BMW will start selling the Active Tourer crossover in the United States in early 2015. According to Ian Robertson, BMW AG's board member for sales and marketing, the Active Tourer will share a front-wheel-drive platform and new three- and four-cylinder engines with the next-generation Mini Cooper. The Active Tourer, which is BMW’s first front-wheel-drive crossover, will rival the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover that will arrive in the US in September 2014.
Robertson remarked that the Active Tourer will be the first of several new fwd vehicles. "You will see BMW push into segments where we haven't been before," Robertson said. He remarked that the Active Tourer will also be available in a longer-wheelbase version with a third row of seats. The new BMW/Mini platform could also underpin all-wheel drive vehicles.
While Robertson did not provide dimensions of the Active Tourer, the show car measures 171 inches in length and 61 inches in height. In comparison, the rear-wheel-drive BMW X1 crossover measures 176.5 inches in length and 70.8 inches in height. Robertson remarked that BMW is seeking to conquest buyers with the new platform.
He said that he looked at the first generation rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 series in 2004 and learned that 80 percent of the customers were new to the brand. The rwd compact 1 series – only sold as a coupe and convertible in the US -- is expected to switch to the new platform in 2017. Insiders told Automotive News that a 1-series sedan will be developed for the US and China.