those of traditional rear-drive BMWs, especially around the front end, which receives a comparatively short and heavily angled bonnet. The tall glasshouse also has a distinctive cab-forward influence not usually associated with BMWs.
At 4342mm in length, 1800mm in width and 1555mm in height, the 2-series Active Tourer is 18mm longer, 35mm wider and 134mm taller than BMW’s 1-series hatch. To put it into perspective, the Mercedes-Benz B-class, a similarly conceived front-drive MPV, is 4359m long, 1786mm wide and 1557mm tall.
The new MPV is the first BMW to utilise the company’s high-strength steel entry-level platform, as first unveiled by daughter company Mini in its new third-generation hatch.
The modular structure supports at least three wheelbases and variable track widths. This makes it suitable for a wide range of new models, including a successor to the X1 and a new front-drive, entry-level 1-series saloon, both of which are under intensive development at BMW's Munich engineering HQ right now.
The interior aims to provide more flexibility than traditional BMWs because of the space-saving potential of the transverse engine layout. The front seats are at roughly the same height as those in the X1 but they are more upright to free-up space behind them.
Boot capacity for the initial standard-wheelbase model is 468 litres, rising to 1510 litres when the rear seats, which split 40:20:40, are folded down.
Initially, the 2-series Active Tourer will have a three-pot direct-injection petrol and a four-cylinder common-rail diesel engine that are both shared with the new Mini. Further engines, including a four-cylinder petrol and three-cylinder diesels, are planned from early 2015.
Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, with an eight-speed auto optional. Some variants will get four-wheel drive.
Kicking off proceedings is the 218i Active Tourer, which gets a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol unit with 134bhp and 162lb ft of torque. It will be joined at launch by the 218d, which has a 2.0-litre four-pot turbodiesel with 148bhp, 243lb ft and combined economy of 68.9mpg.
Shortly after launch, the 225i will become the range-topper. It gets a turbo 2.0-litre four-pot with 227bhp and 258lb ft. It covers 0-62mph in 6.8sec.
By this time next year, buyers will also be able to choose between additional front-wheel-drive 220i, 216d and 220d models as well as four-wheel-drive 225i xDrive and 220d xDrive variants.
The lightest of the launch models is the 218i Active Tourer, at 1320kg – 75kg less than the lightest UK-spec B-class.
Underpinning the 2-series Active Tourer is a predominantly aluminium chassis with MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link rear arrangement. BMW says that this makes it “the most dynamic front-wheel-drive model in its segment, with agile and sporting characteristics”.
Alongside the standard suspension, BMW also plans to offer an M-Sport set-up with a 10mm-lower ride height and firmer settings.