Now that sure escalated pretty quickly – the Chinese market’s appetite for everything long wheelbase had only just infected big SUVs like the mighty Range Rover, but it looks like small SUVs like the BMW X1 will have to come in a long wheelbase flavour too.

Chinese website autohome has just posted spy photos of an undisguised BMW X1 that has “xDrive 25 Li” on the side, which could mean that this is a long wheelbase ‘F49’ X1 instead of an F48 X1.

The F49 will share the same UKL front wheel drive platform as the 2-Series Active Tourer (and yet to be launched 7-seater version), the upcoming front wheel drive 1-Series Sedan and the MINI range.

We’ve actually seen this long wheelbase X1 on test – our Euro spy photographers have sent us photos of the BMW X1 where some prototypes have a slightly longer rear window than others – see below.

BMW X1 002-3