The first front-wheel-drive BMW in the company's history will go on sale later this year; model caught undisguised in official photoshoot
Darren Moss
20 January 2014

The new BMW 2-series Active Tourer MPV has been spotted winter testing near the Arctic Circle.

Although still camouflaged, this test mule gives us a good view of the shape of the new model, which will become the first front-wheel drive BMW in the company's history. A 225i five-seat variant has also been caught undisguised during an official photoshoot.

The car is likely to go on sale in the coming months as a five-seat model, with the seven-seat version also going on sale by the end of this year. Its styling remains true to the Active Tourer concept seen in Tokyo in 2013. The model has been testing in the UK alongside the i8 electric sports car, 4-series Gran Coupé and M4.

A BMW insider told Autocar this would be "the most functional BMW ever" and that choosing a front-wheel-drive format didn't mean compromises. "It's clearly a premium product," he said "and it has been designed with dynamism and athleticism in mind. It is still a BMW." 

While much of the engine lineup is still unknown, sources suggest BMW could utilise a three-cylinder turbocharged unit to power some of the range. In additon, the 235i model will use a 231bhp unit, which should allow it to reach 62mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 146mph. CO2 emissions should be less than 140g/km, while the car should return more than 39.2mpg.

Inside, the 2-series Active Tourer will have elevated seating with easy access and plenty of space. The rear seats will be split 40:20:40, while the boot should offer around 400 litres of space with the rear seats up, rising to 1200 litres with them down. Both the rear row of seats and the front passenger seat will be able to fold forward, increasing loadable space even more. As seen in these spy shots, a large panoramic roof will also be an option.

The move opens up new target groups for BMW, and will allow the brand to push for new customers. Europe is expected to account for two thirds of customer sales, but interest for the model in Asia and the US is also strong.

Our Verdict

BMW 2 Series Coupé

The BMW 2 Series Coupé marks a successful return of the 1 Series Coupé. Overall it is a more compelling package than before but can it drive buyers away from the Audi TT and conventional hatchbacks?

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Comments
23

16 December 2013
I quite like the look of this, one of the better examples of current BMW styling, smart and clean but not fussy and over detailed. Fingers crossed the 1 series gets a facelift soon. Not sure there will be a 235i though - is that a typo and should read 225i?

16 December 2013
Front wheel drive BMW. No no no no just no. Why there even entertaining this idea is void of sense. If you want a fashionable front drive car by BMW there’s the Mini. Or your could just buy a Focus estate with all the toys fitted for what is bound to be a lot less.

16 December 2013
[quote=NotHandMade]Front wheel drive BMW. No no no no just no. Why there even entertaining this idea is void of sense. If you want a fashionable front drive car by BMW there’s the Mini. Or your could just buy a Focus estate with all the toys fitted for what is bound to be a lot less.[/quote] Why would anyone buy a rear wheel drive MPV? It robs the interior of the very thing that you want in an MPV. Space. The 3 series et al will still be CWD (correct wheel drive) What's to worry about?

16 December 2013
...get an Smax. And you get ride and handling as standard, not as an expensive electonic option. Although thats missing the point. This has a BMW badge so you can be extra rude\arrogant\aggressive on the school run and show the other mums your husbands doing well.

17 December 2013
BMW shouldn’t build an MPV and if your in the market for an MPV then your not in the market for a BMW. A 3 series GT or touring is a better option.
This will do a great deal of damage to the brand.

jer

16 December 2013
I quite like it, a B/C Max with more engine choice.

16 December 2013
"rear seats will be split 40:20:40" incompatible with "to go on sale ... as a five-seat model" "rear seats will be split 40:20:40" incompatible with "the most functional BMW ever" "rear seats will be split 40:20:40" incompatible with "easy access and plenty of space" Just an observation from one of us with > 2 children. This is from the ONS "The UK has a higher percentage of households with three or more children than three-quarters of European Union countries"

16 December 2013
Looks just like the new Kia Carens to me.

Myk

16 December 2013
Why is this a 2-series? BMW's naming convention is that odd numbers are family cars and even numbers the more sporting alternative. This is essentially the 1-series version of the 3GT or 5GT and thus should be the 1GT.

16 December 2013
One would have said that this model represents the thin end of the wedge as far as BMW rear-drive purity is concerned. Having looked at the photos though it seems to the the rather dumpy and thick end of the wedge! A Kia Carens is a good analogy - which became an eyesore in an otherwise well designed and engineered range. Unfortunately for BMW whereas the Carens was supeceded by the new wave of Kia models this is a brand new model. I also do not understand the naming convention either BMW's naming strategy is for odd numbered series to be saloons, estates and hatchbacks with even numbered series being coupes and convertibles. This mongrel is clealry not a coupe. It is closer to a hatchback but is realy a van with windows like any other MPV. Perhaps BMW should look at the X and Z type names and call this a "V" series giving it a now usual jaw-breaking type of name. For example V1 wDrive 16ti signifying a Van sized like a 1 Series with Wrong Wheel Drive using a jumped up 4 cylinder turbo injected engine.

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