BMW Plans to Bring Front-Drive 2-Series Active Tourer to US – Eventually

European launch comes this year; State-side edition likely over a year away.

by on Mar.05, 2014

BMW's 2-Series Active Tourer made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show; however, it won't be coming to the U.S. for a while, an official said.

BMW continues to fill seemingly every possible niche in the luxury market, from top to bottom and a surprising number of places in-between. And it has global plans for some of the newest members of its fast-expanding line-up.

That includes models such as the 4-Series Gran Coupe and the 2-Series Active Tourer on display at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the latter model making its world debut at the annual European event.

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But while U.S. buyers will find the 4-Series Gran Coupe in showrooms in the near future, they’ll have to wait for the smaller Grand Tourer, perhaps as much as two years, a well-placed BMW source told

The BMW 2-Series falls somewhere in-between wagon and crossover and is based off a new platform.

“It will get there eventually,” the source said, adding the timing would be “at a minimum 15 months,” and possibly more than two years.

The new model falls somewhere in-between wagon and crossover and is based off an entirely new platform that BMW developed to share with its British subsidiary Mini. It is BMW’s first front-wheel-drive platform and, as that might suggest, has been generating both lots of interest and a good deal of skepticism, with huge crowds gathering to check out the new model at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center.

The basic look is decidedly different from traditional BMW design, with a more cab-forward appearance. There are, of course, plenty of classic BMW cues, starting with the kidney grille and spinner logo, the classed Hofmeister kink in the C-pillars and chamfered wheel arches. There are those heavily browed headlights, as well, with the LED accent strips giving the new Active Tourer an almost menacing face.

The new model measures just 171 inches, nose-to-tail, or barely an inch longer than the 1-Series hatchback – and almost exactly the length of the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class. It’s 70.9 inches wide and 61.2 inches tall, or 2.2 inches and 5.3 inches wider and taller than the 1-Series hatch.

The interior gets more room, especially for rear-seat passengers, thanks to its front-drive layout and more upright seats. In a five-seat configuration it will boast 16.5 cubic feet of trunk space – 43.3 cu-ft after folding down the rear seats. That’s a bit less than the Mercedes B-Class which is coming to the States, albeit only in battery-electric configuration.

Speaking of powertrains, the 2-Series Active Tourer will offer three engine options for Europe, where sales begin later this year, including a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four in the 225i. That package will make 231 horsepower and launch the MPV from 0 to 62 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in 6.8 seconds, with a top speed of 146 mph. It’s rated at 39.2 mpg in the European cycle which would typically mean a fair bit less in the U.S. EPA ratings.

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Also on tap, a 218d model fitted with a new turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four making 148 hp and 243 pound-feet of torque. It’s rated at 8.9 seconds 0 to 100 kmh and 57.3 mpg.

Then there’s a 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline powertrain that’s also being used in the all-new Mini Cooper Hardtop, and will make 134 hp and 162 lb-ft, with a 0 to 100 kmh launch of 9.1 seconds, a 124 mph top speed and an estimated 48.0 mpg EU combined fuel economy rating.

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The three-cylinder powertrains will be paired with either a six-speed stick or six-speed automatic. Four-cylinder models will be mated to eight-speed automatics. And BMW says all models will feature standard-issue Stop/Start function, while automatics will also get a feature, which disengages the engine when coasting to improve mileage.

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The decision to debut first in Europe is little surprise, the source suggesting the initial focus will be on markets “where we think it will be a high-volume vehicle.” As to the States, “We think there’s potential there, but we’re not in a rush.”

BMW planners want to watch the market trends to see if Americans will continue to open up to smaller luxury vehicles. Don’t be surprised to see some tweaks, once it jumps the Atlantic, to enhance its appeal. That could include a revised list of powertrains.

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