The day of the front-wheel drive BMW is almost here. The production version of the BMW Active Tourer will debut early next year, Auto Express reports. It will be the first of 11 front-wheel drive models from Bavaria.

BMW board member for sales and marketing Ian Roberston told Auto Express that the Active Tourer will appear at an auto show "early next year," and that the production version's styling is very close to that of the concept first unveiled at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.

The Active Tourer will be the first front-wheel drive car to wear a BMW badge, but it's not the first model in the company's front-drive onslaught. Included in the 11-model tally is the 2014 MINI Cooper, which rides on the same UKL1 platform as the Active Tourer. Other MINI models will probably account for some of the total.

Up to eight MINI models are predicted, including new versions of the Countryman and Paceman pseudo-crossovers. In addition to the Active Tourer, BMW may also field a small crossover to compete with the Audi Q1, as well as a car to compete with the A1.

While the original concept featured a hybrid powertrain, the production Active Tourer will be powered by a standalone three-cylinder engine, at least initially. It's likely a version of the new 1.5-liter triple introduced in the 2014 MINI Cooper. A full range of gasoline and diesel engines, plus that hybrid option, will probably be offered as well.

No word yet on whether the Active Tourer Outdoor concept's interior bike rack and "Gold Race Orange" paint will be available. The latter is definitely an acquired taste.

The production Active Tourer will likely debut at the Geneva Auto Show next March. In the meantime, check back here for more updates.


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