BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer is a teardrop-shaped front-wheel drive family hauler

It’s easy to think that BMW has gone off the deep end. With models like the ugly 3 Series GT and seemingly redundant 4 Series Gran Coupe, the German automaker is branching out into every niche it can find, whether the resulting cars make sense or not.

It’s latest model would appear to be the craziest of them all. Based on the Concept Active Tourer that made the auto show rounds last year, the 2 Series Active Tourer is a tall-roofed hatchback, and the first BMW-badged vehicle with front-wheel drive.

That’s right, this is a front-wheel drive people carrier from the company that claims to build the “Ultimate Driving Machine”.

The Active Tourer is based on BMW’s new UKL platform, which also underpins the 2014 MINI Cooper. It goes without saying that this car has no relation to the rear-wheel drive 2 Series coupe, other than its place at the bottom of BMW’s lineup.

The car will launch in Europe with a range of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines.

The top 225i Active Tourer sports a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 231 horsepower. BMW says it will do 0 to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 146 mph.

The 218i Active Tourer will have a 1.5-liter triple, producing 136 horsepower. There will also be a four-cylinder diesel 218d.

Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be offered at launch, although it’s unclear which engine and transmission options will be available in the United States when the Active Tourer arrives here next year.

The 2 Series Active Tourer will also be offered with xDrive all-wheel drive, and an M Sport package featuring some styling enhancements, new wheels, and sportier interior trim.

There’s also plenty of technology in the form of the ConnectedDrive package. This includes safety features like camera-based adaptive cruise control, as well as smartphone apps like the concierge service and real-time traffic information. The Active Tourer also gets a head-up display, which BMW says is a class-first.

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show next month, and go on sale in Europe later this year. It will arrive in the U.S. in 2015, which may or may not be good news for Bimmer fans.

Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.