The BMW Group's board member for sales and marketing Ian Robertson has confirmed to Automotive News that the BMW brand's first front-wheel drive model, the production version of the Concept Active Tourer, will reach U.S. dealerships in early 2015.
With the Active Tourer, which we hear will likely sport the 1-Series moniker (possibly as the 1-Series Gran Turismo or 1-Series Active Tourer), BMW will expand its range into a new territory for the brand as it incorporates elements from hatchback, crossover and minivan (MPV) models in a compact-size packaging.
"If I look at the first generation 1 series in 2004, 80 percent of the customers were new to the brand," said Roberston. "With the Active Tourer, we will get a lot of new customers again. They will come out of the premium segment and from some of the volume players," he added.
The Active Tourer will share its platform and three- and four-cylinder turbocharged engine range with the new generation 2015 Mini Hatch that made its world premiere at the Los Angeles and Tokyo motor shows last week. Besides the regular five-seat version, BMW also has plans to develop a longer seven-seater model.