BMW is readying a long wheelbase version of the X5, called the X5 xDrive40 Li, which will initially be sold only in China. The Chinese passenger vehicle market often sees several global vehicles being adapted into an exclusive long wheelbase guise to suit local tastes. Rear legroom is high on priority for Chinese car buyers, which has ensured that China sees exclusive stretched versions of models like the Range Rover Evoque and even the BMW X1.
- BMW X5 LWB will initially be sold only in the Chinese market
- It is 138mm longer than the standard X5; gets 130mm longer wheelbase
- Will be powered by a 365hp, 3.0-litre inline-six petrol engine
BMW X5 xDrive40 Li: what is different?
A filing on China’s ministry of industry and information technology has revealed some key details of the stretched X5. Typical to BMW, the ‘Li’ in the name suggests that it is the long wheelbase variant. And that brings us to the most obvious update on the X5 xDrive 40 Li, which is the increase in the length of the SUV, most of which has gone into the wheelbase.
It measures 5,060mm in length, making it 138mm longer than the regular X5. Meanwhile, the wheelbase measures 3,105mm, which is 130mm longer than the regular X5’s 2,975mm wheelbase. As for the width, both versions measure an identical 2,004mm. With a height of 1,779mm, the X5 LWB is also 34mm taller than the regular model.
To give you some more perspective, BMW’s current largest SUV, the X7, measures 5,151mm in length with a wheelbase of 3,105mm, is 2,000mm wide and 1,805mm tall. The long wheelbase X5 and X7 thus have identical wheelbase, although the former is 91mm shorter than the latter.
BMW X5 xDrive40 Li: exterior design
The Chinese government filing also previewed a few images of the X5 xDrive40 Li in its M Sport guise. In terms of design, the stretched X5 does not have any notable difference over the regular model apart from the longer rear doors.
The documentation also revealed that the SUV will be available with a choice of 21-inch wheels measuring 275/40 at the front and 315/35 at the rear, while 22-inch wheels will come wrapped in 275/35 at the front and 315/30 at the rear. The SUV can also be specced in either chrome or gloss black exterior trim packages for the window surrounds and roof rails.
BMW X5 xDrive40 Li: powertrain details
Under the hood, the X5 xDrive40 Li will be powered by a 365hp, 3.0-litre inline-six turbocharged petrol engine, which is 25hp up from the standard wheelbase X5 available globally. The bump in power must have come to compensate for the additional weight that comes with the longer body and larger glass house. The same engine is also offered on the X7 in India.
BMW long wheelbase models in India
Although the BMW X5 xDrive40 Li is currently only for China, it’s worth noting that the German carmaker has also acknowledged the long wheelbase luxury car market in India. Earlier this year, BMW launched the 3 Series Gran Limousine in India as a LWB version of the standard 3 Series. In fact, India is only market where BMW sells a right-hand-drive, long wheelbase version of the 3-Series. However, the 3-Series is a relatively high volume product compared to the X5 here, and its highly unlikely that the X5 LWB will reach our shores.
Do you think BMW should consider bringing the X5 LWB to India as well? Let us know in the comments below.