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by Adam Lynton
1 Series hatchback grows taller to showcase three-cylinder hybrid powertrain and a raft of new technologies.
As we edge closer to the Paris Motor Show, previews of cars set to debut are coming thick and fast, with BMW's Concept Active Tourer the latest model to be revealed. Although BMW has included the word "concept" in the name, the Active Tourer seems very much a preview of a potential 1 Series GT. The model would continue the trend kicked off by the awkwardly-proportioned 5 Series GT and set to include a new 3 Series GT in the near future.
BMW's conceptual foray into the compact minivan segment begins with a front-wheel-drive setup and a plug-in hybrid powertrain incorporating a new 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. The result is solid 190 horsepower, shuttling the Active Tourer from 0-62 mph in under eight seconds. Top speed is quoted at 124 mph, while the most impressive figure of all is the 94 mpg average fuel consumption BMW claims the concept achieves. The Active Tourer also manages 18 miles in all-electric mode before the gasoline engine kicks in. The taller shape is the same length as the 1 Series hatch but larger overall.
Styling adopts BMW's trademark twin kidney grilles, aggressive twin headlights and LED positioning lights acting as "eyebrows". The lines look familiar to the BMW family, but applied to a taut tall-hatchback shape. The interior, as you might expect, is packed with innovation. Numerous display screens abound, ambiance is provided by light piping, information is projected on a head-up display and the panoramic roof features a Cool Shade function (similar to rival Mercedes' Magic Sky Control) lets the sunshine in but not the heat. The result is an impressively complete package. We'll be watching its transition to production in the coming months.