BMW unveils hydrogen-powered 2 Series Active Tourer
BMW has introduced an experimental version of the family-friendly 2 Series Active Tourer that’s powered by a hydrogen drivetrain.
Up front, the drivetrain consists of a transversally-mounted 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that sends 136 horsepower and 162 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. An on-board generator sends electricity to a rear-mounted electric motor that zaps the rear wheels with 88 horsepower and 122 lb-ft. of torque.
Bolted to a two-speed transmission, the electric motor can power the 2 by itself for up to 23 miles. Alternatively, with the two power sources working together the Active Tourer can reach 62 mph from a stop in 6.5 seconds – faster than a 231-horsepower 225i – and it is capable of returning up to 117 mpg in a mixed European cycle.
Designed with input from Toyota, the hydrogen drivetrain provides the 2 with a road-linked all-wheel drive system that’s similar in concept to the one found in the i8. It offers three driving modes called Comfort, Sport and Eco Pro, respectively.
The hydrogen-powered 2 Series Active Tourer won’t remain an experimental one-off for long. BMW isn’t shy about admitting the people-mover has already been given the green light for production and it will land as soon as the drivetrain is fine-tuned. However, the Munich-based automaker has not provided a more precise time frame.
The application of hydrogen drivetrains is not limited to family cars like the 2 Series Active Tourer. BMW also unveiled a hydrogen-powered version of the i8 that boasts a more aerodynamic body, but the prototype has not been detailed at the time of writing.