The Active Tourer is a very unusual BMW – it’s front wheel drive and it’s a plug-in hybrid. A transversely mounted 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine powers the front wheels whilst the rear is driven by an electric motor. Furthermore, BMW’s current production hybrid cars can only muster a few miles under electric drive, but the Active Tourer can manage almost ten times that and, when the car uses it’s two power sources in parallel, it produces a handy 190bhp.
While the powertrain is a significant development, the concept’s styling is also a first for BMW. With the engine mounted sideways rather than lengthways, BMW’s designers have been able to taper the car’s snout into an aggressive and stylish front graphic. In the metal, the Active Tourer is very well resolved and extremely convincing. The bonnet features arching lines and overall the car has retained the muscular stance of its sporty stable mates despite, ultimately, being a front-wheel drive hatchback with a short bonnet and high roofline.