Once in a while, a car comes along that is perfectly suited to the times and fills a niche in the marketplace that didn’t even exist before. The original minivan from Chrysler was one such car. The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Plug-In Hybrid may be another.
Offered in Europe starting this year with either a gasoline or diesel engine driving the front wheels, the new BMW 2 Series MPV has the distinction of being the first front-drive BMW. Starting next year a plug-in hybrid version is rumored to be coming to market according to CAR Magazine, featuring a 1.5 liter 3 cylinder engine for the front wheels and an electric motor for the rears, making it a true all wheel drive vehicle. This arrangement eliminates the need for a bulky transmission, driveshaft and rear differential that eat up precious interior space, which allows the Active Tourer to have the maximum space for passengers or cargo with the shortest possible wheelbase.
The Active Tourer is tipped to have a total of 190 horsepower and dashes to 60 mph in about 8 seconds. It will have a range of 20 miles on electric power alone and its plug-in capability should give it exceptional overall fuel economy. BMW expects the new Active Tourer with its combination of excellent interior room, raised ride height, attractive styling, and great gas mileage to tempt buyers who would otherwise purchase a bulkier, thirstier SUV.
It may not be the all electric car of the future, but it sounds like the perfect car for today.