It's a China-only affair, at least initially.
BMW will use the upcoming 2017 Auto Shanghai to present the newest addition to its Chinese lineup. The 5 Series Li is a long wheelbase version of the premium saloon that will be, at least initially, offered exclusively in the People's Republic.
Longer by 133 millimetres than the standard 5 Series, the new Li version is only slightly shorter than the 7 Series. All the extra space will go for the passengers at the back, which will now benefit from additional legroom.
BMW will offer the vehicle in a Luxury Line trim level, which features Nappa leather, Bowers & Wilkins audio system, two 10.25-inch screens mounted on the front headrests, and a tablet integrated into the rear armrest serving as a control centre for most of the car’s infotainment functions.
Three petrol engines will be offered. Two 2.0-litre turbos, generating 224 horsepower and 252 hp respectively in the 525 Li and 530 Li, and a larger 3.0-litre turbo with 340 hp in the 540 Li. All they will work exclusively with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, sending power to the rear wheels.
In addition to the Luxury Line trim, the new 5 Series Li will be available with an optional M Sport aerodynamic package. It comes with all the usual M Sport bits, including different bumpers, larger wheels, side skirts, and a rear diffuser.
According to CarNewsChina, the 5 Series Li will hit the Chinese market in Q3 of 2017 with prices ranging from 450,000 to 750,000 yuan (approximately £52,500 – £87,500 at the current exchange rates). So far, the Bavarian company hasn’t said anything about the possibility of launching the model outside the country.