BMW 2 Series Active Tourer PHEV Borrows i8 Driveline Technology

JUN 16 2016 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 12

BMW 2 Series 225e Active Tourer PHEV

BMW 2 Series 225e Active Tourer PHEV (via BMWBlog)

BMW 225xe

BMW 225xe

The trickle-down effect…

BMW says that the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer plug-in hybrid benefits from the electric all-wheel-drive technology originally developed for the i8, which is certainly true.   Still, we wonder how i8 owners feel about having the same BMW powertain available in another, more mundane, much less expensive BMW.

Anyways, GKN Driveline – innovators and developers of the electric AWD tech found now in both the i8 and the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, alerted us to this dual-usage by issuing a press release on the matter.

Green Car Congress states:

“…and now the company who developed its four-wheel-drive system, GKN Driveline, has confirmed that the technology is based on the driveline of the BMW i8.”

“The i8’s eAxle has been adapted to work in compact vehicles, such as the 2 Series. It is now 229mm wide and 259mm tall, while weighing just 20.2kg.”

“As in i8, the 2 Series’s eAxle is responsible for driving one axle with electric power, and it can also disengage the motor to reduce rolling resistance when it’s not needed. The other axle is powered by a detuned version of the i8’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine.”

Very similar systems, but with one major change:

“There is one key difference between the two cars’ systems, however. In the mid-engined i8 the petrol engine drives the rear while the eAxle sits at the front, but in the front-engined 2 Series, petrol powers the front wheels and the eAxle drives the rears.”

So, if you’d like to experience the i8’s powertrain, but can’t quite afford its $100,000-plus price tag, then buy a 2 Series Active Tourer PHEV for just £35,155 ($51,465 USD). Of note: The 2 Series Active Tourer not available in the U.S.

Okay, it’s not quite that simple. There are some other changes made to the powertrain employed in the 2 Series, mostly improvements over the now-outdated unit found in the i8. Even more reason to buy the 2 Series Active Tourer, right?

Moving on…

GKN supplies eAxle technology for higher end AWD PHEVs. The list includes the BMW i8, Porsche 918 Spyer and the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV. This new, more compact eAxle found in the 2 Series will allow GKN to branch out into the lower-priced, compact AWD PHEV segment.

Source: Autocar, Green Car Congress

Categories: BMW

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12 Comments on "BMW 2 Series Active Tourer PHEV Borrows i8 Driveline Technology"

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If BMW can put this powertrain into the X1 and bring it to the states at a decent price it will sell pretty well.

Well, if the 2 Series was also a jaw droppingly beautiful car with an advanced aluminum and carbon reinforced chassis, I might be a little peeved.

Since it looks like a rolling toaster, not so much.

I’m pretty sure most people are buying the i8 for it’s appearance, not the powertrain.

Yup – David is right.

Do Lamborghini buyers care that some of their parts are from the VW corporate parts bin? No. They are driving a Lamborghini.

People buy the i8 cuz of the specs of the technology??? I don’t think so. They buy the i8 cuz it looks like the future.

Good for BMW for adding to its plug-in product line. That’s good for everyone.

There’s another reason guys buy Lambo’s etc…
YouTube “Gold Digger Prank”

No fancy doors? pfff thats ok, I would rather spend 90k more for the i8 *rolls eyes*

I think BMW is making a mistake by focusing so much on PHEVs. I think PHEVS are the right solution for many applications like SUVs and less expensive green cars like the Chevy Volt.

But for high-end luxury cars? I think pure electric is the way to go. Electric cars simply operate in a more luxurious manner: No stinky gasoline fill-ups, can fuel up at home, no engine noise, no engine vibration, no stinky toxic exhaust, no oil changes, no smog checks, no lurching transmission, 100% torque off the line, etc.

Tesla got that right. And even if the Fisker Karma did not have so many flaws, I still think the Tesla Model S would have outsold it since the Karma was a PHEV.

I both agree and disagree. We’re at a point where charging opportunities are scarce. Mass adoption of electric cars seems to be coming fairly soon, especially if Tesla pulls off a smooth and timely Model 3 rollout. Even at current levels, many pure BEV drivers find ICEd charging stations, out-of-order charging stations and Superchargers filled that need valets or long waiting periods to get to the next available charger. Think how this will be with 100,000 more pure EVs on the road. The beauty of the EREV and PHEV is zero range anxiety. They are bridges to the future. There has to be a gradual ramp up or the general public will stay away from BEVs due to the negative stories of waiting for a charge, or being stranded. I agree with you that a pure EV experience is best – we all know this here. If a car is luxury-priced, the best experience is all smooth, quiet and powerful electric drive. Obviously a car with 300+ mile range will need charging less often, but they still offer the buyer limitations, albeit a bit less than a 100 mile BEV owner. Some may feel true luxury is zero range anxiety.… Read more »

High end PHEVs lets the BMW CEO keep his job 😉

But high end BEV is quite a lot of cash to be invested.

Tesla not only have BEV tech and autonomous tech, and heck even updated-over-the-air tech.

They have Panasonic.

Tesla is market leader. BMW would be upstart with little actual experience, and no big enough supplier of battery packs to be found. (LG is 50% of Panasonic, and will serve many clients still decreasing amount any one of them can get in a first few years)

My Outlander PHEV is a better car than this for less and actually does 25 miles in EV only mode.

Although, I did like the build quality on the active tourer which I looked at.

It’s taken so long to get this car to market, is there still a customer that wants it?

BMW 2 is quite popular car. (At that price point, of course 😉

Electric engine will add some good performance to it. So it will find its owners pretty easily.

Until Model 3 that is 🙂