Published on January 29th, 2024 | by Subhash Nair0
BMW i5 Gets Extended Wheelbase For China, Will It Come Here?
The first electric 5 Series, the BMW i5, keeps to the tradition of having a long-wheelbase model just for China.
BMW has created a sort of tradition around crafting special long-wheelbase models out of their 3 and 5 Series for certain markets like China, India, and of course Malaysia. It’s strange that we get the privilege of these long-wheelbase models, but we have indeed been “given” the 330Li model in pre-facelift and LCI form.
Well it looks like the tradition of long-wheelbase models continues in this new generation of electrified BMW sedans. The new 7 Series and 5 Series come as hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric variants for this generation and BMW has confirmed that China will get a long-wheelbase version of the i5. Does that mean it’ll come to Malaysia as well? We wouldn’t hold our breath.
The 330Li was available as both a right hand drive and left hand drive model as it was sold in both China and India. This was not the case for the long-wheelbase version of the previous 5 Series. So unless India also gets an i5 LWB model, Malaysia will probably also not get one.
For the Chinese market, the 5 Series and the new i5 electric derivative are confirmed to get stretched out. This will make it more appealing to the Chinese buyer, who is said to value to generous space at the rear and the exclusive equipment on this variant. It’s worth noting that the i5 will be the first electric long-wheelbase model from BMW.
It was specially-developed in China by BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd and made at the Dadong plant in Shenyang.
Besides the new proportions, this model comes with an illuminated “5” as standard on the Hofmeister kink on the C-pillar. This “5” pulses blue at a low frequency while the i5 is charging up. Other powertrain variants have this number light up in white.
Inside, the 5 Series and BMW i5 LWB models get the BMW Curved Display, redesigned steering wheel, the BMW Interaction Bar, BMW iDrive with “QuickSelect”, Crafted Clarity glass application, Titanium Bronze inlays, BMW Theater Screen, Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System and 4-zone automatic climate control. The 5-Series logo is also embossed into the headrests while the seat surfaces get exclusive quilting and a bicolour design.