BMW Electrifies The 2 Series Active Tourer With A Plug-in Prototype

Posted on Jul 4 2015 - 6:25am by Lisa Chan

BMW is developing a hybrid version of its 2 Series Active Tourer. At the company’s Innovation Days 2015, we’re finally getting to see the fruits of that electric labor with a prototype for a plug-in hybrid version of the front-wheel-drive hatchback. The Bavarians aren’t keeping a secret that they intend to build a model like this in the future. But like the rest of the Active Tourer family, it’s likely to remain unavailable to US buyers.

BMW electrifies the 2 Series

BMW is already somewhat familiar with the realm of plug-ins with its i sub-brand and forthcoming X5 xDrive40e PHEV. This 2 Series Active Tourer is largely an adaptation of some of that tech. Up front, there’s the company’s transversely mounted, 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine making 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, and it’s linked to a six-speed automatic gearbox. A generator on the front axle can also briefly boost output by 20 hp and 111 lb-ft, or help charge the rear-mounted battery. At the back is an electric motor making 87 hp and 122 lb-ft with a two-speed transmission spinning the rear axle. All of this is linked together via the Dynamic Stability Control to shuffle around power as necessary.

The hybrid system generally prioritizes using electric power at speeds below 50 miles per hour and kicks on the engine from there. Depending on the settings, drivers can also force it into EV mode with a maximum range predicted at nearly 24 miles. BMW claims the 2 Series Active Tourer PHEV could get to 62 mph in a brisk 6.4 seconds, and the company estimates the setup can return the equivalent of 118 miles per gallon on the European cycle.

While there’s a lot of equipment to package together in this system, BMW claims that interior room is identical to the purely internal combustion version. The hybrid battery is under the rear seat, and propulsion for the back wheels is centered around the axle. As a prototype, the automaker isn’t really talking pricing yet beyond stating buyers “do not have to pay a high premium for the technology.”