BMW has unveiled details and photos of the new long wheelbase version of the 5-series. It definitely doesn’t look like a long wheelbase variant from the outside, instead looking quite ‘standard’ instead of disproportionate with the B pillar to C pillar stretched awkwardly. This is because the original wheelbase F10’s rear door actually looked shorter than the front door, and with this long wheelbase version the doors actually look about the same length now. I actually prefer look of the LWB model to be honest!
The new long wheelbase 5-er was designed for the Chinese market as the demand is huge there for longer wheelbase versions of cars. Even the Audi A4 has a long wheelbase version called the A4L there. The new range of LWB 5-er comes as 523Li Standard, 523Li, 528Li and 530Li models and the wheelbase has been stretched by 140mm to 3,108mm. That’s actually even longer than the short wheelbase version of the 7-Series (F01) or the 5-Series GT, which have 3,070mm wheelbases and compared to the long wheelbase E60, it’s 44mm longer.
There are rear-seat comfort options such as four-zone automatic air conditioning, rear-seat entertainment, a cooling box as well as electrically adjustable sunblinds on the rear side windows and a folding table integrated in the backrest of the front passenger’s seat. The high-comfort rear seat bench developed specifically for the long-wheelbase version offers space for three passengers, yet the two outer seats come with single seat contours with lower backrest angles for a more comfortable seating position.
The 523Li Standard makes 177 horsepower from its 2.5 litre engine which is actually down from what we’ve been enjoying in our E60 523i. Take away the “Standard” from the model name and you get 204 horsepower in the 523Li, a similar tune to the rest of the “23” cars around the world including the Z4 sDrive23i. It’s only the 523Li “Standard” model which gets a further detuned engine. The difference in power accounts for 1.1 seconds in 0-100km/h acceleration time. The 3.0 litre engine in the 528Li makes 258 horsepower while the top of the line 535Li makes 306 horses.
The 5-er LWB is exclusive to China only which is a left hand drive market so don’t expect it to be found on Malaysian roads, not even through the grey importers. Look after the jump for hi-res images and videos of the car.
GALLERY: BMW 5-Series Long Wheelbase – Exterior
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GALLERY: BMW 5-Series Long Wheelbase – Interior
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