It's been a while since we last talked about a car show due to the worldwide disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but the Auto China 2020 in Beijing is still happening this month. BMW is among the first brands to reveal what it plans to introduce in the People's Republic, namely the facelifted 5 Series. It's not the same luxury sedan we get in North American and Europe because the CN-spec variant is slightly bigger.
It's a known fact Chinese customers have a soft spot for rear legroom, which is why many of the German luxury brands have developed separate LWB models to cater to the world's most populous country. The distance between the axles grows by 130 millimeters (5.1 inches), resulting in a generous wheelbase of 3105 mm (122.2 inches) for the locally assembled 5 Series Li.
Not only is the 5 Series Sedan sold in China roomier than the international version, but it also boasts a feature you won't find anywhere else. The CN-spec model gets a "comfort rear seat with particularly ergonomic upholstery and comfortable headrests" offered as optional equipment. Speaking of extra kit, customers can order the stretched 5er with a panoramic glass roof, intricate ambient lighting, and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual touchscreens.
BMW China has only revealed two images of the revised 5 Series, showing the model equipped with the M Sport Package. There's going to be a 535Le plug-in hybrid variant with a combined output of 288 horsepower (215 kilowatts). It gets the same array of styling tweaks as the global model, but with the slightly longer rear doors as a result of stretching the wheelbase.
The 5 Series Li racked up approximately 174,000 sales last year, enough to make it the most popular business sedan in China. It's far from being the only stretched BMW available there as the 3 Series is also offered with a long wheelbase together with the X1 crossover.
The Auto China 2020 is scheduled to take place between September 26 and October 5.