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How and Why is the Active Tourer getting the 2 Series name?

2 Series | January 26th, 2014 by 7
BMW Concept Active Tourer Outdoor-08

This spring, BMW will unveil their front-wheel drive model. While the concept version was launched under the Active Tourer branding, the production version will be …

This spring, BMW will unveil their front-wheel drive model. While the concept version was launched under the Active Tourer branding, the production version will be sold under the 2 Series Active Tourer and 2 Series Gran Tourer naming conventions.

But why has BMW decided to choose these badges for their first FWD vehicle and create confusion with the other 2 Series rear-wheel drive models?

Top Gear UK reports the following on the subject and gives insight into the naming decision:

How and Why is the Active Tourer getting the 2 Series name?

Yet it’s ended up a 2-series. Which is a paradox, because only last year BMW told us that even numbers (6, 4, and 2) were for the coupés and convertibles. Cars like the 6-series Coupe and Convertible and Gran Coupe, or the X6, the 4-series and now the 2-series Coupe. This year they will also launch the 4-series Gran Coupe and the slope-tailed X4.

Just a year on, BMW’s changed its tune about even numbers being for the coupes and cabrios. It now says the 2-series Active Tourer deserves to be a 2-series because it’s bigger than the 1-series, and will be more expensive.

But still, the question remains: why not choose a different name from the many trademarked by BMW?

A senior BMW manager tells Top Gear that the company went through a long list of options and “hit a brick wall.”

All nameplates with a letter-number combination were, they found, already trademarked by other manufacturers – either car makers or others whose sphere overlaps.

Well, all except one. Y. And they decided (probably wisely) that calling a car the BMW Y1 was just too open to innuendo. So 2-series it is…

So at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the main stage will be reserved to the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, a model that represents a new era for BMW.

  • CDspeed

    It’s almost as though BMW decided on a model numbering strategy and then built a car that blurs the lines between two model series. I think since the 2-series is aimed at younger buyers and is seen as a cool smaller performance car, they thought they’d playoff of that and call the Active Tourer a 2-series. Both the 2-series and Active Tourer are aimed at the same age group, it’s only confusing to those of us who are paying attention. I still wish they had kept the 3-series coupe and convertible a 3-series, it’s like we’re being teased, it’s clearly a 3-series but you can’t call it that. And the great M3 coupe is gone, it’s still here but it’s legendary name was thrown out for a new model naming strategy that already isn’t working. The Active Tourer should be a 1-series, and then the 1-series should receive a facelift to match it.

  • steelydan

    The numbering changes backed BMW into a corner. Apparently no one there had any foresight.

  • E34

    FWD – such a sad story for BMW.

  • Tommolog

    Will the PHEV be available at the launch, or is that a variant that will be available some time later?

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      Not sure yet. I’ll ask.

  • Tinky-Winky

    Should have been 1 series Gran Turismo like the more practical versions of 3 and 5 series.But whatever, still less confusing than MB naming strategy.

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