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:

BMW Concept Active Tourer Outdoor-06

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.