BMW 2 Series Active Tourer plugs in
Munich, Germany - BMW's line-up for the 2015 Frankfurt motor show includes not only the new X1 and 3 Series, which we've already driven, and an all-new 7 Series, but also a whole family of plug-in hybrids.
The Blue Ppopeller Boys are making good on their threat to carry over the technology developed for the i3 and i8 electrics into mainstream BMW models - led by the new 225xe Active Tourer.
This new variant of the front-wheel-drive 2 Series combines BMW's new 1.5-litre turbopetrol three with all-wheel drive and up to 40 kilometres of pure electric urban motoring - at no cost in space, says the maker.
HOW'D THEY DO THAT?
The petrol engine drives the front wheels - nothing new there - while the electric motor is coupled directly to the rear axle, for a combined output of 165kW - but you don't have to use all of it, all the time.
If your daily commute is less than 40km, you could drive all week without using any petrol at all, charging from the grid between trips. Or you can drive the open road on combustion power and the use the electric motor as a generator to keep the battery topped up, ready for use when needed.
BMW quotes a nominal fuel-consumption figure of 2.1 litres per 100km in the combined cycle, achieved by running the battery flat before using any combustion fuel.
Off-road, or in bad weather, the car's traction control system adjusts the power levels to either axle for optimum traction with minimum fuss.
Rather than down the centre of the cabin or under the floor, the225xe's lithium ion battery pack is under the rear seat bench, so that the luggage compartment is the same size as on conventional 2 Series models.
MORE 'LECTRIC BEEMERS
Frankfurt will also see the world debut of the 740e, 330e and the X5 xDrive 40e, making BMW plug-in hybrid drive available in four different market segments in 2016.
But performance junkies aren't being left out either: also on show for the first time will be a new top-dog customer competition car, the M6 GT3 endurance racer, powered by a lightly tweaked TwinPower Turbo V8.
It's based on the standard M6 Coupé, with a smoothed-out underbody, and crumple zones and outer skin in carbon fibre, keeping its kerb weight down to less than 1300kg.
It'll be accompanied by a road-going sister car, the M6 Competition Edition, with a choice of special paint finishes, lots of carbon fibre and special leather upholstery with coordinated contrast stitching.
The Competition package also upgrades the 4.4-litre turbo V8 to 441kW and 700Nm; add the optional Driver's Package and top speed goes up to 305km/hIOL