BMW Concept Active Tourer, 2012 Paris Auto Show
BMW Concept Active Tourer, 2012 Paris Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
For as long as we can remember, BMW has ignored the pull of front-wheel drive cars, preferring to stick with the performance-oriented rear-wheel drive setup that has served it well for decades.
But at this year’s Paris Auto Show, the German automaker has unveiled a car that we once described as ranking “alongside hell freezing over on the plausibility scale.”
Behold BMW’s through-the-road plug-in hybrid, known as the Concept Active Tourer.
Looking almost production-ready, the Concept Active Tourer is powered by the same 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder, direct injection, turbocharged engine that will power the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sportscar.
While the 3-cylinder engine drives the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic gearbox, the rear wheels are driven by an electric motor, making it a through-the-road hybrid.
As it is a concept instead of a production vehicle, BMW is suitably vague about performance figures, although it says 0-62mph should happen in ‘less than 8 seconds,’ while combined fuel economy is believed to be around 94 mpg.
In all-electric mode, the Concept Active Tourer is familiarly rear-wheel drive, giving an all-electric range of around 18 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in.
But with seating for five, a short hood, and 171-inch long body -- placing it in a similar size category to the 1-series hatchback -- the Concept Active Hybrid hints at future BMW plug-in hybrid models that combine good fuel economy with compact-car practicality.