BMW’s first front wheel drive Ultimate Driving
Minivan Machine is set to debut at Geneva next month. It rides on the BMW Group’s new UKL platform, which is also the same platform for Mini’s third generation Cooper and the next generation BMW X1. The top engine in the 225i is said to be a 231 horse power 2.0L turbo four cylinder, while a diesel powered 218d is optional; and power is routed though a standard six speed manual (yay) or automatic transmission for all engines.
The 2-Series moniker comes from its larger size and price over the 1-Series variants sold overseas.
The European model will go on sale soon after the Geneva debut to fight against other popular MPVs, such as the Mercedes Benz B-Class, Ford B-Max, Seat Alhambra, VW Touran, and Fiat 500L. We will not see the 2-Series Active Tourer until Stateside until 2015, where it will be a niche player in an essentially untapped segment.
Styling can be best described as the BMW of minivans, but is pleasant and well proportioned, keeping the family resemblance strong. Front overhang is minimal, and over all exterior dimensions are tidy at 170.9 inches in length, 61.4 inches tall, and 70.9 inches wide, and with a wheel base of 105.1 inches; aiming square at the Mercedes Benz B-Class. Interior room is said to be enough to seat five comfortably, and is highly configurable with not only a flat-folding rear seat, but front seat as well.
An all wheel drive model is expected to arrive later this year, as well. A future M-Sport package and hybrid model are in the pipeline as well.
The 2-Series is a big step in BMW product, expanding beyond what is typically defined as BMW’s idea of the Ultimate Driving Machine. But with the success of their X-series models, who can fault BMW for wanting to bring their vision to the MPV market?