Overview: BMW 2-Series Active Tourer

BMW 2-Series Active Tourer

BMW has broken one of its rules and also expanded into new territory with the new 2-Series Active Tourer: firstly by producing a car with front-wheel drive and then creating its first MPV at the same time.

The new BMW 2-Series Active Tourer can be thought of a ground-breaking model for the Munich firm for those very two reasons and marks a huge change for the company in terms of direction.

Thanks to the exponential success of the MINI, BMW can afford to explore such an area of the market as this and the Active Tourer is even built upon the same architecture as the popular hatchback, albeit stretched to increase space inside for passengers.

It could be seen to be a brave move by BMW to arrive in the MPV market, a sector where people are leaving for the joys of fashionable SUV Crossovers. In addition, the Active Tourer faces some hefty competition in the forms of the Mercedes B-Class, Ford C-Max and Volkswagen Golf SV.

Design

BMW 2-Series Active Tourer Interior

Perhaps one reason many are flocking to the myriad of stylish SUVs is the way in which MPVs are usually so limited in how visually engaging they can be. However, with some slick styling traits from its sleeker offerings, BMW has managed to accomplish one of the better looking models in its class with the Active Tourer. The manufacturer’s trademark kidney grille is front and centre on the 2-Series MPV, while resting just below the headlights and is an arrangement seen already on the new 6-Series and 4-Series.

Panel creases and kinks help to make the Active Tourer’s bulk, something which BMW does well to keep the car looking as trim as possible by breaking up the car’s lines.

BMW might very well have instantly become class-leaders in terms of interior quality with the Active Tourer. A option-laden lush cabin makes the larger 2-Series a fine place to be thanks in large to an abundance of leather and red stitching, as well as aluminium inserts in the dash and centre console which help bring a premium feel to the interior.

Engines

BMW 2-Series Active Tourer

Just the two engines are available at the launch of the new BMW 2-Series Active Tourer: one diesel and one petrol.

The 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel features in the 218d-badged Active Tourer and is likely to be the model’s most popular variant, predominantly due to its economic capabilities that achieves 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of just 109g/km. For one of BMW’s larger and less sporty examples, the 218d manages 0-62mph in 8.9sec but there is a slight lack of refinement at speed when wind noise is quite noticeable; however, a supple ride certainly helps to make up for this.

As for the petrol offering, BMW has employed MINI’s new 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit. The first three-pot engine in a BMW is more refined than the diesel alternative in the Active Tourer and returns a reasonable 58mpg and emits just 115g/km of CO2.

Practicality

BMW 2-Series Active Tourer

Space inside the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer is not going to be what takes sales away from the likes of the Golf SV or B-Class, that’ll be the fine interior quality and driving dynamics of a car of this size and shape. The Bavarian offers less room than its rivals at 468 litres of space, or 1,510 litres with the back seats down that can be flattened at the flick of a switch.

The rear seating arrangement is a traditional bench for three individuals, and with shorter overall dimensions after being based on a stretched version of the MINI’s structure, the BMW has decent but not class-leading leg room, although isn’t too bad for head room.

Those in the front can enjoy numerous storage areas and a comfortable central arm rest that doubles up as more room to put possessions; a great versatility of adjustment means that the driver can be comfortable no matter what their personal dimensions.

Running costs

BMW 2-Series Active Tourer

Going up against the Golf SV once more, the 2-Series Active Tourer wins this round when it comes to the fuel and tax bills, with the BMW’s diesel achieving 3.2mpg more and a tax band lower on CO2 compared to the VW for the same engine displacement.

The 1.5-litre petrol is a sound option for those after a little more of a quiet journey and costs £2,000 less than the 218d.

Luca di Montezemolo to leave Ferrari

Luca di Montezemolo - Ferrari

Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is set to step down from his role later next month after being in the position since 1991.

The Maranello firm has already named his replaced in current Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, with whom Montezemolo is said to have had spats with in regards to the direction of Ferrari’s road car division, as well as the company’s performances in Formula 1.

Montezemolo became chairman of Ferrari after working his way through the Fiat’s ranks and underneath the 67-year-old, the high-end car maker has seen profits surge and its road and motorsport divisions flourish.

A spokesman for Ferrari has stated that the changes will not affect the company on a day-to-day basis and will be a vital cog in the new FCA Group which came together in the merger between Fiat an Chrysler. Ferrari only accounts for 10 per cent of the group’s turnover, but delivers around 25 per cent of the its profits. The partnership with Maserati will also continue to grow, in which Ferrari shares engineering, development and production facilities.

After 23 years in the role, Montezemolo said: “Ferrari will have an important role to play within the FCA Group in the upcoming flotation on Wall Street.

“This will open up a new and different phase which I feel should be spearheaded by the CEO of the Group.”

Montezemolo added: “This is the end of an era and so I have decided to leave my position as Chairman after almost 23 marvellous and unforgettable years in addition to those spent at Enzo Ferrari’s side in the 1970s.”

The Italian will leave his position officially on 13 October with Marchionne taking over immediately.

Mercedes AMG GT fully revealed

Mercedes AMG GT S

Set to go toe-to-toe with the Porsche 911 and the Jaguar F-type, the new Mercedes AMG GT has been revealed to the world and looks to be everything we hoped it would be.

The stunning two-seater doesn’t exactly take over from the SLS and isn’t a direct replacement, but armed with a brand new gutsy turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, the GT has it where it counts and becomes Mercedes’ new flagship sports car.

Two versions of the sleek coupe will be offered from launch: the GT and the GT S. The duo receive the same powerlplant but in different tunings; the GT offers 456bhp on tap whilst the GT S gets the full 503bhp, both through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. A 0-62mph time of 3.8 sec is achievable for the latter, with a time of two-tenths behind that for the standard car.

Mercedes AMG GT S Rear

There’s no denying the Mercedes AMG GT is heavily inspired by the elegant shape of the awesome SLS, but it also takes cues from the new S-Class Coupe, especially at the rear of the car. As long bonnets go, the GT is up there with the F-types of this world, while the SLS influence is very much evident when observing the GT’s immense rear haunches. The GT S differs from its standard counterpart due to its gloss black front splitter and a GT S badge on the rear; a Chrome package can be specced on either model, as well as a Night pack and carbon fibre parts.

The GT is built upon a similar aluminium space frame to the SLS – minus 50mm cut out of the wheelbase – and weighs 1,645kg, making it 25kg less than the 911 Turbo and 5kg less than the F-type R Coupe.

Mercedes AMG GT S Interior

A traditional AMG centre console dominates the GT’s interior and is joined by a new touchscreen borrowed straight from the new C-Class. Additional buttons in the roof control seat heating, hazard lights and the extendable spoiler. Meanwhile, a 350-litre boot is apparently enough for two bags of golf clubs.

Going up against a car so dynamic as the 911 Turbo, the Mercedes AMG GT requires the kit to contend with such ability in the corners and so receives a double wishbone suspension set-up all-round, as well as adaptive dampers that can be set between comfort, sport and Sport Plus using the AMG Dynamic Select system. An AMG Dynamic Plus package is also available for the GT S, which includes active engine and transmission mounts which work independently from each other. Carbon fibre brakes and Michelin Pilot Sports Cup 2 tyres can also be specced.

Mercedes AMG GT S

A selectable exhaust comes as standard with the more powerful version that allows the driver to have more or less of the V8’s bellowing depending on which mode the Dynamic Select system is in; the standard GT model can have it as an optional extra.

Making its public debut at the Paris motor show in October, the new Mercedes AMG GT will start at around £110,000 for the entry-level model and upwards of £120,000 for the S, with the order book opening at the start of 2015.