Unlike BMW’s 2 series coupes, which are basically rebadged 1-series, the new 2 Series Active Tourer (2SAT) is not only the firm’s first front wheel drive model, but also the first to feature a three cylinder engine. Designed to set the groundwork for future front-wheel drive models, the 2 Series Active Tourer is set to shake up the crossover market in Europe and China.

This first attempt at front-wheel drive by BMW, which made its debut two years ago in concept form, actually shares many platform traits with Mini’s next-gen Countryman. Proportionally the car will be similarly sized to its Mini corporate cousin, but aesthetically the 2 Series Active Tourer emulates many other design traits from the wider crossover segment.

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BMW’s signature grill resides at the front of an angular, stubby hood, framed by cabin and flank treatments reminiscent of a Kia, while higher seating positions and an expansive greenhouse are intended to provide a more open, naturally lit interior.

Capable of hauling a family of five, in basic form the Tourer features a 60/40 sliding rear bench, electric rear seats, BMW’s Active Guard collision system and the ability to switch between Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport driving modes. A 6-speed manual gearbox comes as standard, with a 6-speed automatic gearbox offered as an option.

Under the hood BMW will offer up three powertrain options. In the 218i model comes a turbocharged 1.5 liter 3-cylinder capable of generating 136 hp and 162 lb.ft of torque that BMW claims will propel the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.3 seconds. Top speed is limited to only 200 km/h (124 mph), which should be more than adequate in most scenarios.

In the sportier, performance-based 225i version, drivers receive a breathed upon 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that’s capable of putting down 231 hp and 258 lb.ft of torque to the crossover’s 18 inch sport wheels. In this model, an 8-speed automatic gearbox manages power to the front end which, when paired with the higher power output, delivers a 0 to100 km/h time of 6.8 seconds and a respectable top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph). The third powertrain option offered up is a turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel good for 150 hp and 243 lb.ft of torque.

Although probably not what many would consider to be a legitimate candidate for an M series badging, BMW is reporting the 2 Series Active Tourer will in fact be available in the automaker's performance trim. In addition to 18 inch M series alloy wheels, the M Sport 2SAT will come decked out with M door sill finishers, M shift knob, Dakota leathers, a multi-function steering wheel and sport suspension pack.

BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer is due to be launched in Europe this September with other markets coming online closer to 2015.

Source: BMW

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