2012 Paris Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- BMW unveiled the Concept Active Tourer at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.
- Bigger than the i3 electric car, this is the front-drive BMW that will share its platform architecture with Mini.
- The company has previously announced that this sub-1 Series model line will debut around 2014.
PARIS — The significance of the BMW Concept Active Tourer unveiled today at the 2012 Paris Auto Show goes well beyond its forgettable name. This is a good look at the new line of front-wheel-drive BMWs that will share their platform architecture with the Mini family.
Announced back in 2010, the front-drive Bimmer will slot in below the 1 Series with an expected launch in the 2014 time frame. It represents a break with tradition, as all other BMW-brand vehicles are rear-wheel drive.
It's still a larger car than the upcoming i3 electric car. The hatchback driven onto the large stage in the BMW stand looked to be approximately the scale of the current Mini Countryman. However, at 171.2 inches long, it actually has nearly 10 inches on the Mini and is nearly as long as a 1 Series coupe.
Expect to see a range of three- and four-cylinder internal-combustion engines in this car. The BMW Concept Active Tourer is a plug-in hybrid that uses lithium-ion batteries and a 1.5-liter inline three-cylinder engine. Of course, it's not just any three-cylinder engine, but a state-of-the-art one that features BMW's twin-scroll turbocharger technology, along with Valvetronic variable valve lift. The company insists that a single balance shaft is enough to ensure it's as smooth in its power delivery as any four-cylinder engine.
With a combined 188 horsepower from its gasoline and electric power sources, the Concept Active Tourer would be capable of 0-60-mph acceleration in under 8 seconds, according to BMW.
Edmunds says: It still looks like a real BMW, and if it handles well and gets good fuel mileage, you'll buy it and not care whether it's front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.