BMW Concept Active Tourer

BMW will launch a production version of the Concept Active Tourer in 2014 that will herald the start of a front-wheel drive small car product offensive for the brand.

The first ever front-wheel drive BMW, Active Tourer will be the first in a portfolio of 10 or 11 models, Robertson told British media from the top of London’s iconic Gherkin last night.

“The Active Tourer will start a product offensive in the small car segment.”

Robertson hinted the production version, which we’ll see at the Geneva Motor Show in March, will “be very, very close to the concept car”.

He also promised it will drive like a BMW, despite the controversial switch to front-wheel drive. “It will be sporty and it will be dynamic.”

It will not only be the first-ever front-wheel drive BMW, but it will also be its first three-cylinder model – using a British-built engine from what Robertson called “Birmingham’s Hams Hall plant”. This facility has recently been completely refitted to produce engines for both BMW and the new MINI.

However, despite BMW’s big plans for its new front-wheel UKL platform beneath a range of small cars, Robertson reminded journalists that BMW already sells a lot of small cars.

“Last year, we sold 300,000 MINIs and 200,000 1-Series… (but) Active Tourer is going to generate a lot of (new) customers.”