- BMW builds the car for cyclists
- Good idea for a small storage compartment
- Big plans with the front-wheel drive
- The study is a plug-in hybrid
BMW builds the car for cyclists
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The Active Tourer from BMW is still a study, but it is already a very advanced one: the production model will come onto the market at the end of 2014.
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The 4.35 meter long car is the first compact van from BMW, at the “OutDoor” trade fair in Friedrichshafen is now…
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… the equipment variant Outdoor (also a study) presented. It offers space for two bicycles in the hold and is equipped with a movable rail that can be used when loading- …and unloading helps.
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The rail can be folded out of the left side wall, the wheels are hooked into the rail with the top tubes – good for racing bikes, possibly difficult for mount…ainbikes with very sloping tubes and probably impossible for classic ladies’ bikes.
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The removed front wheels are placed in a special bracket behind the passenger seat, which becomes the frame …
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… automatically rotated across the rear of the BMW when unloading. The wheels are easy to remove and there is little risk of scratches on the car’s paintwork.
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The saddles must also be removed and can be stored in a small storage compartment. Its cover is used …
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… as a seat for tired cyclists.
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A look into the cockpit shows the panoramic roof, leather seats, two-tone design made of water-repellent material – everything is probably a bit too classy for the production model.
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Bike tours can be planned with the Connected Drive system from BMW and transferred to the iPhone.
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It remains to be seen whether there will actually be official "outdoor" equipment for the Active Tourer.
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And the filigree mirror mounts (good for aerodynamics) are probably too expensive for the series.
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The BMW Active Tourer is created on a new technical platform that will also be used by the upcoming mini generation – for the BMW this means: front-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive.
The BMW Active Tourer is a revolution. Because it has the smartest storage space concept for bicycles, and because it changes the brand’s philosophy. With drive technology that amazes BMW fans.
UNot only is the car unusual, the place where it is presented also differs from other premieres: BMW is not showing the concept study of the new Active Tourer Outdoor at a motor show. Rather, where the possible target group for the first van in the company’s history meets: at the “OutDoor” trade fair in Friedrichshafen.
Outdoor is a strange nickname for a car, because outdoor means outside, and who would suspect a car inside? But at the trade fair, like the BMW, it is about certain leisure activities – trekking, walking, biking, to put it in a very modern way.
There are tons of products on display in Friedrichshafen for so-called outdoor activities of all kinds, and the 4.35-meter-long Active Tourer also has something to offer cyclists among outdoor activists, namely a very sophisticated carrier system. However, not for outside, i.e. on the roof or at the rear of the car, but for inside, in the cargo area.
Good idea for a small storage compartment
First the rear seat is folded down, and the Active Tourer actually creates a flat loading area (hopefully it will stay that way when the car comes as a series product at the end of 2014). Then a rack for two bicycles can be unfolded from the left side wall of the BMW and pulled outwards.
Here you can fix the bikes and only have to remove two parts: the saddles and the front wheels – this can be done in a flash with today’s quick releases, and the carrier system offers a good working height.
Now simply push the clamped bicycles back into the car with the carrier rail and fix the front wheels to a special bracket that is integrated into the backrest of the right rear seat and can be folded up.
The saddles can be found in a special storage compartment at the rear end of the loading floor – the cover flap can also be used as an auxiliary seat if you want to take off your cycling shoes, for example.
Big plans with the front-wheel drive
All in all, there’s a little too much creativity in this gear to be spoiled in a concept study; the bicycle holder will certainly be offered as an extra when the Active Tourer hits the market.
It is not yet clear whether there will be a model with the nickname Outdoor. Because such a model was quickly aimed at the customers of the slightly higher-placed station wagon crossover BMW X1.
The new BMW is revolutionary enough without any further off-road appearance. After all, BMW is building a van for the first time, and it also has front-wheel drive. The rear-wheel drive belongs to the genome of the brand like the kidney grille.
But the van is only a harbinger: on a platform that shares with the next generation of the Mini used, many front-wheel drive cars will be created, including the next generation of the BMW 1 Series, its coupe offshoot 2 Series and even the future X1.
The study is a plug-in hybrid
Since it will also be sold with all-wheel drive in the future, one could also imagine an all-wheel drive version for the Active Tourer. So that you can get everywhere when it comes to starting a nice bike tour.
This idea is also pursued – in a slightly modified form – in the concept car that BMW is exhibiting as a plug-in hybrid. At the front under the hood, a 1.5 liter three-cylinder works together with an electric motor (system output 190 HP), the batteries of which have enough capacity that the car can drive 30 kilometers purely electrically.
So you can get the bikes at vacation spots where petrol and diesel cars are not allowed to drive. And can then transfer a bike tour from the navigation system to the iPhone. Outdoor is somehow something really nice.
"world"-Reporter Stefan Anker regularly tweets spontaneous car news and observations from everyday driving and testing and is pleased if you are here click and follow him. Or check out his Facebook page past.
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