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BMW Concept Active Tourer at Paris, previews 1 Series GT

The BMW Concept Active Tourer has been unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, currently underway, giving us a preview to a new crossover the German company plans to introduce in the coming years.

BMW has never really launched a crossover before. The company’s first attempt is expected to blend in BMW’s traditional ‘driver’s car’ character with the practicality and versatility of an all-wheel drive wagon.

The concept is built on an all-new platform called the UKL1. It will underpin a range of next-gen entry-level BMW models such as the next 1 Series. It is also likely to form the foundations for the next-gen MINI range.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect to the platform is that is uses a predominately front-wheel drive layout – so far BMW hasn’t ever launched a front-wheel drive vehicle (apart from the MINI).

In the Active Tourer, the powertrain comprises of a petrol engine in the front powering the front wheels with an electric motor in the back driving the rear wheels.

The petrol engine is BMW’s new 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder which will make its way into various entry-level Beemers in the near future. Along with the electric motor, it offers a combined power output of 140kW and 200Nm. This enables 0-100km/h acceleration in under 8.0 seconds.

As for the Active Tourer’s design, it’s neither an MPV or a SUV, rather, a slightly jumped up compact wagon. It’s also said to showcase BMW’s design language of the future.

There’s a prominent nose at the front with new drawn back headlights, an interesting lower front bumper bar layout incorporating three main intakes – potentially a trait to look out for in future production models – while at the back is a set of exhaust outlets that almost penetrate seamlessly out from the bodywork.

The Active Tourer is said to preview a ‘1 Series Gran Turismo’ of the future – a model which would take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.