Niche work

Moun­tain bike rid­ers will be big fans of the Bavar­ian SUV

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cars News - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­

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

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