New 2021 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer caught on camera

BMW will aim to defy the idea that the MPV is dead iwith the introduction of a second-generation 2 Series Active Tourer, which will continue competing with the latest Mercedes B-Class.

Caught on camera for the first time last year during the tail end of its European winter testing programme, the new 2 Series Active Tourer is undergoing final assessment on road ahead of an anticipated reveal later this year.

The camouflage is slowly coming off the new compact MPV, and these new images shine a light on the design of the next 2 Series Active Tourer. The front end will receive a sharp makeover with inspiration from the latest 2 Series Gran Coupe, while the footprint of the car will grow in size as BMW attempts to reframe its compact and practical family car with some SUV-inspiration.

At the front, the grille appears to be more prominent. Meanwhile, the wing mirrors are now affixed to the doors rather than the window frame as before. The glasshouse changes significantly, giving the sides of the car a sportier profile compared with the glassy and airy look of the current model.

The wheelbase looks slightly longer with shorter overhangs which point towards improved cabin space for passengers, though a seven-seat version is unlikely. Alterations at the rear are harder to pick out, although the taillights seem to have a new, slimmer design not too dissimilar to the current 1 Series.

We’ve not seen inside the new 2 Series Active Tourer just yet, but it’s easy to imagine what the cabin and dashboard will look like. The previous-generation interior architecture of the old-car will be ditched in favour of the design and technology used in the latest 1 Series and 2 Series Gran Coupe. A more angular look will be applied, with a larger central touchscreen for the iDrive infotainment system.

There’s no word yet on the engine line-up, but as the 2 Series Active Tourer is based on the same UKL underpinnings of the 1 Series hatchback, it’s almost certain to share its powertrains. That would mean 1.5-litre three- and 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol units with a variety of power outputs, as well as multiple diesels. A hot version using the 228kW turbocharged 2.0-litre engine from the M135i seems very unlikely though.

The outgoing car is available as a plug-in hybrid, badged 225xe. The current-generation model uses a 10kWh battery to provide a zero-emissions range of 50 kilometres.

The same drivetrain also appears in the plug-in hybrid version of the X1 SUV and will likely be carried forward into the next-gen Active Tourer unchanged, linking a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine to an electric motor, with a 164kW power output and sending drive to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

James Brodie

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