The minivan has had a tough few decades. Their once glorious crown as the preferred people carrier has been usurped by the massive unibody SUVs. Well, as the off-road-focused Ford Bronco and a new line of Jeep Wranglers see massive attention from the SUV world, the minivan may have its opening to step back into the limelight. To aid in the cause, there are now rumors of a hybrid BMW minivan with 270-hp driving around in camouflage.
Does BMW make a minivan?
A couple of months ago, Motor1 spied a rather peculiar BMW wrapped in camouflage. It looks like an SUV but lower. And longer. And kind of fat. Could it be? Yes! It sure as hell looks a whole lot like a BMW minivan prototype.
According to the spy source, what was seen sleuthing around in camo was a BMW 2-Series Active Tourer with full production lights and body. The spy shots suggest a sharper, slightly bigger van for the European market. The newest reports suggest there is something even cooler lurking beneath the hood.
Someone on the BMW Blog started mentioning the possibility that the BMW minivan might get a 270-hp plug-in hybrid powerplant. This new PHEV van’s engine will be replacing the 225xe and will be called the 230xe. The 270-hp figure will come from a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine supported by an electric motor. This would make it quite the hot minivan.
Will America get this European minivan?
As is with most things, Europeans always get the coolest cars. The fact that BMW already makes a van for our friends across the pond and most Americans aren’t even aware tells you all you need to know about the state of the people hauler in America.
There are still far more questions than answers about the new hybrid BMW minivan. BMW hasn’t said much, but if this turbocharged 2.0-liter hybrid happens, then we know it will at least be a big step up from the older, smaller version.
The 225xe sports a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine combined with a small electric motor for a total system output of 224 hp. The new hybrid BMW minivan will not only have much more power but will also likely ditch the old six-speed automatic transmission for the eight-speed auto.
Not only are there cooler power options, but there are also just more of them for the new BMW minivan. The 2 Series Active Tourer will be offered with a choice of four powertrains. These include the gasoline 218i (155 hp), 220i (178 hp), and 223i (200 hp), with the latter two featuring some hybrid technology. On the diesel side, (yes there’s a diesel BMW minivan), there will be the 218d with 148 hp.
The new BMW minivan is also getting a new look
On top of all the killer performance upgrades and options, the new BMW minivan is also getting a new look. The 2AT will get sleeker, sportier lines than the older version while still growing in size. The Active Tourer will replace the strange minivan sedan mix, the BMW Grand Tourer. Other slimming features include pop-out door handles, slim-profile headlights, and new side mirrors.
The overlook is aggressive and cool while offering more space and performance. It honestly sounds like the best upgrade for a minivan of all time. Let’s just hope we can see a BMW minivan stateside sooner rather than later.