Chinese buyers seem to have a thing for the BMW X5 but they also love cars and SUVs with an extended wheelbase. Thus, the Bavarian automaker unveiled the X5 xDrive30Li and the X5 xDrive40L, two longer variants of the SAV produced in China by BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. that will be exclusively available in the local market.
The timing of the release is a bit weird since we are expecting the facelifted BMW X5 to arrive in late 2022, although styling changes are expected to be subtle so they could be easily incorporated in the Li as well. The X5 Li brings a 130 mm (5.1 inches) increase in the wheelbase compared to the regular fourth-generation X5 introduced in 2018. This means that the X5 xDrive30Li and the X5 xDrive40Li have a wheelbase of 3,105 mm (122.2 inches) and measure 5,052 mm (198.9 inches) long if we are doing the math right. The former is identical to the BMW X7, although the flagship SUV remains the longest of the range being 5,151 mm (202.8 inches) long.
BMW says that all of the extra length has been used to the benefit of the rear passengers with plenty of legroom to spare. This is evident from the exterior with the longer rear doors providing easier access to the cabin. The Li variants come standard with plenty of kit, including comfort seats with four degrees of extra backrest tilt, a panoramic glass roof, ambient lighting, a wireless charging tray, perforated metal covers for the speakers, electroplated finish for controls, and a bespoke M Aerodynamics package for the exterior.
Just like the regular-wheelbase variants with the same names, the xDrive30Li is fitted with the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 261 hp (195 kW / 265 PS) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft), while the xDrive40Li gets the more powerful turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine producing 329 hp (245 kW / 333 PS) and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque. In both cases, power is set to all four wheels through an eight-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox and BMW’s xDrive AWD system. The long-wheelbase X5s come standard with electronically controlled dampers, while the xDrive40Li has the option of two-axle air suspension with automatic self-leveling function.
Unlike the regular-wheelbase X5 that is built in the BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina, US, the Li variants will be produced in the BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. Dadong plant in Shenyang, China after a major expansion of the facilities. This will free up space in the US plant for producing more units to cover the growing demand and also start building the BMW XM towards the end of 2022.
Both the X5 xDrive30Li and the X5 xDrive40Li will be available in China starting from April 2022 as part of the BMW Brilliance joint venture. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet but, logically, it will be higher than the standard models with the same powertrains.