Mountain bike riders will be big fans of the Bavarian SUV
A lifestyle-based prestige SUV is a no-brainer for Australia— if BMW builds it.
That’s the local take on the release of the BMW Concept Active Tourer Outdoor, a softroader intended for those who mix business with some extreme outdoor pleasure.
The plug-in hybrid concept is an evolution of the urban-focused BMW Active Tourer shown at last year’s Paris motor show.
BMWis noted for seldom producing concepts that don’t go into production, so the car is expected to go on sale next year, possibly with five and seven-seat variants.
As shown, the concept is smaller than BMW’s X1 SUV and is a cross between a prestige SUV and a genuine off-roader, with extensive use of durable interior materials and easy-clean surfaces.
The concept uses a pivoting bike carrier in the rear cargo area to accommodate up to two mountain bikes (with front wheels and saddles removed). Under-floor stowage in the cargo bay deals with the saddles, with the wheels secured in a holder built into the right-hand seat backrest.
BMW says the set-up lets owners secure their bikes from the elements and theft in the city and while driving.
The drivetrain is the same as in BMW’s i8, with a transversely mounted 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine powering the front wheels, bolstered by an electric motor. The car can operate as a hybrid or on the current stored in the lithium- ion batteries underneath the cargo area. Electric-only range is about 30km.
Fuel consumption is a claimed 2.5L/100km, with emissions less than 60g/km of CO .2
BMW spokesman Scott Croker says the car is a logical addition to the line-up, should BMW choose to build it.
‘‘ Australia’s active, outdoororiented lifestyle would be a great fit with the Active Tourer Outdoor,’’ he says. ‘‘ As yet, we’ve had no indication it will be a production model but it is safe to say we’ll be putting our hands up if that does happen.’’
The Tourer would provide a size and price rival to Mercedes-Benz’s new B-Class, which has sold more than 4000 since it launched here last year.
Mount up: The concept’s pivoting carrier takes two bikes, with front
wheels and saddles removed