The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will become the luxury German car maker’s first-ever front-wheel-drive production model when it debuts at next month’s Geneva motor show.
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The 2 Series Active Tourer is also the brand’s first model to be powered by a three-cylinder engine and its first compact MPV – setting its sights firmly on stealing sales from Mercedes-Benz’s popular B-Class.

BMW Australia corporate communications general manager Lenore Fletcher confirmed the 2 Series Active Tourer would reach local showrooms by late 2014. While specifications are still being finalised, the local range will compete directly with the B-Class, with prices tipped to range from $40K-$50K.

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The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will be the first of a series of BMW-badged vehicles underpinned by the group’s new front-drive architecture, which debuted beneath the new-generation Mini Cooper and will find its way under the new 1 Series and X1 models in the coming years.

Inspired by the 2012 BMW Concept Active Tourer, the second 2 Series body style after the Coupe measures 4342mm long, 1800mm wide and 1555mm tall, giving it almost identical proportions to the B-Class.

With all driveline components contained to the Active Tourer’s front half, BMW says the five-seater boasts a spacious and versatile cabin. The 40:20:40 split rear seats fold and slide forwards independently, allowing owners to expand the 468-litre boot to 1510L.

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The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will initially launch in three distinct grades: 218i, 218d and 225i.

The BMW 218i Active Tourer is powered by a turbocharged 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which claims combined cycle fuel consumption of 4.9 litres per 100km and 0-100km/h acceleration of 9.3 seconds.

The 218d Active Tourer features a 110kW/330Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel, and claims economy of 4.1L/100km and 0-100km/h in 8.9sec.

The flagship 225i Active Tourer produces 170kW and 350Nm from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. BMW claims it sprints to triple figures in 6.8 seconds and consumes 6.0L/100km combined.

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The trio will be joined by three new variants – 216d, 220i and 220d – from next year, while ‘xDrive’ all-wheel-drive versions of the 220d and 225i will also be added to the line-up.

A six-speed manual transmission will be standard in all models except the auto-only 225i. It features an eight-speed automatic, which will be optional in all other grades except the three-cylinder models, which come with a six-speed auto.

BMW Australia plans to offer a range of petrol and diesel engines in its Active Tourer range.

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The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will also be equipped with a host of the brand’s latest ‘ConnectedDrive’ safety and connectivity systems, including traffic jam assistance with automatic steering support, collision and pedestrian warnings with automatic emergency braking, active cruise control with stop and go function, lane departure warning, automatic parallel parking, emergency call function, and a smartphone-style application-based infotainment system.

The Active Tourer will be available with Sport, Luxury and M Sport styling packages, and can be further enhanced with optional speed-sensitive variable sports steering, adaptive dampers, and a sports chassis with a 10mm-lower ride height.

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will make its official public debut in Geneva on March 4.