Car News: Oversteer
BMW Sells a Small, Front-Wheel-Drive Minivan in Europe
I'm going to tell you something that might surprise you. You know BMW? The company that makes high-performance cars? And high-performance versions of high-performance cars? And sometimes those high-performance cars are painted gold with blue brake calipers?
Well, in foreign markets, they sell a front-wheel-drive minivan. I'm serious.
The minivan in question is called the 2 Series Active Tourer, and I'm not even slightly exaggerating what it is: It's a front-wheel-drive, tall-roofed people-carrier, a bit smaller than a Toyota Sienna or a Honda Odyssey, that competes in a European segment called MPV. It still looks like a BMW, it has a BMW interior, it rides on the MINI Countryman chassis, and it's very BMW-y, except for the fact that it's a front-wheel-drive minivan. There's even a long version, called the 2 Series Gran Tourer, which seats seven human beings instead of five.
Unfortunately for those of you who love BMW and want to cart around your children in a small minivan with twin kidney grilles, BMW has no plans to sell the 2 Series Active Tourer in the states. I believe this means, unless you visit foreign countries, you won't be able to actively tour.
In fact, BMW has been very selective about what base-level models they offer in the U.S., to the point where they've still never sold anything here with front-wheel drive. The closest they come is the new X1, which also rides on the front-wheel-drive-based MINI Countryman chassis -- but unlike the Countryman, BMW only offers the X1 with all-wheel drive.
Anyway, back to the Active Tourer. Gas-powered versions offer between 134 and 228 horsepower, while diesel models offer 114 to 187 hp -- and 199 to 295 lb-ft of torque. Get a top-level engine, and I bet this thing actually performs pretty well. Which, of course, begs the question: Can you get it in gold with blue brake calipers?
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