Paris Auto Show — 2012 2012 BMW Concept Active Tourer

Sep 20, 2012
Author: Evgeniy Sherstobitov
Photos: BMW
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With the new BMW Concept Active Tourer, BMW presents a vehicle at the 2012 Paris Motor Show which is the first in the premium compact segment to combine comfort and space functionality with dynamic performance and style. Annual growth rates of up to five per cent are expected in the small car and compact segment of the premium class in the years to come. For this reason, the BMW Concept Active Tourer is a key component in the ongoing development of the BMW brand and its model portfolio.

As a plug-in hybrid, the BMW Concept Active Tourer also provides a glimpse ahead to future drive variants in automobiles of the compact class. The eDrive concept familiar from the BMW i8 is used here for the first time in a model of the core BMW brand and will in future be the designation for all electric and plug-in hybrid drives. It covers all components of the electric drive, the electric motor developed by BMW, the lithium-ion battery and the intelligent engine control unit.

With an exterior length of 4,350 millimetres, a width of 1,834 millimetres and a total height of 1,560 millimetres, the BMW Concept Active Tourer is geared towards customers of the premium segment who appreciate a high level of comfort, a raised seating position and a generous amount of space.
The BMW Concept Active Tourer will also be attractive to families who attach importance to functionality and versatility as well as lifestyle and athletic flair.

A long wheelbase of 2,670 millimetres, a high roof line and a compact transverse engine with front-wheel drive make it possible to create a generously sized interior. The spacious load compartment of the BMW Concept Active Tourer provides fully-fledged everyday suitability since the batteries of the hybrid drive are housed entirely underneath the load floor.


With its harmonious proportions the BMW Concept Active Tourer displays sporty elegance from every angle. It demonstrates how compact dimensions, functionality and versatility can be skilfully combined with a dynamic design. The exclusive exterior paint finish in High Reflection Silver contributes to the refined appearance of the BMW Concept Active Tourer. Meanwhile, interesting touches are provided by the additional applications at the front, side and rear. The surfaces are in high-gloss polish with brushed velvet matt on the undersurface. This subtle shimmering between matt and gloss emphasises the play of light and shadow created by the new exterior paint finish.

The BMW Concept Active Tourer unmistakably retains the characteristically expressive BMW front view. The dominating element here is the distinctive, slightly front-tilted BMW radiator grille. The striking twin headlines with LED positioning lights (eyebrows) stretching far back into the side panels and the multi-faceted front apron combine to reinforce the sporty presence of the BMW Concept Active Tourer. Furthermore, the two large outer air inlets below the headlights emphasise the impression of width created by the front view.

Seen from the side, the elongated silhouette with its suggested wedge shape gives the BMW Concept Active Tourer a dynamic feel even when stationary - something which is unique in the class. Integrated door openers and the strikingly contrasted side sills with their rising shadow line combine with the large 20-inch wheels to give the BMW Concept Active Tourer its sporty, elegant appearance. Short body overhangs at the front and rear and the long wheelbase make for an unusually generously sized interior considering the vehicle's compact exterior dimensions. The raised roof line and large doors at front and rear promise convenient access to all seats.

Meanwhile, the rear section of the BMW Concept Active Tourer is characterised by athletic elegance. Marked, horizontal body lines define the rear view of this compact BMW. The large rear light clusters running well into the side panel highlight the broad wheel arches, visually underscoring the vehicle's solid road-holding. The large tailgate with low load sill and wide opening provides convenient access to the luggage compartment.


The generously designed interior of the BMW Concept Active Tourer is both transparent and refreshingly new. The open-pore laminated wood milled from a single block provides the visual link between the upper and low decor surfaces of the instrument panel. This creates a very elegant and light overall impression in the front section of the interior. The door trim panels and seats are covered in light, velvety soft full-grain leather and smooth leather, providing a silky, shimmering gloss which emphasises the luxurious, elegant ambience of the interior. There are also orange contrasting seams which underscore the vehicle's sporty character. The BMW Concept Active Tourer offers an entirely new sense of space. The centre console appears to hover between the two front seats with a smooth transition to the dashboard. This arrangement guarantees maximum legroom for both driver and front passenger.

The cockpit with hallmark BMW driver orientation provides optimum accessibility of all the main controls. The circular instruments in Black Panel Technology are within the driver's field of vision, as is the monitor of the central information display. As an optional extra, a full-colour Head-Up-Display appears on a special retracting glass surface between the steering wheel and windscreen - a first in the compact segment. The raised seats in the so-called semi-command position also ensure an excellent
all-round view, rounding off the optimum level of operating convenience and comfort.

An innovative panorama sunroof creates a unique ambience, extending across the entire roof surface of the BMW Concept Active Tourer. The composite glass roof with innovative Suspended Particle Device (SPD) technology means that the desired brightness or temperature effect can be created at the press of an electric button - either being darkened to the level of powerful sunglasses or raised to crystal clear brightness. Occupants can achieve a special lighting effect by manually adding a large-area leaf structure design to the glass roof. Electrical impulses cause the molecular structure of the glass to change at continuously varying levels between light and dark according to preference. The play of light and shadow thus created highlights the sense of space, thereby generating a pleasantly atmospheric lighting effect on all seats.

Rear passengers likewise enjoy very comfortable seating in the BMW Concept Active Tourer. The generous leg space created by the long wheelbase and slightly raised roof gives passengers plenty of freedom for movement. This also makes it particularly easy to enter and exit the vehicle. The luggage compartment is highly versatile due to the variable rear backrests, which can be split 40 : 20 : 40. A flat load floor can be created by folding down all three backrest sections.

In addition to these variable luggage space expansion options, the BMW Concept Active Tourer offers rear passengers additional intelligent details as part of the Travel & Comfort System. A centrally located vertical metal track is integrated in the back of the front seats. This innovative clip-on track system allows folding tables offering a range of convenient adjustment options to be attached by means of a quick fastener, and additional storage bags can also be suspended. Use of all common models of tablet computer is especially convenient from the rear seats. Tablets can be fixed to the clip-on track system in either portrait or landscape format and used for internet search, games or relaxed movie-viewing at eye level.

Rear passengers in the BMW Concept Active Tourer can experience fascinating technology hands-on with the new iPad app "Seismic Surf". "Seismic Surf" creates a game world in real time. It is an exciting ecological racing game which draws on the acceleration figures, engine speed and other data supplied continuously by the BMW Concept Active Tourer. Each real-life driving situation is interpreted and used to generate an infinite variety of new challenges in the computer game.

The aim of the game is to collect as many points as possible along a virtual route and record the most efficient driving style. The driver can directly influence the level of difficulty. Anticipatory driving simplifies the game, while a sporty driving style creates a winding and more difficult virtual route in the game. Only perfect interaction between a fuel-efficient driver and a skilful player at the rear can maximise the point score and achieve a podium position in the BMW games universe.


The BMW Concept Active Tourer is fitted with the latest-generation multicolour Head-Up Display. It projects all important information in brilliant resolution directly into the field of vision of the driver via a retracting glass surface. The intensity of projection automatically adapts to the light available. The day and night design is the same as that of the instrument panel. Depending on the driver's preference, not only the current speed and speed limits can be displayed but also overtaking bans. The driver can also obtain navigation assistance as well as a range of warnings. Because of the large number of driver assistance systems available, the scope of information which can be displayed in the Head-Up Display has reached a level as yet unequalled in this class of vehicle.

An 8-inch display takes care of the familiar menu guidance and route planning functions in the new navigation system. What is more, the central information display also visualises the current operating state of the hybrid drive. This ensures the driver is constantly informed on deployment of the combustion engine and electric motor and is able to track the energy flow within the system. The power electronics of the hybrid drive is networked with the intelligent Plus navigation system so as to provide maximum efficiency. Based on the data collected such as route profile, speed limits and traffic situation, the vehicle is prepared in advance so as to make the most efficient use of the energy available.

The drive of the BMW Concept Active Tourer follows the BMW Group's pioneering philosophy of sustainable mobility. The drive technology of all BMW plug-in hybrid models and electrically powered BMW i models bears the designation BMW eDrive, a term which includes all electric drive components.

The BMW Concept Active Tourer has been designed as a so-called plug-in hybrid - ideally combining the benefits of electric drive with those of a classic combustion engine. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV = Plug-in-Hybrid Electric Vehicle) will have a particularly important role to play in future. This is because plug-in hybrid vehicles normally have a range of well over 20 kilometres when run on electricity and can therefore be used efficiently for both short and long trips as well as in mixed mode. In the case of the BMW Concept Active Tourer, a state-of-the-art 1.5-litre petrol engine from the BMW Group Efficient Dynamics family of engines interacts perfectly with a synchronous electric motor.

The combustion engine of the new BMW Concept Active Tourer is a new cutting-edge 1.5-litre engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology. Derived from the multiple award-winning 6-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, it combines the latest generation of High Precision Injection with the fully variable valve control system VALVETRONIC and ultra-modern turbocharging. BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology will be used in all power units of the BMW Group's Efficient Dynamics engine family in the future - not least because it does not depend on total capacity or number of cylinders. The new 3-cylinder engine in the BMW Concept Active Tourer is one of the first representatives of this new generation of engines. The compact in-line engine constitutes an exemplary combination of dynamic performance and efficiency.

The new BMW TwinPower Turbo 3-cylinder offers character-specific benefits: running smoothness, revving power, spontaneous response and a dynamic, sporty sound. Since there are no first and second-order inertia forces, it offers an especially high level of comfort in terms of noise and vibration. The level of roll torque is lower than that of a 4-cylinder and is compensated for by a single counterbalance shaft. Among other things, this helps keep the engine extremely smooth-running in the low engine speed range, too.

The synchronous electric motor in the BMW Concept Active Tourer was also developed by the BMW Group. With a fully charged battery, the
BMW Concept Active Tourer has a maximum range of over 30 kilometres when running on electric power alone. This means that the majority of day-to-day trips dispense with local emissions entirely. What is more, the boost function can be applied to use the power provided by the synchronous electric motor for such things as highly dynamic acceleration manoeuvres. In both cases the drive power is made available spontaneously and without delay. The maximum torque of 200 Newton metres is available from standing.

The lithium-ion battery of the BMW Concept Active Tourer can be charged at any 220 volt household power socket. Power can be drawn from both axes of the BMW Concept Active Tourer and fed into the lithium-ion battery so as to enhance the efficiency of the plug-in hybrid. While the electric motor automatically recuperates maximum energy at the rear axle during deceleration, a high-volt generator connected to the combustion engine additionally charges the battery whenever needed.

 

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