The BMW xActivity

BMW xActivityMunich - With the xActivity BMW will present at the North American International Auto Show 2003 in Detroit an impressive vehicle concept that bears a name giving an apt description of what it has to offer. The Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) is an example of how sporty driving dynamics, enormous versatility and the inimitable pleasure of driving an open-top vehicle can be combined into one. This four-wheel vehicle, a so-called "frame-structure convertible" represents a completely new synthesis of various "fun factors". Moreover, numerous cleverly thought-out details make the xActivity a versatile vehicle and an ideal companion for active people who participate in outdoor activities and carry sports equipment around with them.

This concept vehicle is a good example of what BMW expects of a "Sports Activity Vehicle" (SAV) without having to compromise. The perfect combination of sporty, dynamic driving characteristics typical of BMW, a tremendously versatile range of uses and a unique and impressive design. With the xActivity BMW is hinting at what is to be expected from the enlargement of the X family. The typical proportions and design elements of BMW Sports Activity Vehicles form the basis of the fresh and youthful appearance of the xActivity. Moreover, its designers have made sure it possesses its very own individual qualities. From the characteristic design language with alternating concave and convex surfaces and the unique double-kidney grille, twin headlights and Hofmeister knick, right up to the newly designed rear end, this vehicle shows that it is well-equipped to match the successful series-production X5.

The proportions typical of BMW incorporating a long wheelbase and short overhangs present the xActivity with its sporting, dynamic appearance. Rigid bumpers and conspicuously flared wheel arches reflect the robustness and power expected of an SAV.

Probably the most striking feature of the xActivity is the roof construction. Being a so-called frame-structure convertible it combines the airy lightness of a convertible with the robust appearance of an SAV. Longitudinal rails onnect the A-pillars to the rear end on both sides, between which the driver and passengers can get a dose of the sun and the wind while travelling to their forthcoming outdoor activities. There are no B- or C-pillars, giving the xActivity a particularly sporting character.

BMW xActivityThe concept car underlines its high degree of functionality through surprising attention to detail. The unconventional loading system in particular does great justice to the name "Sports Activity Vehicle". As soon as the tailgate is opened - that is the loading board which is situated at the rear and folded down when needed - an elaborately constructed system automatically extracts the load, two mountain bikes for example, from the loading area to a certain degree. As this system facilitates the unloading of the bikes, you are off having fun on two wheels in just no time at all.

Sporty and versatile features are also to be found inside the xActivity, whereby comfort and typical BMW elegance are retained. Inside the vehicle the design matches the exterior by utilizing the same alternating concave and convex surfaces, presenting an interior with an extremely modern appearance. The intentional use of light and shade enhances the spacious effect created by the interior elements. Due to attractively designed surfaces, each individual element has its own character. Arranged in modular fashion they produce a harmonious ambience, a simultaneous invitation to both activity and relaxed well being. Vertical features on the door handles and the centre console give the interior a generous and spacious appearance worthy of an outdoor vehicle. Intelligently designed control elements such as a single-button control of all air-condition functions ensure that the cockpit offers convenience of operation. And, finally, the feature that counts most when experiencing an SAV from inside is the "Command
Position", the characteristically high seating position in a Sports Activity Vehicle. This ensures that the driver has that very special feel for the vehicle and an excellent view of the vehicle and the outside surroundings.

State-of-the-art technologies underline the path-breaking character of this concept vehicle: For example, in the interior, through the application of so-called "smart materials", the seats themselves become control elements for seat adjustment, thereby blending harmoniously into the entire ambience. These newly developed pressure-sensitive materials are a designer's dream come true, as they indeed give him the opportunity of creating a perfect synthesis of design and function.

The design of the materials and colours reflect the wide utility range of the xActivity: The exterior features noble, high-gloss surfaces combined with numerous matt-finished elements symbolizing robustness and durability even in severe driving conditions. The body colour "Bronze Moss" alternates between bronze, green and blue-grey, depending on how the light is reflected, this being symbolic of the xActivity's versatility. The materials chosen for the interior combine elegance with sportiness, thereby ready to challenge any weather condition if necessary. Natural cowhide has been combined with flexible, water-resistant materials and seat covers made of neoprene. In order to match the exterior the colour scheme used inside the vehicle incorporates carefully selected beige, olive and grey colour tones, which also bestow the interior a modern, avant-garde appearance.

The promise of agility and dynamics the design implies is also applicable to the technology incorporated in this 4.55 metre long vehicle. The widely acclaimed BMW 3.0-litre straight 6-cylinder engine delivering 170kW/231 bhp at a beefy torque of up to 300 Nm is a guarantee of fun all round. Its spontaneous development of power begins at lower engine speeds, meaning that the xActivity boasts superior performance even when confronted with steep gradients. Due to the spontaneous, fast-revving engine the xActivity becomes an athletic performer when set loose on the road. Power is transmitted by means of a manual gearbox to generously sized wheels with 245/45 tyres at the front, 275/40 tyres at the rear, each on 18" rims. The well-balanced suspension and a low centre of gravity ensure easy handling and a high degree of agility in all driving situations. This is why even the most challenging of winding roads becomes a pleasure to tackle.

In addition to this, the xActivity's BMW four-wheel drive - just like on the X5 - holds in store at first glance a further very unusual special feature: A special program used for the control electronics ensures that the traction control delivers to each wheel precisely the correct amount of slip required to ensure optimum performance when driving on off-road tracks. However, those not driving on such adverse surfaces also benefit from this unique development. When, for example, other vehicles are forced to come to a complete standstill owing to deep snow, the xActivity will bring its driver and passengers surely and safely to their desired destination. However, in this case it is advisable to take snowboards along with you, and not mountain bikes.


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