In the last few years, BMW has definitively proven that it wasn't a slave to its legacy. In the US, the 3 Series was generally associated with smooth, flat-six engines, but the Bavarian brand dropped a four-cylinder turbo into it. The company was also known for its sports sedans, and it went green with the i3 and i8. Now, rear-wheel drive is off the table as defining its vehicles, as well. With the imminent launch of the 2 Series Active Tourer, the Bavarian's models are going front drive and opening up themselves to a whole new group of customers, so the thinking goes.

"We are expecting the Active Tourer will have a conquest rate of around 75 percent," said Frank Niederlaender, a BMW product manger, to Automotive News Europe. If you're not hip to the lingo, that means three quarters of the hatchback's buyers would come from other brands – an impressive figure, if accurate.

When it hits the road, the 2 Series Active Tourer will be the first BMW-branded vehicle to use the company's UKL front-wheel drive platform, already on the current Mini Cooper. The roomy hatchback is aimed at young families looking for a car that is luxurious but can still tote around the tots. It launches in Europe in September to compete against similar models like the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, but the Bimmer isn't crossing the Atlantic to the US until early 2015, according to ANE.

Of course, the 2 Series Active Tourer is just step one of BMW's front-wheel drive future. A plug-in hybrid version is already testing, and the next X1 moves to the same platform, too. According to ANE, a three-row Active Tourer is also in the works, which is possibly related to the recently spied new CUV.


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  • 41 Comments
      Matt
      • 5 Months Ago
      You know, I used to be able to deal with the spelling and grammatical mistakes on this site. These are people trying to get us the story quick. But when "car guys" make such blatant errors about the history of engines a notable company has used throughout its history, I question some of the writers abilities to do this job. Porsche and Subaru have flat 6's...BMW is known for its STRAIGHT 6
      TopGun
      • 5 Months Ago
      ""We are expecting the Active Tourer will have a conquest rate of around 75 percent" Ya…Kia buyers. Typical short-term, MBA stuff from BMW, let's leverage the brand to make the most money. That will work for one generation…then there is a BMW in every 2nd driveway, then "poof", there goes your brand value.
        jessesrq
        • 5 Months Ago
        @TopGun
        By that logic the Corvette would be valueless to Chevrolet, brought down by the existence of the Sonic. And no one will every want an Aston Martin since they brought out that Cygnet.
          Hernan
          • 5 Months Ago
          @jessesrq
          One observation I'd make to your point - the Corvette doesn't wear a big yellow Chevy badge on the grille.
      Julio B
      • 5 Months Ago
      This is a car enthusiast website but sadly nowadays car buyers couldn't care less or even know what a cylinder is, much less FWD, AWD or RWD. Buyers focus on the badge, the looks, safety and if he/she knows anything about cars, will do some research on reliability.
      chrismcfreely
      • 5 Months Ago
      Very creative way of saying bmw people will hate it.
      churchmotor
      • 5 Months Ago
      How many Honda Fit buyers does BMW expect to capture?
      Scott Satellite
      • 5 Months Ago
      Probably not made in Germany, an SUV, and FWD = Not a BMW. Has BMW forgotten that probably more other brands imitate them than anyone else? Ironic then that they would look outward for inspiration. Too bad they couldn't find a way to expand their market without making their brand meaningless.
      Cameron Huntsucker
      • 5 Months Ago
      Dear Chris Bruce - "Flat-Six" engines? When did BMW become Porsche and Subaru, Ferrari, Corvair and Tucker? Edit, please
      Hazdaz
      • 5 Months Ago
      I like the body-style (sporty hatchback), but like all BMWs its simply not going to be worth the price of admission, nor the cost of maintenance after the warranty runs out. I hope more car makers enter this segment.
        John Hughan
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Hazdaz
        It all depends on what you value and what you're knowledgeable about. For example, I know next to nothing about wine, so I would be unlikely to appreciate a $400 bottle any more than a $40 bottle; the former would be totally wasted on me. But I know a lot about TVs, laptops, cars, etc, so I can tell the great from the mediocre in those areas and am willing to spend more (and often more than others) to get the great stuff rather than mediocre stuff.
          superlightv12
          • 5 Months Ago
          @John Hughan
          But high price doesn't always equate to "better". This is a very competitive segment. If "great stuff" means a badge on the hood, then this might just make you happy. Others might expect more than this will deliver, and the badge means nothing to them. Reliability is expected by some of us. A fancy badge on a fancy car being towed behind a tow truck would be really embarrassing to me as a customer.
      churchmotor
      • 5 Months Ago
      "Enthusiast" here seem to forget. BMW's own survey of 1 series owners think they are driving a FWD BMW.
      L1011
      • 5 Months Ago
      A flat-six? Really, Autoblog? Really?!? This FWD Bimmer looks decent. I'm not blown away by it, but I'd consider it, particularly if they offer it with a diesel here in the US.
      A Common Loon
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'd be shocked if is wasn't higher than 75%. What owner of a current BMW product is going to step down to this, afterwards? I'm guessing most of those 25% will be from current owners buying one of these for a child or spouse.
      mikeybyte1
      • 5 Months Ago
      BMW obviously has its sights set on being a full line auto manufacturer. Hopefully they do not lose focus on their core sport sedans - 3, 5, and 7.
        TopGun
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        Too late.
        Dub
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        The Gmbh Big Three have a wide variety of automobiles to fit every need, I wish they would bring more of their products shore side like the a1, viano, 2 series 5dr, etc.
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