BMW Goes FWD With 2-Series

BMW is entering the premium compact segment with the 2 series, a hatchback that will break with the German brand’s rear-wheel drive tradition.

BMW stated it has given the 2 Series Active Tourer a sophisticated front-wheel-drive system capable of delivering the degree of driver engagement expected of the brand’s models. The company said combining a long wheelbase of 2,670 millimetres and raised roofline enables the room inside to be maximized, resulting in an unprecedented feeling of spaciousness.

Driver and front passenger receive a far higher seating position than in a sedan, said BMW, which affords a commanding all-round view at the same time as making it easier to get in and out. Much storage and the option of a fold-flat passenger seat backrest are two examples of the interior’s flexibility and layout, added BMW. The cabin has a light and spacious feel to it, with all surfaces horizontally structured in a layered look. There is also the option of a large panoramic roof that lets light flood into the interior.

BMW said the 2-Series Active Tourer is being launched with a choice of three powerful, light and fuel-efficient three and four-cylinder drive units that form part of a new generation of engines. They are installed transversely and are of a compact design along with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, at the same time as complying with the EU6 emissions standard.

The new three-cylinder petrol unit stands out for its exceptional efficiency and great performance abilities, stated BMW. This engine is receiving its premiere in the BMW 218i Active Tourer and the German manufacturer states its fuel consumption, in the combined cycle, varies in the 5.2 to 4.9 liter per 100 kilometer (54.3–57.6 mpg imp) for the model with the six-speed manual gearbox.

The three-cylinder engine has a displacement of 1.5 liters and generates 136 horsepower. The design of three-cylinder engines means they are not subject to first and second-order inertia forces, explained BMW, while the balancer shaft included on the BMW unit ensures that it operates even more smoothly over the entire rev range.

The BMW 225i Active Tourer will have a fuel consumption combined in the range of 6.0 to 5.8 liter per 100 kilometer (47.1 to 48.7 mpg imp) with a standard eight-speed Steptronic gearbox. This four cylinder engine has an output of 231 horsepower, good for a 0-to-100 kilometer per hour (62 mph) of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 240 kilometer per hour (149 mph).

Third comes the BMW 218d Active Tourer with a fuel consumption combined in the 4.3 to 4.1 liter per 100 kilometer range (65.7–68.9 mpg imp) powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine. A member of the same new engine family as its two gasoline counterparts,BMW states it delivers 150 horsepower while providing peak torque of 243 pound-feet, propelling the BMW 218d Active Tourer with standard six-speed manual gearbox from standstill to 100 kilometer per hour (62 mph) in 8.9 seconds and on to a top speed of kilometer per hour (129 mph). An eight-speed Steptronic gearbox will be available as an option for this model.

No price or availability information is available yet for the U.S. market.