BMW unveiled this morning at the 2012 Paris Motor Show their first front-wheel drive vehicle, dubbed BMW Concept Active Tourer. This is the first model in the premium compact segment to combine comfort and space functionality with dynamic performance and style.

In concept form, the premium FWD minivan-looking vehicle uses a plug-in hybrid platform with the eDrive architecture paired with a 3-cylinder 1.5 liter gasoline engine.

The total power output for this concept is 140 kW/190bhp which brings the car from 0 to 100km/h in less than 8 seconds. Top speed is limited to 200 km/h. Since the new concept falls directly under the guidance of the EfficientDynamics program, the fuel consumption is as low as expected, if not lower: 2.5 liters per 100km. How “green” is the concept? 60 g/km CO2. The lithium-ion battery of this plug-in hybrid automobile can be charged at a conventional mains socket. Its capacity allows ranges of over 30 kilometers when operated on electric power alone.

A raised seating position, generous space for driver and passengers and the flexibly extendable luggage compartment are the defining aspects of the BMW Concept Active Tourer interior. It combines versatile functionality with excellent ride comfort, all within the high-quality ambiance of a premium automobile.

The BMW Concept Active Tourer will come to market within two years and will compete against a similar offering from Mercedes-Benz and its B-Class vehicles. The BMW Concept Active Tourer will appeal to customers of the premium segment who appreciate a high level of comfort, a raised seating position and a generous amount of space, but also to families who attach importance to functionality and versatility as well as lifestyle and athletic flair.

From concept to production, we learned that the car will most likely maintain 90% of its design, so expect to see a sleek-looking car that will successfully compete in the segment with the B-Class from Mercedes.

Stay tuned for exclusive interviews with the BMW Active Tourer designer!