One of the more overlooked concepts at this week’s 2012 Paris Auto Show, the Concept Active Tourer from BMW, is perhaps one of the most groundbreaking, at least for the German automaker. It previews BMW’s first front-wheel drive model, the rumored 1-Series Gran Turismo, and only a few years ago would have seemed an impossibility for the automaker which has built up its reputation on the back of rear-wheel drive vehicles.

However, it’s not only the Concept Active Tourer’s layout that’s surprising. The concept also showcases a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which features an engine from BMW’s new three-cylinder family.

Power output from the hybrid drivetrain is a reasonable 190 horsepower, getting the concept vehicle to 60 mph from rest in under 8 seconds. Top speed is about 124 mph, and it’s said to achieve an average fuel consumption of 94 mpg.

Looking beyond the tech, the styling revealed in these live photos shows a sleek and aggressive new look for BMW’s cars. Despite this being a relatively dull compact MPV, the sharp lines of the vehicle, plus its taut surfaces and chrome detailing make it somewhat appealing.

For all the official details on the Concept Active Tourer, including a video, check out our in-depth preview. And for the rest from the 2012 Paris Auto Show, head to our dedicated show page.