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BMW Goes Front-Drive With Geneva Debut of 2-Series Active Tourer

Redefining luxury?

by on Feb.18, 2014

Not your father's BMW, the new 2-Series Active Tourer is the maker's first to go front-drive.

For many years, it was easy to recognize a BMW at first glance.  The familiar kidney grille adorned only a handful of sedans, coupes and convertibles, all pumping power to the rear wheels.

In recent years, the BMW line-up has been rapidly proliferating, the grille and spinner logo have been showing up on all manner of sports cars, SUVs – Sport Activity Vehicles, in BMW-speak – and even harder to define GT body styles. It has also been rolling out an ever-increasing number of all-wheel-drive packages, in keeping with the latest luxury segment trends.

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But now, it seems, BMW is set to break the final barrier, to some the ultimate taboo, and launch its first ever front-wheel-drive model, the 2-Series Active Tourer set to make its debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.


First Look: BMW M135i Concept

TwinPower turbo for this tortoise-shelled screamer.

by on Feb.24, 2012

BMW will add a production of the M135i Concept to its new M Performance brand.

We’re starting to wonder what’s going to be left to see when we get to the Geneva Motor Show next month.  Between inadvertent leaks – see our coverage of the Volvo V40 and Audi A3 yesterday – and advanced releases it seems like a sizable share of the 50-some previews will already be old news.

That included a whole host of BMW products that the maker offered up in advance earlier this month.  But now, it seems, it almost forgot to clue us in on one final Geneva show car: the BMW M135i Concept.


The designation might seem odd.  You might recall that with the 2011 BMW 1-Series pocket rocket the maker chose to call it the 1M, so as not to sully the legend of its original M1 supercar.  Well, the Geneva concept is very definitely not a change of heart.  The longer M135i designation reveals it is a prototype for the new mid-range BMW M Performance brand-within-a-brand.


BMW Launching All-New Product Range

Bavarian maker to target niche between its mainstream and M-car lines.

by on Jan.16, 2012

BMW M President Friedrich Nitschke.

BMW apparently thinks there is more room for a few angels to dance on the head of its pin.  The maker will reveal an all-new product range during the upcoming Geneva Motor Show that it says will land somewhere between its mainstream line-up and its vaunted M series.

The new line-up, to be called BMW M Performance Automobiles, promise to deliver similar levels of performance to such current offerings as the M5, while appealing to those who don’t want to sacrifice “the familiar comfort and practicality” of a BMW 535i.

“We are targeting our efforts at customers looking for more emotionality and more performance, but who don’t want to forgo the everyday usability of their cars,” said Friedrich Nitschke, President of BMW M GmbH.

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While specific details will be held back for the March introduction, the executive hints that there could be additional product lines specifically created for the M Performance brand.  It will also rely on a mix of gasoline and diesel powertrains, with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system expected to “play a significant role.”

The role model for the new sub-brand is the 1980 M535i, which featured plenty of power but a more every day driving experience than the hard-charging M cars BMW produces today.

The new line should hit market sometime later this year.

It’s just the latest step the maker has announced in its effort to fill seemingly every possible inch of white space in the luxury segment.  BMW’s new “i” line of battery vehicles debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, last September.  The maker also pushed into compact performance, last year, with the debut of the 1M.  As has reported, a diesel-powered M model, tentatively dubbed the BMW 550dXM, for diesel, all-wheel-drive, is also in development.

The automaker last year, meanwhile, captured the top spot in the U.S. luxury sales wars, nudging past long-time leader Lexus and narrowly topping German rival Mercedes-Benz.  To help maintain that momentum, BMW announced last week plans to further expand its assembly line in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which is expected to thus become the second-largest BMW plant in the world.

(For more on plans for Spartanburg, Click Here.)