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BMW turns a new page with Concept Active Tourer

Potential Mercedes-Benz B-Class competitor to make world premiere in Paris

Published: September 16, 2012, 1:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 4:02 PM

BMW Concept Active Tourer - Side

BMW says the Concept Active Tourer, which will premiere at the Paris auto show on September 27, is a key component in the ongoing development of the BMW brand and its model portfolio.

The Concept is a plug-in hybrid, using the same electric powertrain as the BMW i8, including the electric drive, electric motor, lithium-ion battery and intelligent engine control unit.

Breaking with BMW-brand tradition, its 1.5-litre, three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine drives the front wheels. The electric motor drives the rear axle, when needed, powering the car on its own.

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Just as important as its transverse engine mounting and front-wheel drive, which enable a generously-sized interior, the body-style itself is new for BMW. It's a five-door hatchback that suggests a probable production competitor for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

BMW wants a piece of that action, noting that annual growth rates of up to 5% are expected in the small car and compact segment of the premium class in the years to come.

The Concept Active Tourer is geared towards premium segment customers who appreciate a high level of comfort, a raised seating position and a generous amount of space, as well as to families who attach importance to lifestyle and athletic flair, BMW says.

Dimensionally, it is 4,350 mm long, 1,834 mm wide and a 1,560 mm wide, on a 2,670-mm wheelbase.

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The Concept Active Tourer is unmistakably BMW in appearance, with a slightly front-tilted dual-kidney grille and a wedge-look profile that is highlighted by short overhangs and 20-inch wheels. A raised roof-line and large doors promise convenient access to both front and rear seats.

An innovative composite-glass, panorama sunroof incorporates Suspended Particle Device (SPD) technology that permits the desired brightness or temperature effect to be created at the press of a button.

Inside, a 10.25-inch integrated screen replaces the conventional instrument cluster to provide the driver with information on speed, engine speed, fuel level and oil temperature, there is which makes for a modern display experience.

The familiar look of four circular instruments is retained, but the use of extended Black Panel Technology creates a whole new range of display options.

The word from Europe is that the Concept Active Tourer is provides an accurate preview of a planned addition to BMW's 1-series lineup, scheduled for 2014.