Space-functional concept. That was the working title of the five-seat BMW 2-series Active Tourer and next year’s seven-seat Grand Tourer. What’s in a name? More than you think. Especially when the initial connotation is MPV or – dare we say it – minivan. On paper, creating a new MPV is a recipe for disaster; vans of all sizes account for the fastest-shrinking market segment, and they are typically not BMW-like in posture and performance. But the man from BMW won’t have it.
‘The 2-series Active Tourer will be a runaway success,’ states senior product manager Frank Niederländer, keeping a straight face. ‘It’s a proper BMW: good-looking, a joy to drive, clever in concept and execution, truly upmarket in terms of content and quality…’
Although the design incorporates most must-have cues, the high-roof five-seater is not an instant crowd-puller; at a glance, it appears more 3-series GT pragmatic than 4-series Gran Coupe pretty. Inside, one may initially frown at the massive dashboard which curves into the cabin like a symmetrical wave crested with wood, leather and brightwork.