BMW’s famed 50/50 weight distribution isn’t restricted to its front engine/rear drive cars. Siegfried Muller, project leader for BMW’s first front drive model, the strangely named 2-Series Active Tourer, says the 218d version achieves a staggering (for a front-drive car) 50.5/49.5 font to rear distribution that he says means: “You can feel BMW’s expected driving character, though pure fun is not the aim.”
A massive 110mm higher than the rear drive 1-Series, the Active Tourer is 20mm higher than the X1, with a seating position that’s 30mm higher. A sliding rear seat moves through a range of 130mm to deliver 7-Series rear-seat legroom and the boot capacity is a huge 468 litres.
Built on the mid-length wheelbase of BMW’s new UKL platform, the Active Tourer will be sold in a variety of models with lengths from 3.8 to 4.5 metres and include a seven-seat version.
“Customer preferences have changed the usage of cars,” says Muller, who previously led the new X5 development team. ”Three or four years ago we were not sure if the change to front-wheel drive made real sense. But customer’s ideas changed so fast that now we believe it’s the perfect car for 2014.”
Sitting behind the wheel, I’ll admit that it’s impossible to distinguish this front-drive BMW from a rear-drive model.