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Despite Giga Grille, New-Generation BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Is More of the Same

When we brought you the leaked images of the second-generation BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, we had the impression it had changed a lot more than it actually did. The official presentation of the compact minivan reveals that it did not get a new engine on its plug-in hybrid version. More than that, it shows its dimensions are pretty much the same.
Second-generation BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (U06) 127 photos
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While the first 2 Series Active Tourer was 4.34 meters (170.9 inches) long, 1.80 m (70.9 in) wide, 1.56 m (61.2 in) tall, and had a wheelbase of 2.67 m (105.1 in), the new one is 4.39 m (172.8 in) long, 1.82 m (71.7 in) wide, 1.58 m (62.2 in) tall, and has the same wheelbase, which is a strong indication that the FAAR over which it is built is just a revised UKL2.

That raises an old discussion again: can you say that a vehicle has a new generation when the main changes are on design? Despite the more prominent kidney grille, even the drag coefficient is the same: 0.26. BMW says it was optimized, probably because that cx is now common to all the compact minivan versions. The original one had 0.26 for the 218i, but the 225i presented a drag coefficient of 0.29.

With that in mind, the main novelties the 2 Series Active Tourer has to present refer to its design – especially in the interior – and the plug-in hybrid versions. The compact minivan now has the BMW Curved Display, which joins a 10.25-inch information screen with a 10.7-inch control display. The interior design is also a lot more elegant and minimalist.

On the outside, you’ll notice a bit more than the massive front grille. The door handles are now flush-fitting, and the headlights and taillights are narrower. The rear-view mirrors are also mounted differently. Instead of being placed in the superior portion of the doors – in the division where the windows are closer to the A-pillar – their base is now on the metal part.

When it comes to the PHEV derivatives, you must have perceived that the difference is the plural. Unlike what the leaked image suggested, the 2 Series Active Tourer will have two plug-in hybrids: the 225e xDrive (the 225xe with a different name) and the 230e xDrive. While the 225e xDrive will offer 180 kW (241 hp) instead of the 165 kW (221 hp) the 225xe had, the 230e xDrive will be the new flagship, with 240 kW (322 hp).

The new plug-in hybrids will retain the 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that the 225xe had. The trick to making the 230e xDrive more powerful is a little more pressure on the turbocharger and a much more powerful electric motor. However, it is the battery pack that makes all the difference.

Now with 14.9 kWh of usable energy – it has a little buffer of 1.4 kWh, for a gross capacity of 16.3 kWh – the battery pack is in the underfloor instead of beside the fuel tank. The 225xe initially had a 7.7 kWh battery pack, later increased to reach 10 kWh. With the larger component, the electric-only range has been improved to 80 km (50 mi), according to the WLTP cycle.

The sad news is that the new BMW will only be available by February 2022. By then, people will only manage to buy the 218i, 220i, 223i, and the 218d. The plug-in hybrids will only arrive by summer 2022. Prices are yet to be disclosed, but we would expect them to be about the same. For a vehicle that apparently is not entirely new, it would only be fair.

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