BMW 2 Series Active TourerBMW’s new 2 Series Active Tourer can lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife in under nine minutes, the firm has revealed.

Both the first-ever BMW MPV and the first front-wheel drive BMW, the new Active Tourer uses the new UKL platform also found in the new MINI: while space efficiency and practicality have been prioritised, so too have performance and handling prowess of the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class rival.

Automotive News reports the range-topping 225i Active Tourer achieves the sub-nine minute time, aided by strong performance from its 231hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo motor (which also hits 62mph from rest in 8.9 seconds).

The five-seat MPV matches rear-wheel drive BMWs for lateral acceleration and ‘drive-through times’, adds the title, with development project manager Siegfried stressing that “the active Tourer offers precisely the driving fun that constitutes the fascination of a BMW”.

2 Series Active Tourer to conquer

Existing BMW customers are, however, not key to the 2 Series Active Tourer’s success: the firm believes three in four buyers will be new to the brand, switching from rival models such as the B-Class or Volkswagen Touran.

The firm’s aim is to attract young families seeking extra practicality, and then keep them as they grow up. It also wants a slice of the premium compact sector which, it says, will grow faster than the overall premium market.

Oh, and if the idea of a front-wheel drive MPV BMW is too much, reports MR’s CJ Hubbard, just wait until next year: that’s when the seven-seat FWD BMW MPV arrives…