BMW Concept Active Tourer Outdoor has dual-bike-carrying system


July 13, 2013

The bike carrier's pivoting arm makes for easy assembly

The bike carrier's pivoting arm makes for easy assembly

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Just because the average crossover sees more time on mall parking lot asphalt than on dirt doesn't mean that manufacturers have abandoned the great outdoors completely. It just means that crossovers designed to actually venture into the outdoors are mostly concept cars and limited editions. BMW hasn't been shy about releasing such concepts, including last year's X1 Concept K2 Powder Ride and the all-new Concept Active Tourer Outdoor.

While the X1 Powder Ride was based on an actual production car, the Concept Active Tourer Outdoor is a sort of niche limited edition version of another concept car. We don't anticipate it getting produced anytime soon.

BMW must have realized the Concept Active Tourer it showed at last fall's Paris Motor Show was a nice platform for an outdoor-specific concept, thanks to its Earth-friendly plug-in hybrid powertrain and hatchback engineering. Like the original Concept Active Tourer, the Outdoor uses a powertrain with a 1.5-liter TwinPower turbo engine up front and an eDrive motor system in back. The motor and engine work together to put out up to 190 hp. BMW says that the Outdoor combines sporty driving characteristics with an estimated 113 mpg imperial (94 mpg US) fuel economy. It can travel between 12 and 19 miles (19 - 30 km) on electric motor power alone.

Because the Concept Active Tourer Outdoor's lithium-ion battery is mounted below the load compartment floor, the concept offers plenty of space for passengers and gear. That space is put to use as a dual bike loading zone. The rear seats fold flat and a dual-bike carrier secures to the left wall of the trunk area, holding the bikes inside the car and eliminating some of the hassles of mounting them to the roof, trunk or hitch. The bikes' front wheels are removed and stored on a separate mount on the back of the folded rear right seat.

The bike carrier's hardware includes sliding rails and a pivoting arm that allows it to double as a sort of bike stand, holding the bikes for repair and assembly. A hidden storage compartment in the load area floor holds the bicycle saddles (which must be taken off for loading), bike tools and parts. The compartment's cover doubles as a seat or step. When the bicycle carrier is not in use, it stores in the side structure of the car or the load compartment floor.

Giving potential Concept Active Tourer Outdoor drivers one more incentive to get outside, BMW worked with the Austrian Tyrol tourist board to develop an integrated "Heart of the Alps" route guide. The guide leverages BMW's ConnectedDrive technology to outline routes and activities throughout the Seefeld, Ötztal and Zillertal regions. The detailed suggested routes have directions, points of interest, activities, and lodging and dining information.

To add a little extra outdoor legitimacy to the new concept, BMW debuts it not at an international auto show or event, but at the OutDoor Friedrichshafen show, where it's on display amid a sea of tents, hiking boots and outdoor clothes.

BMW doesn't mention any intentions of building the Concept Active Tourer Outdoor, or the hatchback bicycle carrier system. It does say that the car "offers a preview of drive variants that promise to feature in compact class vehicles in the future," so we assume its particular version of plug-in hybrid hardware will make it into production. The "Heart of the Alps" tour guide is also real and can be accessed at

Bike-toting car concepts have been rather fashionable of late. Hyundai revealed the Veloster C3 Roll Top in LA last year, and Smart proved that you can carry bikes even in a tiny two-seater.

Source: BMW

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Holds two bike inside for storage and repairs 'n all. Like any van could...

Sam Sams

It is kind of a cool concept if you are afraid of theft/damage of storing the bikes outside the car but I always wonder why many SUV's lack a trailer hitch. Companies like Thule and Yakima make bike racks that are simple to attach to a trailer hitch which work well for this application for $200 - $300 mostly.

You can also get small trailers for things like Kyaks etc. (or even ATV's, small campers etc.) that really don't require any significant towing capacity. It is hard to call something a utility vehicle without one.


I like my bikes inside out of the airstream. Plus my concern over theft diminishes. Nice design.

Mark A

Looks like BMW is stepping on the same rake again. They thought that X1 would be a youngsters car with all the bikes and surfboards. No, it was not. It is car bought by oldsters (and women).

Now again they promote a nice car to who, a mid age couple? These people will not fill their car with some stupid bikes. They have children!

Anyway, nice concept, wrong target.

Kris Lee

re; Sam Sams

Even without the overly costly hybrid propulsion this would get better mileage than a van.


Very nice. An excellent design alternative to the Opel Astra "Flexi" slide-out rear bike carrier "tray". The advantage of that design is that it doesn't change the interior of the car but, as has been said, it has the disadvantage of leaving the bikes outside.

As to Kris Lee's comment about the "mid age couple" (ie middle aged), I agree that the X1 is not a "surfer's car" and never will be. Still, I suppose BMW are considering this age/sector again because this new edition of their "outdoor fun" concept isn't going to be cheap either !

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