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If you had kittens when BMW announced its 2-Series Active Tourer MPV - the first front-wheel drive car ever to wear the BMW badge - then prepare to generate full-blown cats.

This is the 2-Series Gran Tourer, a front-wheel drive, seven-seat people-carrier set to debut at the Geneva show in early March.

BMW describes it as a ‘new vehicle segment’, a claim we suspect the Vauxhall Zafira might humbly dispute. Nonetheless, it’s a market that, even five years ago, you’d have got long odds on BMW entering.

Anyhow. The 2-Series GT spans just over four-and-a-half metres in length, standing 21cm longer and 5cm taller, but the same width, as the five-seater 2-Series Active Tourer. It sits on the same ‘UKL1’ platform as its little brother, a platform that will also underpin the upcoming BMW X1 and Mini’s next Countryman.

It’ll launch with the choice of no fewer than five engines - two petrols and three diesels. The most frugal - the 114bhp 216d, officially returns 72.4mph and CO2 emissions of 104g/km.

The juiciest of the bunch is the four-wheel drive 220d xDrive, which makes 187bhp and 295lb ft from its 2.0-litre turbodiesel, good for a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds and a 135mph top speed. Don’t hold your breath for an M2 GT, however.

The 2-Series GT reaches the UK this summer. If it’s anything like the 2-Series Active Tourer, it should be a tidy steer by MPV standards. Even so, is this the sort of car BMW should be doing?

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