Chinese customers have an insatiable appetite for rear legroom, prompting many automakers to broaden their lineups with long-wheelbase derivatives. We’re not talking strictly about sedans as some brands have even stretched their SUVs as well. Case in point, the BMW X1 sold in the People’s Republic is available in the Li specification, and we will be able to say the same thing about the bigger X5 in the near future.
Revealing images of the X5 Li have emerged from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as part of the model’s homologation process. It’s the xDrive 40 Li model with the M Sport Package and a generous wheelbase measuring 3,105 millimeters (122.2 inches) or 130 mm (5.1 in) longer than that of the standard G05-generation model.
You can tell it’s the more spacious variant by the elongated rear doors and the more generous greenhouse as previously seen on other Li-badged BMWs from China such as the 3 Series Li and 5 Series Li. As far as the overall length is concerned, the X5 Li measures a stately 5,060 mm (199.2 in), thus making it 138 mm (5.4 in) longer than the standard model. It means most of the stretch can be found between the axles.
The documentation provided by MIIT reveals the car will be available with 21- and 22-inch wheels and is going to weigh 2,225 kilograms (4,905 pounds) in this specification. It’s motivated by a turbocharged inline-six 3.0-liter gasoline engine delivering 365 horsepower, which makes it considerably more potent than the global standard-wheelbase X5 xDrive40i with 335 hp.
If you’re thinking why must there be a longer X5, you are not alone. Apparently, BMW and other international automakers active in China believe there are gaps between their models that have to be filled with LWB versions. In other words, the X5 Li is for those who want a roomier version of the midsize SUV but can’t financially step up to the X7. The same logic can be applied to the relationship between the 3 Series Li / 5 Series and the 5 Series Li / 7 Series.
[Source: MIIT via cochespias / Instagram] | Top Image by @krispycaptures on Instagram