BMW Concept Active Tourer features dimming roof, plug-in hybrid tech

Ahead of its unveiling at the Paris Motor Show, BMW has revealed its Concept Active Tourer, which previews the company’s forthcoming tall-body front-wheel drive hatchback to take on Mercedes’ A- and B-Classes.

Being a concept car, the Active Tourer features a cutting edge interior design with virtually no surface untouched by rich leather, glossy plastic, plush carpeting or LED mood lighting; there’s also the usual quotient of thin wraparound seats. An 8-inch display rises proudly out of the middle of dash for entertainment and nav functions, while a 10.25-inch screen (as well as a head-up display projected onto the windscreen) sits in front of the driver displaying all the speed, hybrid, trip and nav info required.

Plenty of natural light is allowed in (or not) via the Cool Shade panorama roof that uses Suspended Particle Device (SPD) tech to electronically darken or lighten the patterned glass roof. This piece of technology is similar to the Magic Sky Control roof used on the Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster.

Under the skin there’s an experimental plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Up front there’s a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor independently turning the rear wheels. All up the system boasts 140kW of power, an electric only range of up to 30km, claimed average fuel consumption of 2.5L/100km, and a 0-100km/h time of 8 seconds.

Slap on some proper door handles, a larger set of wing mirrors and a toned down interior, and you’re basically looking at the next 1-Series tall boy hatch. Enthusiasts and motoring observers will note that, when it goes into production, this car will be the first to wear BMW’s blue-and-white badge and feature front-wheel drive.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]