According to Greg Kable at Autocar, BMW will offer the upcoming 1 Series GT with two different wheelbases. The two models will offer buyers a choice between a five and a seven-seat configuration.
A long-wheelbase prototype was spied during testing in Germany and showcases longer rear doors and an extended roof. The increased length will offer additional rear space for passengers. Both models are built on the front-wheel drive configuration, one that will be used by many upcoming BMW models.
The BMW 1 Series GT will compete against the Mercedes-Benz B-Class which recently halted development of a long-wheelbase version of the second-generation B-class.
BMW previewed their new generation of front-wheel drive vehicles at the 2012 Paris Motor Show where the ActiveTourer Concept made its debut.
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.
The BMW 1 Series GT 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.
First model is scheduled to debut in 2014.