BMW has discarded its long tradition of the rear wheel drive and longitudinally mounted engines with its Concept Active Tourer, which sign off the long proposed range of the entry level front drive BMW. The hatchback, which was recentlyshown at the Paris Motor Show, is a four-wheel driveplugin hybrid. The new class of transversely straddling engine powers the front wheels.This acknowledges the entry level vehicles that will be featuring the front wheel drive and in which the rear wheels will be driven by an electric motor.
The car is based on the UKL1 platform and is ought to feature in two wheelbase length which will be used for the next gen BMW Mini Lineup and the new array of the entry level BMWs that will be joining the BMW 1 series from late 2013. The new range will be aimed at increasing the BMW’s annual sales by 2 million up to 2020. It can also include an MPV to contend with Volkswagen Golf Plus and Mercedes B-class.
The Concept Active Tourerconsists of a 1.5 litre three cylinder direct injection petrol engine which will be a standard in the new mini and small BMW Lineups. Codenamed as B38, it will also be used in the i8 Sports car in which it has been installed longitudinally. The new twin scroll turbocharged engine belongs to a new family that eventually could end up supporting 3, 4 and 6 cylinder diesel and petrol powertrains that will boast about 60% of the component commodity for providing more flexibility to the production than the current models.
Concept vehicle carries the new engine that is sustained by an electric motor in order to support the lithium-ion battery unitstationed on the floor. The drive is directed to pass power to all wheels and is conjoined with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The combined power output is about 188bhp. When put in the all-electric mode, the vehicle will feature rear wheel drive.
BMW states that the vehicle can achieve 0-100 kmph in mere 8 sec, with a top speed of about 193 kmph. The vehicle has a Carbon dioxide emission rating of less than 60g/km and can run on its lithium-ion batteries for a range of about 29km. Weight and other figures are not yet been out. The UKL 1 platform has been configured for both all wheel and front wheel drive layouts. UKL 1 is actually inherited from the German word ‘Unterklasse’, meaning sub or entry class.
The shift to front wheel configuration can be seen as a rebound for the BMW, which have always advocated about the longitudinal engine being able to deliverimproved weight dissemination. It also scorns some of the previous BMW campaigns although the shift can also be attributed towards the need for cost reduction and to deliverenhanced packaging for the next gen small cars.
The substructure makes the Concept Active Tourer an unusually designed BMW. Vehicle feature short bonnet and angle tailgate but is outfitted in a modern skin that hints that it will be not changed much for the production units. The concept car also features 20 inch alloys but the standard model is expected to come with 16 inch wheels.
Although the upcoming series is ought to be branded as 1-series GT, but it shows nothing common as the recent 1-series hatchback, although it inherits more from its bigger brother 5-series GT; this could be a sign that BMW is trying to combine GT models to give it more of a family looks.
The vehicle stands about 1560mm in height, about 4353 mm in length and 1834 mm in width. The 5-seater Tourer is about 6mm shorter, 49 mm wider and 5 mm higher than the 2nd gen Mercedes B Class. With wheelbase at 2760 mm, it is about 30 mm lower than the B-class.
The interior and exterior design differs quite lot from the BMW’s usual rear wheel drive models. The new configuration is aimed at taking the full leverage of the space expansions offered by its transverse engine configuration. The vehicle supports a variety of materials but the production units are expected to be in standard with the current 1 series.
The vehicle’s front seats have been raised to a height similar to BMW X1. The back seats can be folded to increase boot space, while the table from the front seat can be extended to increase the practical uses of the car.