BMW 2 Series 230e Active Tourer M Sport PHEV 2022 First Drive : Power behind the throne
Malaga, Spain - There will never be a M240i Active Tourer, thank the Engineering Gods for that, but this is the next best, and most logical, thing: It’s the 230e Active Tourer, currently the most powerful member of the new 2 Series AT family.
The specs are tantalising, but before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s not coming to Singapore. That’s probably because it’ll cost a lot - PHEVs being not particularly cheap, and the EV incentives don’t apply to them, so they’ve fallen into a gap.
That’s a pity because the 230e shows just what PHEV-ness can do, even for an otherwise less than exciting small family car.
You’ve read all about the new 2 Series Active Tourer (2AT) already, and with BMW’s big emphasis on PHEVs, it’s no surprise to see a 225e and 230e in the lineup - you may remember than the 225xe of the first gen car was in fact, Singapore’s first PHEV BMW.
But the second-gen car is totally new, as explained, and very interesting from an engineering standpoint: while all PHEVs are half EV, half ICE - this one’s arguably more EV than ICE.
The new FAAR platform puts the batteries in the floor, which allows for this: The electric motor is more powerful than the gasoline engine, and it’s mounted on the rear axle. If you figure that PHEVs are meant to spend most of their life in EV mode then yes, this is a predominantly rear-wheel drive 2 Series Active Tourer.
That was quite a mind-job when we realised it, since it did seem to us that the 230e was more fun to drive as an EV around the seaside town of Fuengirola, than its FWD-ICE cousins. Of course, both power sources working together make all-wheel drive, and in this case it’s a hefty 326hp and almost 480Nm of torque.
In a straight line, it’s quite the rocket, though we didn’t have the chance to test this out in full as we drove prototype cars in a convoy. Nevertheless, despite a higher kerbweight than the ICE cars, the low C of G allowed for nimble, enjoyable handling at fun but not-extreme speeds - it truly feels like a blend of EV rapidity with the zing of ICE.
But the real magic is also in the EV side: This is the first BMW PHEV that uses the manufacturer’s fifth-gen EV tech - the tech we’ve already seen used to such great effect in the iX and iX3. BMW’s EVs are amongst the most efficient, even here in Singapore, and that translates to a PHEV range in the 230e of 90km.
Given BMW’s EVs often underquote their efficiency, we could easily imagine a real-life range of 80km from this PHEV. So while the 230e isn’t coming to Singapore, we’re sure future small BMWs like a next-gen X1 PHEV can combine the classic RWD element of driving fun with PHEV efficiency and sustainability.
Photos BMW, Derryn Wong
BMW 230e Active Tourer M Sport
Engine 1,499cc, inline 3, turbo
Engine Power/rpm 150hp/unknown rpm
Engine Torque/rpm 230Nm/unknown rpm
Battery 14.2kWh Li-Ion
Motor power 176hp / 247Nm
System Output 326hp / 477Nm
Transmission 7spd dual-clutch
0-100km/h 5.5 secs
Top Speed TBC
Fuel Consumption 1.3L/100km
Energy Consumption 19kWh/100km