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Concept Active Tourer Plug-in hybrid
A clearer view of BMW's future premium compact MPV

BMW Concept Active Tourer Plug-in hybrid: front-side picture.

Distinctive twin headlights with LED ‘eyebrows.

21 Sep. 2012, Tony Kanaan: Giving a clearer idea about the compact MPV it should be launching in about a year from now, BMW will present  at the 2012 Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l'Automobile, public days from 29 September to 14 October) its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) concept, the Concept Active Tourer.

The Concept Active Tourer represents BMW's view of a compact premium plug-in hybrid with a "spacious, versatile and airy interior... with a raised seating position".

BMW Concept Active Tourer Plug-in hybrid: rear-side picture.

A new front-wheel drive platform for the compact BMW MPV.

The Bavarian group explains that "with sales of small and compact cars expected to grow by five per cent annually in the next few years, the Concept Active Tourer presents a real opportunity" for the continued growth of the brand.

In other words, the Concept Active Tourer is more than a plug-in hybrid concept, as it represents a new generation of compact models which will adopt the new front-wheel drive platform, at BMW and its British brand MINI.

From this perspective, the Concept Active Tourer will be BMW's direct competitor of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, while the 1-Series faces the A-Class, Audi A3 and Volvo's V40 in the premium C-segment category. Of course, the main versions of the production model will be petrol and diesel powered, with the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) being an additional, more niche oriented option.

BMW Concept Active Tourer Plug-in hybrid: dashboard photo.

A new range of display options with different colour schemes.

The compact concept can take up to five people in a relatively long wheelbase of 2,670mm (105.12 inches) within the compact (lower medium, C-segment) overall length of 4,353mm (171.38), with the transverse front-engine layout and batteries of the electric drive system housed beneath the boot floor allowing for more interior space, and the rear seats split in a 40:20:40 configuration to maximise versatility.


Based on the drivetrain of the BMW i8 concept car, the Concept Active Tourer is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) which combines a new transversely mounted 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine mounted at the front, driving the front wheels – a change at BMW, known for its RWD and AWD offerings – and an electric motor driving the rear wheels.

BMW Concept Active Tourer Plug-in hybrid: interior, side view of seats, dash and console.

Up to five people on a relatively long wheelbase.

BMW says that combined, the two power systems (the turbo charged petrol engine and the electric motor) deliver more than 190hp (140 kW, 187 bhp). The electric motor alone can deliver 200Nm (147.6 lb-ft) of torque from standstill (a known advantage with the electric motors), allowing the Concept Active Tourer to cover the 0-62mph (0-100 km/h) in less than eight seconds and onto a top speed of 125mph (201 km/h).

The German premium carmaker adds that the Concept Active Tourer can be driven for almost 20 miles (over 30 km) on battery power alone.

According to BMW, the PHEV powertrain returns a combined fuel economy of 113 UK mpg (equivalent to 94.1 US mpg, 2.5 litres/100 km, 40 km/litre) with CO2 emissions of less than 60g/km.

BMW says that while the batteries can be recharged from any 220-volt domestic power socket, they also recuperate energy from the electric motor during deceleration. The petrol engine also incorporates a high-voltage generator to charge them on demand.

The new three-cylinder 1.5-litre TwinPower petrol engine is derived from BMW’s six-cylinder power unit, with direct fuel injection, fully variable valve control, VALVETRONIC and turbocharging, BMW EfficientDynamics technologies, including Auto Start-Stop and ECO PRO mode, to improve efficiencies.

BMW explains that with data received from the satellite navigation system, the drive system can anticipate energy needs to choose the best times to charge the battery or apply electric drive, enhancing energy savings of up to 10 per cent.

The exterior features the headlights and LED ‘eyebrows’, short overhangs, broad arches wrapped around 20-inch wheels and wrap-around rear light clusters.


BMW Concept Active Tourer Plug-in hybrid: top-down view from the rear-side.

Panoramic glass roof: suspended particle device technology.

The interior is trimmed in soft full-grain leather and laminated wood.

The traditional four circular instruments cluster uses Black Panel technology to offer a new range of display options, with alternating colour schemes depending on the drive system operating mode.

Conventional analogue instruments are replaced by an integrated 10.25-inch colour screen. Menu guidance and route planning are displayed on a second, eight-inch Black Panel screen which can also display the current operating mode of the hybrid drive system.

The optional head-up display, on a retracting glass panel between the steering wheel and windscreen, informs the driver of the actual speed, the local speed limit and any overtaking restrictions, as well as showing navigation assistance and a range of warnings in sharp colour resolution.

A panoramic glass roof featuring suspended particle device technology – electrical impulses which change the particle structure of the glass – allows the light intensity to be changed in the cabin at the touch of a button.

Finally, a ‘Seismic Surf’ iPad app for rear passengers provides a set of challenges in a computer game, based on data supplied by the Concept Active Tourer. The aim is to collect points on a virtual route by driving in the most economical style.


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