We'll admit now, there are a lot of variables in this one, but what you are looking at could very well be the all-new BMW 1 Series GT. This image has been leaked by Auto.Blog.rs (a Serbian site of no relation to our own), who apparently got their hands on the next cover of Germany's Auto Bild, set to hit stands Friday, September 14. According to the report, the vehicle is named Active Sports Tourer Concept, but would likely take up the 1 Series GT if it goes into production.
F20 Addicts also picked the story up (there is apparently a lot of interest surrounding this). The BMW fan site points out the image lacks the telltale signs of photoshopping. So, either its a really good PS, or this is the real deal. The 1 Series GT, or at least the "production-ready concept," is set to debut at the Paris Motor Show later this month.
The new 1 Series GT will supposedly ride on a front-wheel drive platform, shared with new Mini models and will be powered by a four-cylinder engine. According to the Serbian site, hybrid and all-electric powertrains are also in the vehicle's future.
Earlier today, we posted a picture of what was referred to as the 1 Series Gran Turismo, but as it turns out, this car is actually the BMW Concept Active Tourer that is being unveiled later this month at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. As a growing number of automakers continue to expand into this premium small car market, the production version of this concept car could be in a unique position with its ultra-fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Those who loved the lines of last year's BMW i3 concept should warm to the styling and proportions of this new concept vehicle. Instead of the copious amounts of transparent body panels, the Concept Active Tourer gives a better indication of what this future model will look like with the front receiving a heavy influence of the new 2012 3 Series sedan – namely the long hood – and the rest of the hatchback looking like a scaled-down version of a BMW crossover. It is rumored that the production version of this concept vehicle could still wear the 1 Series GT nameplate.
At the heart of the Concept Active Tourer is BMW's new eDrive plug-in hybrid drive system that pairs a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-three with a lithium-ion powered electric system. The total system output is rated at 190 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. More importantly, BMW says this system has an all-electric driving range of close to 20 miles, but the automaker did not give specifics on battery charge times or what types of motors it plans to use. In true BMW fashion, acceleration is still pretty important, and it has the ability to get from zero to 62 miles per hour in under eight seconds with a top speed of 124 mph. Being a plug-in hybrid, this concept sips fuel with fuel consumption being just 2.5 liters per 100 kilometers (or about 94 miles per gallon) which is comparable to the Toyota Prius Plug-In's rating of 2.2 L/100 km.
The true innovation of the Concept Active Tourer is its interior, and while BMW hasn't provided interior shots as of this writing, the company spelled out what to expect in its lengthy press release. Some of the highlights include exciting new cabin technology such as the "Cool Shade" roof and numerous display screens. Like the Mercedes-Benz Magic Sky Control roof, BMW's new "Cool Shade" panoramic roof can change opacity at the push of a button, and it can even has a selectable leaf-like design for a special effect. Drivers can get information from the eight-inch gauge cluster display, the optional full color head-up display or the massive 10.25-inch center stack display screen. The HUD projects onto a retractable glass screen and displays information such as vehicle speed, navigation instructions and other warnings.
In terms of its size, the Concept Active Tourer is about as long as the current 1 Series with an overall length of 171 inches and a wheelbase of 105 inches, but it sits about five inches taller and is four inches wider.
As BMW prepares to introduce its first-ever front-wheel drive car, the upcoming 1 Series GT, it looks like there will be at least two versions of the car. A conventional-looking hatchback was spotted testing late last year, but now we see an extended-length version in order to accommodate a third row of seats.
Judging by these spy shots, this 1 Series GT prototype has received an extended wheelbase, larger rear doors and more upright D-pillars compared to our previous spy shots (show in the gallery below) all with the aim of creating additional passenger and cargo space. Like the smaller 1 Series GT, this longer model would likely carry over the same powertrain options, which are expected to consist of three- and four-cylinder engines, a hybrid system and the choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The 1 Series GT could make its debut this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but we might have to wait until next year to see the people mover.