Stretched BMW 5 Series with ‘theatre screen’ unveiled in China

Stretched BMW 5 Series with ‘theatre screen’ unveiled in China
Stretched BMW 5 Series with ‘theatre screen’ unveiled in China

The long wheelbase BMW 5 Series has been revealed in China, and in addition to dollops of extra rear seat leg room, the LWB model gains a number of exclusive features.

Like earlier generations of the 5 Series LWB, the China-market model isn’t a huge design departure from the short wheelbase variant available in the rest of the world. If anything, the LWB model seems — at least to this writer — better proportioned thanks to rear doors which no longer look too small.

There are a small number of stylistic flourishes exclusive to the China-only LWB model, chief amongst these is the larger Hoffmeister kink trim piece in the C-pillar, which now includes an illuminated ‘5’ logo.

In the petrol-powered 5 Series models, this logo glows white, but in i5 variants it’s blue and pulses gently when the car is being charged.

If you like bronze, BMW is happy to oblige with both exterior and interior trim pieces, as well as alloy wheel highlights.

For interior, the LWB is available with the Theatre Screen setup borrowed from the range-topping 7 Series. This system has a 31.3-inch 8K screen that flips down from the ceiling to keep rear seat passengers entertained.

Other available features include a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system, 5G connectivity, four-zone climate control, embossed head rests, and quilted two-tone seat designs.

As with 5 Series models sold elsewhere, the LWB version has a curved display area rising out of the dashboard. The LWB model does, however, include “China-specific digital services”.

BMW has yet to reveal how much bigger the LWB model is, but we expect it to be similar to the previous generation car, which had a 130mm longer wheelbase matched with a similar jump in overall length.

If we’re right, the 5 Series LWB should be roughly 5.2m long, and have a wheelbase around 3125mm. Width (1900mm) and height (1515mm) will likely be the same for both models.

Similarly, BMW hasn’t gone into any detail regarding the drivetrains, except to say there will be petrol-powered 5 Series and all-electric i5 variants.

The LWB 5 Series will be “produced exclusively for the Chinese market” by BMW Brilliance at its factory in Shenyang, not too far from the North Korean border. Only the long wheelbase variant will be sold in China, hence the missing ‘L’ suffix.

BMW claims it has manufactured around two million 5 Series sedans in China, meaning 20 per cent of all 5 Series cars made since the model’s introduction in 1972 have been sold in the Middle Kingdom.

According to the automaker, the 5 Series is the most popular car in China’s “premium upper mid-range vehicle segment”.

MORE: Everything BMW 5 Series

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