BMW Active Tourer crossover to arrive in the US in 2015

Article by Anita Panait, on November 27, 2013

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.

BMW revealed that during the launch of the 2-Series Active Tourer, it will also be giving customers the chance to choose among three fuel-efficient and powerful three-cylinder and four-cylinder drive units. These light drive units are to become part of the brand’s new generation of engines. In addition to having a compact design, the engines have been positioned in a transverse manner.

Not only do the engines come with the brand’s very own TwinPower Turbo technology but they also comply with emissions standards set by EU6. One of the drive units that stand out is the three-cylinder petrol-powered engine that displays exceptional performance and great efficiency. BMW said that this advanced powerplant will be making its official debut being fitted in the 218i Active Tourer. Fuel consumption for the urban setting is rated to be 46.3 mpg (6.1 1/100 km) with extra-urban measured at 67.2 mpg (4.2 1/100 km).

Combined meanwhile is found out to be 57.6 mpg (4.9 1/100 km). When paired to the manual six-speed gearbox, its combined CO2 emissions are at 115 g/km. With a 1.5-liter displacement, the engine can deliver output at 136 hp (100 kW). Not only that, this engine manages to excel as well due to that excellent appetite for revs, the high pulling power, and the instant throttle response. In terms of design, the three-cylinder units are able to avoid any first-order, and even second-order, inertia forces. Since a balancer shaft is included, it allows for smoother operation across the whole rev range.

The top of these engines though would have to be the four-cylinder which increases the standard in the segment when it comes to dynamic performance. Equipped inside the BMW 225i Active Tourer, power is measured at 231 hp (170 kW). With maximum speed of 146 mph (235 km/h), it can go from standstill to 62 mph (100 km) in 6.8 seconds. Fuel consumption for urban is at 37.1 mpg (7.6 1/100 km) with extra-urban rated at 56.5 mpg (5.0 1/100 km). Combined on the other hand is set at 47 mpg (6.0 1/100 km). CO2 emissions are at 139 g/km.

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