The coupe and convertible versions of BMW’s second-generation 1-Series are yet to be launched, but over in Europe the new 1-Series has already debuted in three and five-door hatchback bodystyles, received a host of M upgrades including the addition of a new M135i M Performance model, and now, debuting at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, is the option of xDrive all-wheel drive on the entry-level BMWs.

This is the first time BMW is offering xDrive on its compact range, with only the 120d and M135i models getting the option initially.

The all-wheel drive system varies the drive torque between the front and rear axles, improving handling and safety. It relies on an electronically controlled multidisc clutch and in normal operating conditions sends 60 percent of torque to the rear wheels to ensure the all-wheel drive 1-Series models maintain their rear-driving characteristics.

Linked to the standard electronic stability control, xDrive all-wheel drive will adapt this distribution to the given situation almost instantaneously. For example, by directing additional drive power to the rear wheels early on, it is possible to counter any tendency towards understeering. Oversteering, meanwhile, can also be eliminated by directing most of the engine power to the front wheels.

With the added traction of xDrive all-wheel drive, BMW’s M135i M Performance, rated at 320 horsepower, will sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and go on to easily reach its electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

Also on BMW’s stands at the 2012 Paris Auto Show will be several new vehicles as well as some we’ve already seen.

BMW Concept Active Tourer, 2012 Paris Auto Show

BMW Concept Active Tourer, 2012 Paris Auto Show

One of these will be the striking Concept Active Tourer, which previews the automaker’s first front-wheel drive model, the upcoming 1-Series Gran Turismo. The concept features a plug-in hybrid system incorporating BMW’s new three-cylinder engine. Power output from its advanced drivetrain is a reasonable 190 horsepower, getting the Concept Active Tourer to 60 mph from rest in under 8 seconds. Top speed is about 124 mph, and it achieves a claimed average fuel consumption of 94 mpg.

Other concepts will include the previously revealed i3 electric minicar and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, as well as the C evolution electric scooter prototype.

On top of this, BMW also plans to present its latest suite of ConnectedDrive infotainment technology, which includes the automaker’s updated satellite navigation system, new iDrive Touch setup, Dictation Service and LTE Mobile Internet.

Stay tuned for more details and all the live photos of BMW's Paris fleet once the show kicks off on September 27.