China´s love for long-wheelbase cars is world renown and BMW has finally caved in to this trend by building the extended version of their executive sedan, the 5 Series. The Chinese market already has the Audi A6 L, the Jaguar XF L and the Mercedes E-Class L, making it imperative for the Bavarian car maker to go against its DNA to build a car that is more passenger friendly.
To be launched in China soon, the BMW 5 Series L’s length has been extended by 133mm, taking it from 4943mm to 5076mm, almost 10mm over Mercedes’ long wheelbase E-Class. All the extra cabin space generated has been earmarked for the rear passengers, turning the 5 Series into a limousine almost at par with the standard wheelbase 7 Series.
The car will be offered only in the top-spec Luxury Line trim in China, along with Nappa leather upholstery, two 10.25-inch screens for the rear passengers, a Bower and Wilkins audio system and an array of features and equipment befitting a BMW executive luxury sedan. As of now, BMW has not mentioned anything about the possibility of the car being taken to markets other than China.
The 2017 5 Series is expected to be launched in India by June in the standard wheelbase form. If BMW brings the long-wheel base car to India, it might appeal to a wider range of buyers and not only the driving enthusiasts. Now that Mercedes-Benz has launched the long wheelbase E-Class in India to replace the older E, BMW too might be interested in offering the long-wheelbase car in India, but only with the top-spec trims, just like in China.
In that case, the 5 Series L might not be offered with the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines that develop roughly 180bhp of power each. It might be offered only with the 3.0-litre six-cylinder 530d diesel engine that develops close to 250bhp of power and a large chunk of torque.