BMW X5 Gets Stretched Out For Chinese Market
14 December 2021 - motor1
Because China loves their wheelbases long.
The boom of the Chinese automotive market has brought in some interesting changes and adjustments for the world's automakers. Perhaps one of the most visible is the long-wheelbase model typically reserved for that country. From compacts to crossovers, a lot of platforms out there get modified to add a few inches between the wheels.
It's a cultural thing over there, too. Not only is it a sign that you have the means to buy the more expensive model, you're also telling people that you can literally afford to sit at the back and pay a chauffeur. Luxury automakers are well aware of that, and one of them is BMW. In mainland China, BMW has been offering stretched versions of their cars for quite some time already. However, most of their crossover line-up don't get that treatment.
For now, the only long-wheelbase crossover they have on offer is the X1, but that's about to change soon. Per a file on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China (or just MIIT for short), BMW will soon release a stretched version of the X5. Not only that, there are a few specifications listed there as well.
According to the file, the extended X5 measures 199.2 inches (5,050 mm) from bumper to bumper. Meanwhile, the wheelbase is at 122.2 inches (3,105 mm), but width and height are the same as the standard version. All in all, this X5 is 5.4 inches (137 mm) longer and its wheelbase is stretched by 5.1 inches (approx. 130 mm).
As for other details, the model photographed by the MIIT is the X5 xDrive40Li. More specifically, it's the M-Sport model with the larger wheel and tire combination, and the laser headlights. The '40' badge indicates that this particular car uses the 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo straight-six engine. It makes 329 horsepower (245 kilowatts) and 322 pound-feet (450 Newton-meters) of torque. BMW also offers the turbocharged-four there, but it is unknown if it will be available with the long-wheelbase.
It's unlikely that the long-wheelbase X5 will reach North America and might be reserved for the Chinese market. That said, it will be interesting to see if BMW will entertain the possibility of an X7L. After all, BMW does not have a direct competitor to the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. Even though the latter does not have a long-wheelbase model, it still has more inches on the standard X7.