Finally the German car manufacturer, BMW broke its rear-wheel-drive tradition today with the debut of the new Concept Active Tourer, which will be making its first public debut at the upcoming 2012 Paris Motor Show. While it’s a concept in name, the CAT previews the first front-wheel-drive BMW production cars which will arrive in late 2014.
The Concept Active Tourer is aimed straight at the Mercedes B-Class – it’s a five-seater and almost identical in size to the Mercedes, at 4,353mm long, 1,834mm wide and 1,560mm tall. It is designed carefully so that, despite using the same platform and engines, it won’t steal sales from the all-new MINI, which debuts at the end of 2013.
Inside the cabin, there are numerous display screens as also technology similar to Mercedes-Benz Magic Sky Control, a Cool Shade roof. It changes the opacity of the panoramic roof at the push of a button. An eight-inch gauge cluster display provides the driver with all the necessary driving information. BMW’s signature head-up display is an optional piece of equipment.
A new eDrive plug-in hybrid system resides at the heart of the CAT which pairs a lithium ion electric system with an inline-three 1.5L turbocharged engine. The company claims that the total power output is 190PS with an all-electric driving range of 32km. 0-100kmph is dispatched in under eight seconds while the top speed claimed is 198kmph. The CAT also delivers a fuel efficiency of almost 40kmpl.
The CAT will spawn BMW’s first front-wheel-drive car, which will be available in petrol, diesel and hybrid forms. A five-seat model will arrive first, followed by a seven seater. It also gets the first applications of this new 3-cylinder engine and you can expect to find it in feature compact BMW models as well.
No word on when we’ll see the production model – but it will definitely happen.
Checkout more pictures and video below the jump.
Also see – BMW i8 Spyder Concept will drop its top in New York next week
See more pictures of BMW Concept Active Tourer –