Front-wheel drive, a massive sunroof and leather upholstery that can take the abuse of your active lifestyle. This's what BMW brings to the OutDoor Friedrichshafen fair. Now say Friedrichshafen three times in a row. It's a German city.

Last time I was in Berlin, Volkswagen let us check out their CrossBlue Coupe up close. As far as I could make out, the only point of that car was to demonstrate how versatile the MQB platform is. It's a pretty, big orange hybrid SUV.

The BMW Concept Active Tourer Outdoor (CATO from now on) is also an orange hybrid, but with an exterior length of 14.27 feet, width of 6 feet and height of 5.17 feet, a bit more on the compact side. Powered by a transversely mounted 1.5-liter turbocharged gas engine and an electric motor producing 190 horsepower in combined mode, the concept goes to 62 mph in under eight seconds and has a top speed of around 125 mph, while capable of 94 mpg with a very light foot.

The long wheelbase (8.75 feet) and the front-wheel drive means there's lots of space on the inside covered in hard-wearing leather. The rear compartment is highly adjustable and there's an integrated carrier system for two bicycles which is hidden when not used. But the functions don't end with the hardware.


Since it was designed for a German outdoor fair, the car also has all the up-to-date information about available routes and activities in the Alps. The integrated SIM card also connects you to local services and real time traffic information.

Great idea, but I would still take an M3 to the mountains instead of this.

Is this or the i3 making more sense to you as a BMW?