BMW’s nomenclature has been confusing since, well, the beginning of time. But it’s gotten especially challenging in the past few years.
In an attempt to offer a bit of clarity, the brand has tried to simplify things: sedans start with odd numbers (3, 5, 7, i3). Coupes and convertibles lead with even numbers (2, 4, 6, i8). SUVs start with ‘X’ and end in an odd number for traditional shapes (X1, X3, X5). And even numbers for the raked/coupe-like versions (X4, X6). Except, that’s not completely true, either. For example, the 6 Series has a four-door GranCoupe version, and we’re expecting to see the same thing from the 4-Series, too. So much for simplicity.
It won’t come as a surprise, then, that BMW’s next big announcement will be a pint-sized crossover (nay, microvan) based on the Active Tourer Concept, and it’ll wear the 2 Series monicker. With four doors. And a hatch. And front-wheel drive.
We recently had the chance to take a spin in the deliciously sporty M235i, and, despite the 2-Series Active Tourer’s name, the vehicles have virtually nothing in common with each other. In fact, the Active Tourer isn’t built on the RWD M235i and 228i’s chassis at all; it instead shares its platform with the new generation of MINIs, according to Top Gear. Call it a BMW Countryman, if you will.
The 2 Series Active Tourer will be BMW’s first foray into the front-wheel drive marketplace, and we’re eager to see how it performs. While many will toss their hands up and claim that real Bimmers should only be offered with rear- (or all-) wheel drive, we have reason to believe that most BMW drivers will be happy just to pilot a piece of Bavarian engineering.
And hey, we’d be lying if we said that MINIs weren’t about as much fun as you can have with front-wheel drive, so there’s hope for this new model. We’re just not sure that calling it a ’2 Series’ will make life any easier on the rest of us.