Since 2016, BMW has been selling a stretched X1 in China where rear legroom remains a priority among customers. The compact crossover is locally produced and is expected to switch to the next generation in 2023. Codenamed U12, the elongated model is likely to be unveiled in the near future since a well-known BMW insider has it on good authority that production will start in March.

According to Bimmer Post forum member ynguldyn, the X1 for the People’s Republic will initially be offered only with gasoline engines for the sDrive18Li, sDrive20Li, and xDrive20Li. The purely electric iX1 xDrive30L has a start of production date of July 2023, with a front-wheel-drive iX1 eDrive25L scheduled to hit the assembly line in March 2024.

Little else is known about the long-wheelbase X1 for China, but it goes without saying it’ll be bigger than the global model. As a refresher, the U11 is substantially longer than its predecessor by measuring 4,500 millimeters (177.2 inches) with a wheelbase of 2,692 mm (106 in). It’s unclear by how much the wheelbase will be stretched for the Li, but we’ll remind you the outgoing model added 110 mm (4.3 in) between the axles compared to the international model.

In the world’s most populous country, BMW builds and sells other Li models as the 3 Series (including i3) and 5 Series sedans have also been stretched. The most recent entry is an X5 Li with the same wheelbase as the X7 fullsize SUV. Compared to the international shorter versions, these Chinese models typically have fancier rear seats and extra amenities to go along with the additional room.

Codenamed G68, the next-generation 5 Series Li is rumored to go on sale in China in the first half of 2024. Much like the X1 crossover, it too will also be sold with electric drivetrains as the i5, possibly in eDrive40 and xDrive40 configurations.

Source: BimmerPost / ynguldyn