BMW Concept Active Tourer
(Friday 14 September 2012)
Although it's not signed off for production, the BMW Concept Active Tourer due to go on display at the Paris Show later this month does seem to be an indication of the kind of thing the company plans to sell in the near future.
About an inch longer than a 1-Series, the five-seat Active Tourer has a drivetrain similar to that of the i8 concept. A 1.5-litre three-cylinder twin turbo petrol engine (not used in any BMW you can buy at the moment, but a close relative of the six-cylinder unit currently in production) drives the front wheels, which is something of a departure for a company which tends, except in MINIs or its own-brand 4x4 models, to avoid putting power through the front axle.
The rear wheels have their own power source in the form of an electric motor which, if the battery is fully charged and road conditions are favourable, can drive the car for nearly 20 miles.
The engine and motor combined have a maximum power output of nearly 200bhp, giving the Active Tourer a top speed of 125mph and a 0-62mph time of a little under eight seconds.
Fuel economy is spectacular because the Active Tourer is a plug-in hybrid whose battery pack can be recharged from the mains, as well as by the engine or through regeneration during braking. BMW reports a figure of 113mpg, along with CO2 emissions of "less than 60g/km", which is below any tax threshold that has yet been thought of by the UK Government.
Technological funkiness includes a 10.25" inch colour screen instead of analogue instruments, a head-up display showing vehicle speed, local speed limits, overtaking restrictions and navigational guidance, and an iPad app called Seismic Surf which lets rear passengers compete against each other to drive on a virtual route in the most economical way.