BMW Stretches 5 Series for China

Posted by Justin_Lee
26 Dec 2006
BMW Stretches 5 Series for China
Car makers will go to great lengths to succeed in China, and joining the increasingly long list of China-only cars is a stretched BMW 5 Series Many car makers already make special China-only models – Citroen has a 4-door sedan version of the C4, Peugeot has the added a boot to its 307 for China, and VW has modified the latest Passat to create the Magotan. Not to be left behind is BMW, which offers a stretched long-wheel base version of its mid-range 5 Series.

Does this mean when a push comes to shove, BMW will do anything for a quick sale? Is the Munich car maker admitting that the 5 Series actually could do with a little more legroom, especially in the rear?

The 523/525/530 Li, as they are badged, is 140mm longer than the 5 Series we get here (or anywhere else, for that matter), and the additional length goes towards giving the rear passengers more legroom. Presumably, this is necessary, as BMW has found out that most 5 Series sold in China are chauffeur driven, but budget restrictions prevent owners from moving up to a 7 Series (the 5 Series is assembled in China, but the 7 Series is fully-imported).

What is not so clear is if the 5 Series Li maintains BMWs fabled 50:50 weight balance, and fantastic handling. Or perhaps, the stretch in wheelbase (also by 140mm) has actually made the 5 Series handle even better than the standard model? Has anyone read a China review of this model?

If the car does turn out to be better than the standard car, shouldn’t the other markets get it also? Going by the success of the 7 Series Li versus the standard model, a 523 Li should be a winner. On the other hand, would the market be able to accept a made-in-China BMW?

Check the streched 5 Series out for yourself at:
http://www.bmw.com.cn/en/products/automobiles/showroom/5series/saloon/phase3/specials/5series_sedan/index.html />

Source: Source of News / Quote: M3 Post Source of News / Quote: Leftlane News


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