At the 2012 Paris Motor Show, BMW introduced a new plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV), the BMW Concept Active Tourer. The concept is a compact crossover that is powered by a three-cylinder petrol (that’s gasoline to us Yanks) engine coupled to an electric motor. The system delivers a combined 190 horsepower which BMW says can propel the concept from zero to sixty mph in less than eight seconds.
Originally, the Active Tourer caused a stir at the time because it uses a front-wheel drive transmission/engine layout. Traditionally, BMW vehicles use a rear-wheel drive design, which car aficionados say give a better driving experience.
Well, BMW has just announced it will bring the Concept Active Tourer to the Geneva Motor Show next month. We reviewed the press information and, frankly, don’t see any significant changes from the Paris debut. The three-cylinder engine, which is part of BMW’s eDrive, or “electric drivetrain” lineup, continues to be the same, with estimated fuel economy averaging around 94 mpg. BMW says its PHEV can travel 20 miles on pure electric power before the hybrid engine kicks back in.
BMW continues to offer very little specific details on the Concept Active Tourer’s interior. We don’t know, for example, if the suede-looking material covering the top of the dash will make it into the production model. Same with the ambient interior lightning highlighting the inside door handle. The automaker continues to say the crossover is aimed at the “premium compact” market which usually translates into a high price tag. From the press kit:
The interior of the BMW Concept Active Tourer is distinguished by its raised seating position, its generous space for driver and passengers, as well as the flexibly extendable luggage compartment.
BMW is also mum if any production version of the Concept Active Tourer will be sold in the U.S. Its nearest competitor, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, is already here in the States in the form of the fuel-cell powered F-Cell. A pure electric version of the B-Class, called the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show as well.